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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Post-Fukushima meeting calls for more work on nuclear safety
by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Aug 31, 2012


A major international conference reviewing the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March 2011 wrapped up Friday calling for more to be done to improve nuclear safety.

"We have made headway in the current stage in drawing lessons from the Fukushima accident through this meeting," said China's Li Ganjie, president of the Convention on Nuclear Safety meeting, in closing remarks.

"But the process of learning lessons is far from finished. The international community needs to further enhance communication and raise their awareness to a new level ... and reflect upon the accident from a broader perspective.

"Measures have to be taken to avoid recurrence of similar accidents while guarding against the harm of radiation," Li said after the five-day meeting at International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in Vienna.

The second extraordinary meeting of the CNS involved around 700 delegates from the 75 states that are party to the 1994 convention, drawn up in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine in 1986.

A massive earthquake off Japan in March 2011 created a tsunami that swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant, sending three reactors into meltdown, spewing radiation over a large area and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

Since then countries with nuclear power have undertaken measures aimed at improving safety that were also reviewed in this week's meeting. They include "stress tests" on power plants, improving emergency preparedness and more international cooperation.

Parties to the CNS made several revisions to "procedures and guidance" at the Vienna meeting in order to ensure more robust peer reviews and greater transparency.

A working group was also established to report to the next review meeting in March-April 2014 on a list of actions to strengthen the CNS and on proposals to amend, when necessary, the convention.

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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Record radiation in fish off Japan nuclear plant
Tokyo (AFP) Aug 21, 2012
A pair of greenlings have shown the highest level of radioactive caesium detected in fish and shellfish caught in waters off Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, its operator said Tuesday. The fishes, captured 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) off the plant on August 1, registered 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said - 258 times the level the gove ... read more


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