IAEA chief praises Fukushima workers

IAEA head meets Japanese PM over Fukushima nuclear cleanup.

By REUTERS
July 26, 2011 14:07
1 minute read.
IAEA Chief Yukiya Amano

IAEA chief Amano. (photo credit: Toshi Maeda/REUTERS)

The head of the United Nations' atomic watchdog has nothing but praise for workers still working to bring the Fukushima nuclear reactors under control.

Donning protective gear, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) head, Yukiya Amano, walked into the highly radioactive Fukushima Daiichi nuclear compound Monday, and proceeded to tour the crippled power plant.

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Occasionally, portable dosimeters beeped loudly, warning Amano and other inspectors not to proceed further because of very high levels of radiation.

Amano says he's impressed with the passion of the team still on site.

"First I felt the enormous power of the tsunami and hydrogen explosion. But at the same time, I felt the sort of passion by the workers and engineers here. The leader of the fact-finding team, Dr (Mike) Weightman said, that in order to solve the accident, passion was needed and I felt that passion here," Amano said.

Over four months after the March 11th disaster, Japan says it's on track with efforts to take control of the Fukushima nuclear plant, but a final clean-up of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl is still many years away.

The IAEA chief also met the Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan Tuesday to discuss the clean-up process, and stressed the need for a review of nuclear safety procedures in the country.

"There are several areas where we should review safety measures after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, especially those dealing with natural disasters and blackouts," said Amano.

A recent poll shows more than two-thirds of Japanese support Prime Minister Naoto Kan's call for the country to abandon nuclear power.


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