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8 March 2013 | Vienna, Austria

Statement on Second Anniversary of Fukushima Accident

by IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano

Two years have passed since disaster struck Japan. The Great East Japan Earthquake and the enormous tsunami of March 11, 2011 devastated large areas of land, caused great loss of human life, and crippled the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. I was deeply saddened by this tragedy in my homeland. But I was also inspired by the courage and resilience of the Japanese people, including the brave workers at Fukushima Daiichi.

The International Atomic Energy Agency continues to give priority to supporting Japan's efforts to recover from the nuclear accident. We are also helping to ensure that the world learns from those events so that we can make nuclear energy as safe as humanly possible.

Working together, the IAEA's 159 Member States have already made significant progress in upgrading nuclear safety. Our efforts are guided by the IAEA Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was unanimously endorsed by our Member States in September 2011.

Today, virtually all Member States with nuclear power plants have completed stress tests and taken practical steps to expand and diversify safety measures.

The IAEA has expanded the expert peer reviews which we offer to our Member States, covering areas such as the operational safety of a country's nuclear power plants, the effectiveness of its regulatory system, and its emergency preparedness and response arrangements.

We have thoroughly reviewed the IAEA safety standards and ways to improve them.

The worst elements of the accident are behind us and we are now in the post-accident phase.

We must maintain the momentum of constant improvement. I pledge that the IAEA will continue to work vigorously to help Member States to ensure nuclear safety.