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Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors

source: www.iaea.org
by IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBarade

Our agenda for this meeting includes topics related to nuclear safety, technology and verification.

Nuclear Safety and Security

As you can see from the draft Nuclear Safety Review for the Year 2008, we are pleased to report that nuclear safety performance worldwide is steadily improving. But the risk of nuclear accidents or malicious acts can never be eliminated and there can be no room for complacency. Vigilance and continuous improvement are key, both at existing nuclear facilities and at new facilities being planned in a growing number of countries. The drive to introduce, or expand the use of, nuclear power always needs to be matched by a strong commitment to safety and security as indispensable enablers of nuclear technology.

While substantial progress has been made in strengthening nuclear safety and security worldwide, much work remains to be done. For our part, I believe the Agency must focus on improving the Incident and Emergency Centre to enhance our capabilities to respond to a large accident, as well as to provide more effective support for capacity


building in Member States, especially for new entrants to nuclear power.

Nuclear Applications

You have before you the Nuclear Technology Review 2009. It highlights ways in which nuclear techniques can make real and lasting contributions to development.

In therapeutic nuclear medicine, progress continues to be made in developing radiopharmaceuticals which kill cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue. Nuclear imaging is playing a growing role in the development of new drugs. Radiotracer tools are being used to measure the impact of climate change on marine biodiversity, while isotope techniques are helping to improve freshwater management.

Molybdenum-99
There have been disruptions over the past year in the supplies of a vital medical isotope, molybdenum-99, needed for diagnostic imaging, which had a negative impact on patient services throughout the world. There is an urgent need for enhanced international cooperation to ensure that adequate supplies of this isotope are available for all.


Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy
The Agency´s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), now in its fourth year of operation, continues to build partnerships to help combat cancer more effectively in the developing world. We are grateful for continued Member State support for our initiatives in the cancer area. I am pleased to announce that an agreement between the IAEA and the World Health Organization for a new Joint Programme on Cancer Control will be signed shortly.

Food Security
I reported to the Board in March 2008 that the FAO had served notice of its intention to terminate the FAO/IAEA Joint Division. There have been extensive consultations by the Secretariat with the FAO Secretariat and with the Member States of both organizations, and I trust that the work undertaken by the Joint Division - an excellent early example of "Delivering as One" within the UN System - will be recognized as indispensable by our counterparts in Rome and will continue.

Nuclear Power

2008 was a somewhat paradoxical year for Nuclear power. It was the first year since 1955 in which not a single new power reactor came on line, but it also saw construction start on no fewer than ten new reactors, the highest number since 1985, the year before the Chernobyl accident.

As the Nuclear Technology Review shows, expectations for the use of nuclear power continue to rise. Growth targets for nuclear power were raised in China and the Russian Federation. The ending of restrictions on India´s nuclear trade should allow an acceleration of its planned expansion of nuclear power. Asia remains the focus of growth in nuclear power: of the ten construction starts in 2008, eight were in this region.

There were important developments elsewhere as well. In the United States, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has now received combined licence applications for 26 new reactors, while the Department of Energy submitted a formal application to build and operate the long-planned high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

The number of Agency technical cooperation projects on energy planning accelerated this year from 29 to 41 and there were also significant increases in the number of projects on uranium exploration and mining and on introducing nuclear power. Increased interest in Agency assistance from so-called "newcomer" countries is substantial and we have a special responsibility to help them ensure that their nuclear programmes are well designed, well run, safe and secure. In December, we held a successful workshop on methods for newcomers to evaluate their progress in nuclear infrastructure development against the milestones that the Agency published in 2007.

In April, China will host an International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century, organized by the Agency with the support of the OECD/NEA. The conference will provide an opportunity to review the status and prospects of nuclear power, including the evolution of technology. It will also offer a forum for many countries considering the potential benefits of adding nuclear power to their energy mix to further assess its viability.

