Explosion Unlikely, Says Japan
Source: The Hindu (3/31/11)
"Japan and the IAEA share the assessment that 'there is no likelihood of reactor explosion' at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant."
Speaking after holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Sarkozy offered to support Tokyo in overcoming the prolonged crisis at the stricken plant. He also expressed the "hope to have an international safety standard established by the end of this year" for nuclear reactors worldwide.
Sarkozy drew attention to the "French expertise in reactor decommissioning and radiation monitoring." France is known to possess capabilities in using robots and other state-of-the-art devices to manage radiation-related hazards and nuclear reactor problems.
Without going into specifics like the possible deployment of robots, Japanese Foreign Office Spokesman Hidenobu Sobashima said, "We certainly expect that some sort of equipment will be introduced in connection with the advice and cooperation they [France and the U.S.] are offering."
Independently, the IAEA said in Vienna that Japan was asked to "carefully assess" the radiation levels in places outside the 20 km. evacuation zone around the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. The IAEA was also sending an expert to work closely with the Japanese teams monitoring the marine environment.
Responding to the IAEA intervention, Mr. Edano said Japan's own assessment was that there was "no immediate risk to human health" in areas outside the evacuation zone. However, Tokyo would intensify monitoring and act in concert with the IAEA.