UN nuclear agency chief visits Fukushima power plant for first-hand assessment

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

25 July 2011 – The head of the United Nations nuclear agency today visited the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan to gather first-hand information on the damage and repair operations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said: “The purpose of my visit is to collect first-hand information” at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which was hit by the earthquake and tsunami 11 March.

“Actually I wanted to come to Fukushima Daiichi when I visited Tokyo in March,” he said. “However the situation didn’t allow me to do so.”

People who were directly engaged in the response to the nuclear accident gave Mr. Amano eyewitness accounts of the accident, and detailed the company’s efforts to implement its plans to contain and stabilize the situation in the accident’s aftermath, IAEA said.

Citing Mike Weightman, the head of an IAEA technical team that inspected Fukushima in May and who said it would take “passion” to overcome all the obstacles, Mr. Amato said “I felt that passion here.”

While in Japan, Mr. Amano will meet Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other senior-level officials to discuss the outcomes of last month’s ministerial conference on nuclear safety, including the initiatives to improve global nuclear safety. In his meetings, Mr. Amano will emphasize the IAEA’s resolve to continue to support to Japan in mitigating the consequences of the Fukushima accident, IAEA said in a press statement.


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