Assurance of Supply
You will recall that, for a number of years, I have been advocating the establishment of multinational mechanisms to assure access for all countries to nuclear fuel and reactor technology, as envisaged in the Statute. In September 2004, I asked an international expert group on multilateral approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle to consider ways in which the IAEA could facilitate guaranteeing the supply of nuclear fuel. One of the key recommendations of this expert group in February 2005 was to consider the possibility of the Agency becoming the administrator of a fuel bank. The Secretariat subsequently received several proposals concerning assurance of supply and international nuclear fuel centres, which were compiled in my report to the Board of 13 June 2007.

The report described some common themes for assurance of supply of nuclear fuel services and suggested a possible framework for discussion, which included a reserve of low enriched uranium under IAEA control. I am pleased to note important progress on two specific proposals that aim to establish a fuel assurance mechanism with the involvement of the Agency:

First, I have circulated, at the request of the Russian Federation, document GOV/INF/2009/1, which outlines a proposal for a low enriched uranium reserve for the use of Member States that Russia intends to present in detail, in the near future, for your consideration. It provides assured export licences and covers all long term costs. I trust that the Board will positively consider the detailed Russian proposal and give due consideration to other concrete proposals which may be forthcoming.

Second, I can report a positive initial response to the Nuclear Threat Initiative´s offer of $50 million for a low enriched uranium reserve, contingent on contributions of an additional $100 million by others by the end of September 2009 and on the Board choosing to establish such a fuel reserve of last resort under its auspices. To date, with the contributions and pledges made by Norway ($5 million), the USA ($50 million), the United Arab Emirates ($10 million) and the European Union (€25 million), the international community is quite close to meeting the target of matching contributions specified by the NTI. Once the remaining funding is secured, I intend, with the Board´s agreement, to develop a possible framework for this proposal for the Board´s consideration.

I remain convinced that a multilateral approach has great potential to facilitate the expanded safe and secure use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, while reducing the risk of proliferation. The ideal scenario, in my opinion, would be to start with a nuclear fuel bank under IAEA auspices, based on the following principles: 1) that any such mechanism should be non-political, non-discriminatory and available to all States in compliance with their safeguards obligations; 2) that any release of material should be determined by non-political criteria established in advance and applied objectively and consistently; and 3) that no State should be required to give up its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty regarding any parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. The next step would be to agree that all new enrichment and reprocessing activities should be placed exclusively under multilateral control, to be followed by agreement to convert all existing facilities from national to multilateral control.

This is a bold agenda and it is clearly not going to happen overnight. But bold measures, including assurances of nuclear fuel supply and multinationalizing sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle, are vital if we are to enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world while curbing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and eliminating them altogether.

Verification of Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Status of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols
You have before you a draft comprehensive safeguards agreement with a modified Small Quantities Protocol for Djibouti, and draft additional protocols for Djibouti, India and the United Arab Emirates. It is encouraging that a number of comprehensive safeguards agreements have recently entered into force, bringing the number of NPT non-nuclear-weapon States without the required safeguards agreement down to 27. This is a positive trend that needs to be maintained. For those NPT States without the required comprehensive safeguards agreements in force, the Agency cannot perform any safeguards activities or draw any safeguards conclusions. I also reiterate my call on all States that have not yet done so to bring into force additional protocols without delay, as these are central to the Agency´s ability to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. To date, additional protocols are in force for 90 States.

Application of Safeguards in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea
In the DPRK, the Agency has continued to monitor and verify the shutdown status of the Yongbyon nuclear facilities. All of the fuel rods discharged from the 5 MWe reactor remain under Agency containment and surveillance.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran
You have before you my report on Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, including all declared low enriched uranium. As the Report states, contrary to the request of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities, or its work on heavy water related projects. Nor has Iran implemented the Additional Protocol, which, as with other countries with comprehensive safeguards agreements, is a prerequisite for the Agency to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. Iran has not permitted the Agency to perform the required design information verification at the IR-40 reactor currently under construction, and it has not implemented the modified text of its Subsidiary Arrangements General Part on the early provision of design information.

The Agency regrettably was unable to make any progress on the remaining issues which give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions of Iran´s nuclear programme because of lack of cooperation by Iran. For the Agency to be able to make progress, Iran needs to provide substantive information and access to relevant documentation, locations and individuals in connection with all of the outstanding issues.

