Saturday, May 21, 2011

UN starts study on Japan nuclear crisis

Workers wearing protective suits enter Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant No.2 reactor building in Fukushima Prefecture on May 18

Source: Press TV

The United Nations has launched a study on the implications of the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that the body will undertake a systematic study on the health, safety and security impact of the accident at Fukushima plant, which was hit by an earthquake and tsunami in March, Reuters reported.

Ban said that the UN would present the findings at a high-level meeting on the implications of the crisis scheduled to be held during the annual UN General Assembly meeting in September.

The report "will address a variety of areas, including environment, health, food security, sustainable development and the nexus between nuclear safety and nuclear security," the UN chief said in a statement.

"It will also present system-wide views on how to improve disaster risk preparedness," he added, noting, "In producing this study, it is my intention to highlight the need to strengthen the capacity of the relevant international organizations, particularly the IAEA, recognizing its central role."

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization and the World Food Program are among the UN agencies which will be carrying out the study.

On March 11, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, off the northeast coast of Japan's main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours.

The massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami set off a nuclear disaster by knocking out power to the cooling systems of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and caused radiation leaks.

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