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Japan to host nuclear safety conference in Fukushima
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Dec 13, 2012


An international conference will be held in Japan's Fukushima region over the weekend to discuss nuclear safety following last year's atomic crisis, Tokyo said Thursday.

High-level officials, including government ministers, from more than 50 countries and organisations are expected to attend the meeting from Saturday to Monday, a Japanese foreign ministry official said.

The meeting, co-hosted by the Japanese government and the International Atomic Energy Agency, will be held in Koriyama city, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) west of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to a ministry statement.

"It is chiefly aimed at contributing to the strengthening of nuclear safety worldwide," the statement said.

The talks will help the international community share "knowledge and lessons" gained from the Fukushima disaster, which saw a quake-sparked tsunami slam into the plant, swamping its cooling systems and sending reactors into meltdown.

Also on the agenda are talks over measures to protect people and the environment from radiation, the ministry said.

A document set to be released at the meeting is expected to call on Japan to continue sharing information with other countries on the progress of its decommissioning of Fukushima's reactors and the clean up of radiation-contaminated land in the area, Kyodo news agency said.

A massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 devastated Japan's northeast coast and set off the worst atomic crisis in a generation, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate the area surrounding the plant.

IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano told Japanese media this month that the UN nuclear watchdog aims to launch a joint project on decontamination and radiation-related health care with Fukushima's local government early next year.

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