Unless Iran implements the transparency measures and the Additional Protocol, as required by the Security Council, the Agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran. I again urge Iran to implement all measures required to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme at the earliest possible date and to unblock this stalemated situation. At the same time, I urge the Member States which have provided information to the Agency to agree to the Agency´s sharing of this information with Iran.

Finally, I am hopeful that the apparent fresh approach by the international community to dialogue with Iran will give new impetus to the efforts to resolve this long-standing issue in a way that provides the required assurances about the peaceful nature of Iran´s nuclear programme, while assuring Iran of its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Syrian Arab Republic
The Agency has continued its analysis of all information available to it, including from the 23 June 2008 visit to the Dair Alzour site. Further analysis of the environmental samples taken from the Dair Alzour site has been carried out, revealing additional particles of uranium which had been produced as a result of chemical processing. These particles, and those identified as a result of the previous analyses, are of a type not included in Syria´s declared inventory of nuclear material. Syria has stated that the origin of the uranium particles was the missiles used to destroy the building. In response to a letter from the Agency, Israel denied that the uranium particles originated in Israel. The Agency´s current assessment is that there is a low probability that the uranium was introduced by the use of missiles.

In a letter dated 15 February 2009, Syria reiterated that the destroyed facility, and the current facility, on the Dair Alzour site were military installations and not involved in any nuclear activities. The letter did not address many of the questions raised by the Agency. Syria´s responses to some of the Agency´s questions were only partial and included information already provided to the Agency.

The Agency expects Syria to provide additional information and supporting documentation about the past use and nature of the building at the Dair Alzour site, and information about procurement activities. Providing additional access to other locations alleged to be related to Dair Alzour would be a welcome sign of Syria´s transparency. Such access, together with the sampling of destroyed and salvaged equipment and debris, is essential for the Agency to complete its assessment. I urge Syria to take these measures at the earliest possible date. I also urge Israel and other States that may possess relevant information - including satellite imagery - to make it available to the Agency and to agree to the Agency´s sharing of such information with Syria.

Programme and Budget

Two weeks ago, you received The Agency´s Draft Programme and Budget 2010-2011. I take this opportunity to emphasize that the proposed substantial increase in the budget was not taken lightly, particularly given the current financial climate. But the risks at hand - resulting, among other things, from years of zero growth policies - mean these critical needs can no longer be postponed. They must be addressed with a sense of urgency.

For example, with nuclear terrorism being the greatest threat to international peace and security, it is imperative that we begin, now, a process of providing adequate regular budget funding for our nuclear safety and security programme - parts of which are currently as much as 95% dependent on insecure extrabudgetary resources.

Increasing demands for energy, and concerns regarding both climate change and security of energy supplies, have led to some 50 countries turning to the Agency for help as they explore the possible introduction of nuclear power programmes. The Agency must have sufficient resources to help these countries to accomplish their objectives and to ensure that any new programmes are implemented with the highest regard for safety and security. And we are, of course, mandated to effectively safeguard the steadily increasing amounts of nuclear material worldwide and respond to the clandestine spread of nuclear technology.

At the same time, calls from Member States for help in meeting basic human needs - in disease treatment, food production and securing supplies of drinking water, for example - have never been more pressing or of a higher priority.

In addition to these operational requirements, the Agency needs to undertake long postponed capital investment in infrastructure and specialized equipment. The deteriorating conditions in our laboratories, for example, threaten both our ability to deliver our programme, as well as our independent analytical capability. And we need a mechanism - a major capital fund - that will facilitate rational planning and responsible resource accumulation for these longer term requirements. Major projects vital for improving the Agency´s efficiency and effectiveness include the ISIS Re-engineering Project (IRP) to upgrade our safeguards data systems and support the new State-level safeguards system. The Agency-wide Information System for Programme Support (AIPS) will also bring greater transparency to our financial and procurement operations.

