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S. Korean nuclear expert to join Japan probe team

South Korea’s state nuclear regulator said Monday that it will send a nuclear expert to Japan as part of an international team to review the Fukushima disaster.

The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety said Sung Key-yong, head of the regulator’s atomic risk assessment office, has been named as a member of the 18-person review team created by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

The experts plan to be in Japan from Tuesday through June 2 to investigate what caused the release of nuclear materials from the Fukushima power station located 250 kilometers northeast of Tokyo and why emergency systems failed to contain the problem.

The nuclear power station started releasing radioactive materials on March 12, a day after Japan was hit by a record quake and tsunami. The incident is the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl crisis in 1986.

“Sung and other experts from 12 countries will visit Tokyo and Fukushima to check what went wrong at the nuclear power station and offer advice to Japanese engineers,” the KINS said.

It added that findings will be analyzed in detail so they can be used to upgrade nuclear safety and emergency response features in South Korea, which currently operates 21 commercial reactors. 

(Yonhap News)
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