One year on, UN nuclear chief remembers Fukushima

One year on from the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, the chief of the UN’s nuclear body has spoken out about the “crisis” inflicted on […]

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By Vicky Ellis

One year on from the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, the chief of the UN’s nuclear body has spoken out about the “crisis” inflicted on his “homeland”.

The Japanese IAEA Director General, Yukiya Amano, spoke yesterday at a ceremony commemorating the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

In March 2011 Japan was hit by the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

Mr Amano said he was “deeply shocked and saddened by the devastation and the great loss of life”.

He said: “I saw for myself just how powerful and destructive the earthquake and tsunami were when I visited the Fukushima Daiichi plant in July.

“It was a sight that I will never forget and I was also deeply impressed by the courage and dedication of the engineers and workers who battled in unimaginable difficult conditions to restore control over the reactors.”

Mr Amano said decontaminating the facility and the affected land will be “very challenging”, adding: “We will continue to do everything we can to help overcome the effects of the accident in the coming years.”

Around 116,000 people were evacuated from the affected area around the Fukushima plant while no one was killed as a result of the release of radioactivity, he said.