U.N. agency says it's monitoring Fukushima and ready to help

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2013 11:34 AM
U.N. agency says it's monitoring Fukushima and ready to help

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. atomic energy agency is following closely the leak of radioactive water from Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea and is ready to help out if asked, it said on Friday.

Fukushima plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) has struggled to contain highly radioactive water that is pouring from the plant wrecked by a 2011 tsunami, prompting the government to step in to try to help with the clean-up.

"Japanese authorities have explained their planned countermeasures against current leakage and further leakages," Serge Gas, the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) director of public information, said in a statement.

He noted the IAEA had already provided recommendations to Japanese authorities on how to manage liquid waste, and that a report from a mission in April had encouraged Tepco to review its strategy for handling water that had accumulated at the site.

The report "noted that it was of utmost importance to have adequate measures in place for detecting leaks promptly and mitigating their consequences", he said, adding: "The IAEA continues to be ready to provide assistance on request."

(Reporting by Michael Shields; editing by Andrew Roche)