15 Septembre 2013
September 15, 2013
Japan's science minister to brief IAEA
Japan's Science and Technology Policy Minister Ichita Yamamoto will brief the IAEA on the current situation of contaminated water accumulating at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Yamamoto will attend the annual session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference scheduled to open on Monday in Vienna.
The minister plans to explain that the government views the radioactive water problem as the most urgent challenge to be solved at the nuclear facility.
Plant operator TEPCO estimates that 400 tons of groundwater flows into the basements of the buildings at the plant every day. There it mixes with cooling water and becomes contaminated. It is then pumped out and stored.
The operator says another 200 tons of water filters through a contaminated area and becomes laced with radioactive substances. Then it seeps into the sea.
Yamamoto will explain that the tainted water is affecting 0.3 square kilometers of seawater inside the plant's port. He will say no significant levels of radiation are being detected in waters outside the port.
The minister will note that plant workers have been facing unprecedented challenges in their efforts to deal with contaminated water and decommission the reactors.
He will call on the IAEA and the world to contribute technology and wisdom to address the nuclear crisis.