Most of Japan's nuclear power plant safe after devastating earthquake: IAEA chief

15:11, March 13, 2011      

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Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Saturday said most of the nuclear power plants in Japan have either not been affected by the massive earthquake, or safely shut down, showing the effectiveness of safety measures.

In a video speech, he admitted that there is continuing concern about the state of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, of which power supply had been cut off by the disaster and cooling system paralyzed.

Japanese officials have informed the IAEA that the explosion at Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant occurred outside the primary containment vessel (PCV), not inside, said Amano.

It has been confirmed that the integrity of the primary containment vessel remains intact, he said.

Japan has reported that four workers at Fukushima Daiichi were injured by the explosion.

As a countermeasure to limit damage to the reactor core, Japanese workers are injecting sea water mixed with boron into the primary containment vessel.

Amano said he was following the news about the earthquake very closely and with great sadness. "Many hundreds of people have been killed, many tens of thousands are missing, and many thousands more have been left homeless," said Amano, a Japanese diplomat who has been chief of the UN nuclear watchdog since December 2009.

"My heart goes out to the people of my home country as they rise to the challenge of this immense tragedy," he said.

Amano also explained the IAEA's dual role to use emergency communication channels to exchange verified, official information between Japan and other IAEA member states, as well as to coordinate the delivery of international assistance, should Japan or other affected countries request it.

Source: Xinhua
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