IAEA begins probe into Japan nuclear emergency

A team of foreign inspectors due to visit Japan`s stricken Fukushima plant began questioning officials to stay as part of a fact-finding mission on the world`s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

Tokyo: A team of foreign inspectors due
to visit Japan`s stricken Fukushima plant began questioning officials to stay as part of a fact-finding mission on the world`s worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl.

The delegation, including six specialists from the
UN`s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), arrived in
Tokyo on Monday on a 10-day visit aimed at learning lessons
for the future "on behalf of the world" from the crisis.

"We will come to our best judgement without fear or
favour from anybody," mission chief Mike Weightman told
reporters after meeting with Foreign Minister Takeaki
Matsumoto.

"We are gathering information. We will have more
discussions over the weekend" after visiting the Fukushima
Daiichi plant," he said.
"Then we will seek to bring all of the information
together to see what lessens we can learn on the world basis,"
he said.

Weightman, chief inspector of nuclear installations in
Britain, said the mission would report its findings to an IAEA
ministerial-level conference in Vienna in late June.

The 18-member team is made up of experts from 12
countries including the United States, China, Russia and South
Korea.

On Friday the team is scheduled to inspect the plant,
which was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11
and has leaked high levels of radiation into the environment
with meltdowns reported in three reactors.
While in Japan, the experts will also tour a nearby
nuclear power plant, Fukushima Daini, and meet officials from
various branches of government and the plant`s operator, Tokyo
Electric Power Co.

On June 1, the team will outline a report on the
accident to the Japanese government.

PTI

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