So, yes - the needs are indeed critical and quite urgent. I therefore urge you to give the 2010-2011 Programme and Budget the earnest consideration that it deserves.
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Nuclear Lunch The Dangers and Unknowns of Food Irradiation

source: www.mindfully.org

MICHAEL COLBY / Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture / Island Press Jul02

SOON MORE THAN 90 PERCENT of the average American's diet could be eligible for irradiation. But government approval of this technology has been based on heavy industry pressure and bad science. As a result, the consumer has been made a guinea pig, testing these foods and facing potential health risks. Meanwhile leaks from irradiation facilities pose significant risks to public health and to the environment.

The corporate purveyors and beneficiaries of an increasingly contaminated world food supply are not only destroying indigenous and sustainable forms of agriculture, but are also propagating a destructive myth that agricultural problems largely created by issues of scale and an addiction to toxic technologies can be solved by more of the same. And perhaps nowhere is this phenomenon more obvious than in the new push to promote and implement the nuclear food irradiation technology as a so-called solution to a contaminated industrial food supply. Instead of addressing the known industrial causes of food contamination, irradiation proponents are, in effect, proposing to bathe the food supply in radiation as an alternative to preventing the contamination in the first place.

Beginning in 1986, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave a series of green lights that have led to the possibility that the vast majority of our food supply will be exposed to nuclear irradiation. The agency has made separate decisions legalizing the use of irradiation for fruit, vegetables, and spices (in 1986); poultry (in 1990); beef, pork, lamb, and horse (in 1997); and fresh shell eggs (in 2000). The FDA is currently considering expanding the use of irradiation to shellfish, unrefrigerated meat, and alfalfa and other sprouting seed. If these are approved it will mean that 90 percent of the average American's diet will be eligible for irradiation.

Staunch citizen opposition is still keeping the technology out of widespread use. However, events such as the E. coli-contaminated hamburger recalls, and incidences of contamination in imported fruits and vegetables have breathed new life into the struggling industry, as government regulators and corporate food interests aggressively promote food irradiation. As a result, the meat industry in certain locations is using the technology. Today, somewhere in the United States someone is biting into a hamburger that has been irradiated with the equivalent of 150 million chest X rays (perhaps garnished with a spice that has been "treated" with the equivalent of one billion chest X rays). Despite the hype, it is clear that irradiation does not in fact deal with the real and preventable causes of industrial food contaminants such as inhumane factory farming practices, corporate food monopolies with a single-minded fixation on profit, dramatic cutbacks in federal food safety inspectors, dangerous processing and slaughtering facilities, and a citizenry increasingly disconnected from local, sustainable food sources.

Food irradiation was the brainchild of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), now the Department of Energy (DOE), when, in the early 1950s, it became apparent that nuclear waste from military weapons production was (as it still is) a major problem. As a result, President Dwight Eisenhower initiated the AEC's "Atoms for Peace" program designed to create "peaceful uses" for nuclear technologies and nuclear waste products such as cesium137, one of the most abundant isotopes in the waste from nuclear weapons production. And the DOE has never been shy about articulating its desire to create a commercial need for its cesium-137 waste through the promotion of food irradiation. Consider this 1983 congressional testimony from the DOE's Office of Defense Waste and Byproducts Management:

The strategy being pursued by DOE's Byproducts Utilization Program is designed to transfer federally developed cesium-137 irradiation technology to the commercial sector as rapidly and successfully as possible. The measure of success will be the degree to which this technology is implemented industrially and the subsequent demand created for cesium-137.

In addition to cesium-137, other methods of food irradiation include the use of radioactive cobalt-60 and high-energy electron beams, also known as linear accelerators. On average, when food is irradiated commercially, the food receives a radiation dose equivalent to tens of millions of chest X rays, more than enough to break up the molecular structure of the food, destroy essential vitamins and minerals, and create a host of new chemical substances known as radiolytic products. Some of these, such as benzene and formaldehyde, are harmful to human health. Benzene, for example, is a known carcinogen. Other radiolytic products, identified as "unique radiolytic products," are completely new chemicals that have not even been identified, let alone tested for toxicity.

