• Kyodo


The International Atomic Energy Agency plans to use a Fukushima Prefectural Government facility as a base for joint operations to deal with the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant meltdown crisis, Japanese government sources said Wednesday.

The IAEA and the prefecture will open the base, which will engage in such operations as radiation decontamination and health management services for local citizens, in the first half of next year.

They are now drafting a cooperation agreement for Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano to sign at a high-level meeting starting Dec. 15 in the city of Koriyama.

The IAEA has sent teams to help Fukushima deal with the crisis, which started when tsunami triggered by the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake overwhelmed the ill-protected Pacific coastal complex.

In late August, Gov. Sato asked the IAEA chief in Vienna to work with the prefecture in efforts to decontaminate radioactive areas and dispatch experts. Amano accepted the request. Details regarding the nature of the joint operational base, the public health management program and the decontamination work were not specified.

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