1. ITV Report

How can Sellafield scientists help clean up Fukushima?

Sellafield Photo: PA

One of the scientists leading the cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan says there is "lots to learn" from Sellafield.

The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami triggered an explosion at Fukushima. It was the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

In the years following the disaster the British government agreed to help the Japanese clean up the nuclear plant. Scientists and engineers from Sellafield have been at the forefront of that partnership.

Professor Hajimu Yamana is from the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation of Japan (NDF). He has been visiting Sellafield on a fact-finding trip:

The technical challenges are remarkably similar in a number of areas so dealing with high radiation fields, dealing with the need to manage radioactivity, the need to collect it, retrieve it and package it safely and do all that work with environmental care is exactly the same in both locations.

– Phil Hallington, Sellafield Ltd

Staff from Sellafield and the British Nuclear Decommissioning Authority have already visited Fukushima.

Maintaining this relationship between the two organisations helps in the overall clean up but it's a two-way street. We also learn from NDF about how they approach strategy and how they tackle their challenges on the Fukushima Daiichi side.

– John Mathieson, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Although Sellafield and Fukushima have very different histories both will be dealing with their nuclear legacies for decades. Both plants hope they can benefit by working together.