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International Atomic Energy Agency starts inspection at Japan’s nuclear facilities

January 11, 14:08 UTC+3 TOKYO
IAEA’s special commission will assess the actions of officials supervising the nuclear sphere in the country in close coordination with Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission
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TOKYO, January 11. /TASS/. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) special commission has started its inspection at Japan’s nuclear facilities almost five years after the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

IAEA’s special commission will assess the actions of officials supervising the nuclear sphere in the country in close coordination with Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission. The inspection is expected to be finished by January 22. After that, IAEA will assess the work that has been completed and issue recommendations. During the inspection, specialists will also visit Fukushima I NPP and Takahama NPP in Fukui Prefecture.

In summer and autumn of last year two reactors at Sendai NPP in Kagoshima Prefecture were restarted. It became the first NPP in two years to partially resume its work after all nuclear facilities in Japan were closed in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. The Japanese government plans to continue its course of partially restarting several nuclear facilities in the country. Apart from Sendai and Takahama facilities, the third power unit at Ikata NPP on the Sikoku Island is also allowed to restart its work.

Before the nuclear disaster at Fukushima NPP, nuclear energy accounted for around 30% in Japan’s energy balance. As a result of temporarily suspending work at nuclear facilities, the country had to use thermal power plants for providing electricity. Japan has scarce energy resources and mostly imports them, thus facing more problems for the budget when buying additional volumes of fuel. As of 2013, in order to satisfy the country’s energy needs, Japan used natural gas (43.2%), coal (30.3%) and oil (14.9%).

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