In 1982, the FDA reviewed 441 toxicity studies to determine the safety of irradiated foods. Dr. Marcia van Gemert, the chairperson of the committee in charge of investigating the studies, has testified that all 441 studies were flawed. But in 1986, the FDA, led by political appointees, approved a number of food irradiation applications by declaring that five of the 441 studies were "properly conducted, fully adequate by 1980 toxicology standards, and able to stand alone in the support of safety." Thus, with the shaky assurances of just five studies, the FDA approved irradiation for the public food supply.

To make matters worse, the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health of the New Jersey Medical School has found two of those five studies to be methodologically flawed. In a third study, animals eating a diet of irradiated food experienced weight loss and miscarriage, almost certainly due to irradiation-induced vitamin E dietary deficiency. The remaining two studies investigated the effects of diets of foods irradiated at doses below the FDA-approved levels.

Irradiation facilities also pose serious worker-safety, public-health, and ecological threats due to potential radiation leaks, equipment failure, and the production, transportation, storage, installation, and replacement of radiation sources. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its state equivalents have recorded dozens of cases of nuclear mishaps, accidents, and administrative negligence at the relatively few irradiation facilities that currently exist in the United States today. To irradiate the food supply on a mass scale, hundreds of irradiation facilities would need to be built, thus dramatically increasing the likelihood of accidents.

In 1988, in what has been called the, "Three Mile Island of irradiation," Radiation Sterilizers, Inc. (RSI), in Decatur, Georgia, reported a leak of its cesium-137 capsules into the water storage pool, endangering workers and contaminating the facility. Workers then carried the radioactivity into their homes and cars. Cleanup costs exceeded $45 million and taxpayers footed the bill.

In 1986, the NRC revoked the license of a Radiation Technology, Inc. (RTI) facility in New Jersey for having 32 worker-safety violations, including throwing radioactive garbage out with the regular trash and bypassing a key safety device. As a result of this negligence, RTI's founder and chairman, Martin Welt, was eventually indicted and convicted on felony counts of misleading the NRC and filing false nuclear safety reports.

As a result of the numerous health and ecological threats, coupled with spirited grassroots initiatives, the irradiation industry has faced an uphill battle in its efforts to convince the public to embrace its risky technology. But the once emaciated industry is now being resuscitated by a wave of new government- and corporate-sponsored public relations initiatives that are seeking to "train" the public about the supposed benefits of food irradiation. In addition to the steady stream of dubious claims of safety and simplicity, irradiation proponents are working hard to confuse the public by lobbying Congress and petitioning the FDA to change the labeling of irradiated foods. Current regulations require that irradiated foods bear the label "Treated by Irradiation." Under pressure from the industry and Congress, FDA is considering changing the labeling to a misleading, and therefore less alarming, term for the technology, such as "cold pasteurization."

While such underhanded public relations stunts may make it more difficult for the public to recognize and avoid irradiated foods in the marketplace, one poll after another still indicates that citizens remain extremely distrustful of food irradiation. Putting an end to the irradiation madness will require a continued and tenacious grassroots presence that galvanizes citizen opposition to the technology and seeks to hold wholesale and retail food corporations accountable. But the ultimate nail in the food irradiation coffin will come as a result of a citizenry and culture that turns its back on industrial food and the false and dangerous technological gimmicks, like food irradiation, that continuously prop it up.
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CO2 Threats to World´s Oceans Rising, Scientists Warn

source: www.iaea.org

Monaco Declaration on Ocean Acidification Cites Links to Climate Change
Staff Report
2 February 2009


In Monaco, scientists at the IAEA Marine Environment Laboratories (IAEA-MEL) have joined more than 150 experts from 26 countries calling for urgent actions to halt rising levels of acidity in the world´s oceans.

"It is the other CO2 problem that must be grappled with alongside climate change. Reining in this double threat, caused by our dependence on fossil fuels, is the challenge of the century," the marine scientists say.

The leading scientists joined to back the Monaco Declaration on Ocean Acidification, directed at government leaders worldwide. The Declaration emphasizes that levels of acidity in oceans are accelerating and that the negative socio-economic impacts can only be limited by cutting back on the amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.

