The International Atomic Energy Agency will establish a base in Fukushima Prefecture to provide training and stock radiation counters and protective equipment for possible nuclear disasters in Asia.
It will be the first such IAEA base outside Vienna, the location of the international body’s headquarters.
Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano signed a memorandum on Dec. 15 at an international conference on nuclear power safety in Koriyama to set up the IAEA Response and Assistance Network Capacity Building Center in the prefectural capital of Fukushima, possibly next year.
People from Japan and other countries will receive training at the center for monitoring and measuring radiation contamination in the event of a nuclear accident. IAEA officials would transfer materials and equipment from the center to the accident site.
The memorandum also includes joint projects for measuring radiation levels, decontaminating affected areas and monitoring residents’ health in connection with the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
“I am encouraged by the memorandum.” Sato said. “Reconstruction in Fukushima will further advance.”
The IAEA and Fukushima Prefecture will also cooperate in developing radiation-measuring technology using unmanned aircraft, enhancing radiology education at Fukushima Medical University and creating an international database for the effects on health from nuclear accidents.
Amano said he hopes the IAEA will be able to help the disaster areas of Fukushima Prefecture and serve as a bridge between the prefecture and the world.
During a ministers meeting at the international conference, Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba said Japan will accept the assessments and opinions of an IAEA investigative team of experts on decommissioning the crippled reactors at the plant.
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