The International Atomic Energy Agency has for a second time sent a team of experts to Japan to monitor the clean-up operation at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima. The IAEA team, which includes 16 nuclear specialists, arrived in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, on Monday for a week-long mission at the request of the Japanese government.
“We want to carefully analyze the decontamination work carried out so far and give advice as to the best way to carry out the clean-up operation and the disposal of the accumulated waste,” the IAEA director of nuclear waste, Juan Carlos Lentijo, told reporters in Tokyo.Japanese authorities have been trying to contain radioactive water that has leaked from parts of the nuclear plant. Fukushima’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), reported on October 9 that six workers at the plant have been exposed to radioactive leak after one of them mistakenly detached a pipe connected to a water treatment system. According to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), the leakage is equivalent to “level 0” on the UN International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). The Fukushima Daiichi plant, which sustained heavy damage following a massive quake and tsunami in March 2011, has been plagued with the mishaps and misfortunes. TEPCO has announced that Japanese technicians have found the new leak of as high as 430 liters (100 gallons) of the toxic water in one of the storage tanks of the broken nuclear power station. According to the plant’s operator, the contaminated water which spilt out of the 450-ton tank at Fukushima, due to heavy rainfall, has probably flown to the ocean. Some 300 tons of radioactive water was found to have leaked from a separate tank at the nuclear plant, given a level three “serious incident” rating on the INES scale. On October 6, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed any help from foreign countries to contain the crisis. “We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem,” Abe said. DB/HSN