Japan, Ukraine To Make Pact On N-Accidents

TOKYO, Japan -- The government has decided to sign a pact with Ukraine to share information on measures against nuclear accidents such as the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe experienced by the former Soviet Union republic, according to government sources.

Chernobyl reactor number 4.

Under the envisioned agreement, the two countries will share data and develop countermeasures against the radioactive contamination of soil and the health risks this could pose.

The Japanese government aims to use these measures to help it resolve the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and to improve the safety of nuclear reactors, the sources said.

This will be Japan's first bilateral agreement that focuses exclusively on measures against nuclear accidents, according to the sources.

Ukraine has essentially accepted the pact, and it will begin negotiations with Japan this month toward a formal agreement.

The pact will stipulate the two countries are to cooperate in sharing information on how they have responded to nuclear accidents, as well as promoting the exchange of nuclear experts.

The shared information is to include how radioactive substances can be removed from farmland, the effects of low-level radiation exposure on the human body, and how patients exposed to radiation can be treated.

As part of the pact, the Japanese government is to dispatch experts to Ukraine to examine how it handled the Chernobyl disaster, while simultaneously inviting Ukrainian authorities to Japan.

The government is also planning to enhance the Japanese Embassy in Ukraine by adding six more members--including Foreign Ministry bureaucrats, scholars and interpreters--and it will prepare radiation detection equipment such as dosimeters as well as protective gear.

Source: Daily Yomiuri