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Japan will overcome crisis: IAEA

world Updated: Mar 22, 2011 01:30 IST
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UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano said on Monday that he had "no doubt" that the current nuclear crisis in Japan would be "effectively overcome".

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "is working at full stretch, together with other countries and international organisations to help Japan bring the crisis to an end and ensure the effects are mitigated as much as possible," Amano said at a special one-day meeting of the IAEA's 35-member board of governors.

"And I have no doubt that this crisis will be effectively overcome." The crisis at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant "has still not been resolved and the situation... remains very serious," said Amano, who paid a short visit to Japan last week to see how the Vienna-based watchdog could best help the authorities dealing with the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The IAEA has come under fire for its response to the disaster, with critics accusing it of being too slow and not providing timely information about the unfolding catastrophe.

"It is difficult for us here in Vienna to imagine the conditions in which [the emergency response teams on the ground] are working," the Japanese diplomat said.

Nuclear power would remain an "important and viable option for many countries as a stable and clean source of energy" even if some countries were reviewing their plans in the light of Fukushima, Amano said.

"It is already clear that arrangements for putting international nuclear experts in touch with each other quickly during a crisis needs to be improved," he added.