The IAEA continues to liaise with the Japanese authorities, and is in full response mode to monitor the situation closely around the clock as it evolves, the international nuclear organization said Saturday in a statement.
The IAEA said that Japanese authorities have informed the organization’s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) that, starting at 12 March 9:00AM local Japan time, they have started the preparation for the venting of the containment of the Unit 1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant through a controlled release of vapour.
The operation is intended to lower pressure inside the reactor containment, the IAEA explained.
Evacuation of residents living within ten kilometres of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is reported to be under way. An area with a radius of three kilometres around the plant had already been evacuated.
The evacuation of residents living within three kilometres of the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant is also under way.