24 Jan (NucNet): The International Atomic Energy Agency has recognised Japan’s efforts to reduce annual residual radiation doses in areas affected by the Fukushima-Daiichi accident to less than one millisievert a year (mSv/yr), but stressed that this target is a long-term goal and cannot be achieved in a short time or through decontamination work alone.
The final report of an expert mission that reviewed remediation and reconstruction efforts in Fukushima prefecture says progress has been achieved following the first IAEA remediation mission in October 2011, including the remediation of farmland and forest areas.
But the report says authorities must sustain current public communication efforts and improve them where necessary, especially with a view to explaining to the public that, in remediation situations, any level of individual radiation dose in the range of one to 20 mSv/yr is acceptable and “in line with international standards”.
According to the report, Japan has allocated significant resources and is carrying out intense work to remediate areas affected by the Fukushima-Daiichi accident and promote the return of evacuees to their homes.
The report says comprehensive implementation of food safety measures is in place to protect consumers and improve consumer confidence in farm produce, and this is reflected in an increase in the economic value of the crops.
The report welcomes progress by municipalities and the national government in the development and establishment of temporary storage facilities for contaminated materials generated by remediation activities.
It says progress had been made towards the national government’s creation of interim storage facilities, with the cooperation of municipalities and local communities.
The IAEA said in a statement that the Japanese authorities provided “comprehensive information” on their remediation programme.
The report is online: www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/fukushima/final_report230114.pdf