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IAEA proposes to Japan to keep monitoring marine environment near crippled nuclear plant

TOKYO, Oct. 21 — The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday suggested that Japan continue to monitor freshwater and marine environment near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

In a preliminary report by a 13-member mission from the agency on remediation of large contaminated areas off-site the plant, the agency said it suggests the monitoring data be interpreted within the context of processes known to affect the concentration of radiocaesium in water, sediment and biota.

Juan Carlos Lentijo, who heads the mission team, also said at a press conference here that the Japanese government should communicate with the public that reducing annual individual radiation exposure to 1 millsievert in contaminated areas is a " long-term goal."

"A step-by-step approach should be taken toward achieving this long-term goal," said the report.

The Japanese government said it will seek to reduce radioactive level in the contaminated areas after the March 11 tsunami- triggered nuclear crisis in the Fukushima prefecture to 1 millisievert or below as a long-term goal.

However, some people are concerned about returning to areas that have not achieved the long-term goal, according to Japan's environment ministry.

The IAEA team, which was a follow-up to a previous mission conducted in October 2011, started its investigation on Oct. 14 with the main purpose of evaluating the progress of the on-going remediation works achieve since the previous mission.

A final report will be issued in two months, according to the team leader Lentijo, director of the Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology at the IAEA. (PNA/Xinhua)

HBC/UTB

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