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IAEA to conduct marine environment sampling near Fukushima nuclear plant

Thursday 12 October 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Pacific Islands, Regional


IAEA to conduct marine environment sampling near Fukushima nuclear plant
An aerial photo shows Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima Prefecture in January 2021. Picture: KOTA ENDO

Scientists with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), along with observers, will visit Japan next week to take marine samples near the defunct Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The agency's samples will be used to corroborate Japan's environmental monitoring and to assess the country's relevant technical capabilities.

This work supports the IAEA's ongoing monitoring and assessment activities in Japan under the IAEA's overall safety review of the treated water discharges.

This is assessing whether TEPCO and the government of Japan are applying the relevant international safety standards.

The results from the new samples will also be compared against samples taken last year to determine whether any changes have occurred in the levels of radionuclides in the marine environment since the discharges began in August this year.

The mission will also provide samples for the IAEA's project initiated in 2014 to support the quality assurance of broader marine environmental monitoring by Japanese laboratories related to the decommissioning of the power station.

From 16-23 October, the IAEA team will observe the collection and processing of seawater, marine sediment and fish samples from coastal waters in the vicinity of the FDNPS.

Two staff from the IAEA Marine Environment Laboratories in Monaco, as well as experts from laboratories in Canada, China and Republic of Korea, will participate in the sample collection.

The team will also take part in the sampling of fish from markets in the Fukushima Prefecture.