A team from the U.N. nuclear agency arrived in Japan to assess preparations for the release into the ocean of treated radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.
Japanese officials say tritium, which is not harmful in small amounts, cannot be removed from the water. Controlled release of tritium from normal nuclear plants is a routine global practice.
Tritium or hydrogen-3 is a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen.
The nucleus of tritium contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of the common isotope hydrogen-1 contains just one proton, and that of hydrogen-2 contains one proton and one neutron.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), headquartered in Vienna (Austria), is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purpose, including nuclear weapons.
The IAEA was established as an autonomous organisation on 29 July 1957, through its own international treaty and independent of the United Nations. But IAEA reports to both the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.
The IAEA has two "Regional Safeguards Offices" located in Toronto (Canada), and Tokyo (Japan). It also has two liaison offices located in New York City (US), and Geneva (Switzerland). In addition, it has laboratories and research centers located in Seibersdorf (Austria), Monaco and in Trieste (Italy).
Currently, it has 171 members. The latest member is Saint Lucia which joined the IAEA in 2019, India became a member in 1957 itself.
The current Director-General of the organisation is Rafael Mariano Grossi. The IAEA, along with its former Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
In 2004, the IAEA developed a Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). PACT responds to the needs of developing countries to establish, to improve, or to expand radiotherapy treatment programs.