"The chemistry is so fundamental and changes so rapid and severe that impacts on organisms appear unavoidable," said James Orr, an IAEA research scientist at MEL´s Radiometrics Laboratory. "The questions are now how bad will it be and how soon will it happen."

Dr. Orr chaired the Second International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World, held in October 2008, where scientists presented reports that form the Declaration´s basis. The Symposium summarized the state of the science and priorities for future research, while the Monaco Declaration implores political leaders to launch urgent actions to limit the source of the problem, he says.

Prince Albert II of Monaco, whose enviornmental foundation financially supported the 2008 ocean symposium, voiced support for the Declaration, and cited its importance in light of the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Background:

Facts from the Declaration: The ocean absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere at a rate of more than 20 million tons per day, thus removing one-fourth of the anthropogenic CO2 emitted to the atmosphere each year and reducing the climate-change impacts of this greenhouse gas. However, when CO2 dissolves in seawater, it forms carbonic acid. As this "ocean acidification" continues, it decreases both ocean pH and the concentration of carbonate ion, the basic building block of the shells and skeletons of many marine organisms.

The rate of current acidification is much more rapid that past natural changes. Surface ocean pH has already dropped by 0.1 units since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. This rate of acidification has not been experienced by marine organisms, including reef-building corals, for many millions of years. The future chemical changes that will occur in the ocean as a result of increasing atmospheric CO2 are highly predictable.

According to the experts, ocean acidification may render most regions of the ocean inhospitable to coral reefs by 2050 if atmospheric CO2 levels continue to increase. It could lead to substantial changes in commercial fish stocks, threatening food security for millions of people as well as the multi-billion dollar fishing industry.

The IAEA Marine Environment Laboratories (IAEA-MEL) in Monaco were established in 1961 as today are part of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications. They are the only marine laboratories within the UN system.
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India Safeguards Agreement Signed

source: www.iaea.org

Staff Report
2 February 2009


An Agreement between the Government of India and the IAEA for the Application of Safeguards to Civilian Nuclear Facilities was signed today in Vienna by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei and Ambassador Saurabh Kumar of India.

The safeguards agreement, which is the result of several rounds of consultations conducted between India and the IAEA since November 2007,

was approved by the IAEA Board of Governors in August 2008. The agreement will enter into force on the date the IAEA receives from India written notification that its statutory and/or constitutional requirements for entry into force have been met.

The IAEA currently applies safeguards to six nuclear reactors in India under safeguards agreements concluded between 1971 and 1994. In the future, additional reactors are expected to be under IAEA safeguards under the newly-signed agreement.
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Third IAEA Report on Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant Published

source: www.iaea.org

Staff Report
29 January 2009


The safe performance of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant during and after the earthquake that hit Japan´s Niigata and Nagano prefectures on 16 July 2007 has been confirmed, according to a IAEA report published today.

The report is the third in a series issued by an IAEA-led team of international experts that completed its mission in December 2008. Two previous missions were carried out by the same team in August 2007 and January 2008. All missions were carried out at the invitation of the Government of Japan.

The consequences of the July 2007 earthquake on the plant were unique in the sense that the levels of seismic ground motion estimated in the design process were very significantly exceeded by the event. The mission found that there is consensus in the scientific community about the causes of those unexpectedly large ground motions experienced at the plant site and, consequently, it has been possible to identify the precautions needed to be taken in relation to possible future events and the newly calculated seismic hazard at the site is much higher than both the July 2007 event and the original design earthquake level.

These precautions were based on extensive studies and assessments conducted by a number of specialized institutions and experts in different fields. The necessary upgrades and actions were consequently defined and are being implemented by the Japanese utility for both safety and non-safety related components at the nuclear power plant.

The report made public today was also provided to the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).

The lessons learned from the results of the plant integrity evaluation process applied to the July 2007 earthquake and used for the seismic safety re-evaluation to the new higher seismic input will improve the design and evaluation criteria and approaches currently used in Japan and worldwide. In the same way, these results are contributing to the ongoing review and revision of the related IAEA safety standards. These updated standards are expected to be released shortly.
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