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IAEA to Help Japan Decontamination Work After Fukushima Disaster

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Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency agreed to help Japan with decontamination and radioactive waste management after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The IAEA and the Fukushima prefecture government signed the agreement in Koriyama city, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. The IAEA will send teams to help decontaminate areas around the plant as well as help radiation monitoring and health-care research projects.

The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami caused meltdowns and release of radiation into the air and sea from the Fukushima plant, forcing about 160,000 people to evacuate. Some areas around the plant, northwest of Tokyo, may be uninhabitable for at least two decades because of radioactive contamination, the government estimated last year.

The signing ceremony between the IAEA and Fukushima prefecture was part of a three-day conference through Dec. 17 to discuss nuclear safety. Officials from more than 50 countries and organizations are expected to attend the conference, according to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Mukai in Tokyo at amukai1@bloomberg.net; Tsuyoshi Inajima in Tokyo at tinajima@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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