TOKYO: The International Atomic Energy Agency has postponed sending a task force to Japan to check the safety of the planned release into the sea of treated water containing radioactive tritium, the Japanese industry ministry said Monday.
The postponement came after Japan banned new entries by foreigners in principle amid the spread of the new omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
The task force was slated to make the trip in mid-December as part of the IAEA’s work to check the safety of the Japanese government’s plan to release into the ocean the treated water from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.
The IAEA will instead hold an online meeting this month. It plans to reschedule the task force’s visit to Japan to January next year or later.
In addition to IAEA officials, experts from 11 countries including the United States, China, South Korea and France were slated to travel to Japan as part of the task force to visit the Fukushima No. 1 plant.