NHK Video: IAEA

A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency has begun inspecting a nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

The Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture was one of several that were hit by the March 11th earthquake last year.

The team’s goal is to collect data on the quake’s impact on the plant’s structure and electric systems.

The team comprises 18 earthquake and building experts. It began by discussing work procedures with officials of the plant operator, Tohoku Electric Power Company, and the Japanese government.

The head of the IAEA’s International Seismic Safety Center, and team leader, Sujit Samaddar says the members will make every effort to learn how major quakes affect nuclear plants.

During the probe until Thursday next week, they plan to enter the plant’s reactors to check fuel pools and key safety devices, including cooling systems.

When the March 11th quake struck last year, the intensity at the Onagawa plant was 6-minus on the Japanese seismic scale of 0 to 7. Several fuel rod containers at the No. 3 reactor were damaged.

The IAEA has already assessed damage at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and another plant in central Japan. But this is the 1st probe designed to boost quake resistance at a plant. The agency says it will share the probe results with member countries.

Source: IAEA to assess quake resistance at Onagawa plant by NHK World.