Two years after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, the herculean task of decommissioning the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is the subject of growing international involvement, with the International Atomic Energy Agency looking to step up its role.
But even as Tokyo and the IAEA trumpet increased cooperation, other international experts, and many Japanese who distrust claims by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. that progress is being made in containing the triple-meltdown crisis, are calling for a broader range of international experts to be brought on board, including those whose views run counter to the claims of government bureaucrats, engineers and medical professionals.
In general, Japan has received high marks from the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog. At a meeting on nuclear safety in Fukushima in December, IAEA members said Japan had made tangible progress in stabilizing the Fukushima No. 1 complex and in decreasing the amount of radioactive discharges. The establishment of the independent Nuclear Regulation Authority in September, which had long been called for by pro- and antinuclear experts abroad, was also welcomed.