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Tokyo seeks to team up with Moscow to tackle Fukushima clean-up

March 02, 2017, 13:44 UTC+3 TOKYO

Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy understands that Russia has the experience in dealing with nuclear power plants and hopes to deepen collaboration with the country

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© Toru Hanai/Pool Photo via AP

TOKYO, March 2. /TASS /. Japan has set its sights on cooperating with Russia’s highly-experienced nuclear energy specialists in its post-accident clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear reactors, said Satoru Toyomoto, representative of Japan’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the country’s Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry.

"We understand that Russia has the experience in dealing with nuclear power plants, and we hope to deepen our collaboration if proper technological solutions can be found to address the issues Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO, Fukishima’s operator) is currently facing," he noted, adding that in late 2016, during Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan, the parties had discussed cooperation documents and, in particular, what they "could do together from a technological standpoint to mitigate the consequences of the Fukushima-1 disaster."

Russian-Japanese memorandum

On December 16, 2016, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation told TASS that Russia and Japan had signed a memorandum on cooperation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Eliminating the consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster had been listed as one of the key areas of cooperation. Among other things, the parties had discussed radioactive waste disposal, decommissioning options, personnel exchange possibilities and innovative nuclear technology.

The nuclear disaster at the Fukushima-1 power plant in March 2011 was triggered by an earthquake-induced tsunami that devastated the emergency generators which provide power to cool the reactors. This led to three nuclear meltdowns, hydrogen explosions and a massive release of radioactive material, which contaminated the surrounding area. The power plant is currently undergoing clean-up operations and the areas that suffered from the disaster are being deactivated. Full decommissioning may take up to 40 years.

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