‘Japan has no plans to dump spent nuclear fuel abroad’

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Japan has no plans to dispose its spent nuclear fuel overseas, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Chiaki Takahashi was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying.

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The recent magnitude-9 quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan triggered a number of explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which caused the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986 and claimed 14,919 lives, while 9,893 people remain unaccounted for.

Earlier Monday, media reported citing sources that Japan, the US and Mongolia held informal talks on a possibility to build an international storage and disposal facility in Mongolia.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), detected a potentially dangerous radiation level at the damaged No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima plant, Kyodo said Monday.

As soon as radiation drops to permissible levels, specialists will attempt to restart the reactor’s cooling system, knocked out by the disasters.

TEPCO expects radioactivity levels at the plant to stabilise within six to nine months. The company also says radioactivity levels in the air around the plant will drop significantly within three months.

The Japanese government has said the damage from the disaster could total $310 billion.