“Moving nuclear material always carries risk, but for the purpose of independent analysis it would be justified”, he said. “TEPCO has lost trust across society in Japan as well as in the international community, including in South Korea, and providing samples for analysis would be in their best interests – unless they are covering something up.
“There are many questions about the effectiveness of Tepco’s … technology so providing samples that could verify their reports on content would go some way to demonstrating their commitment to transparency”, Mr Burnie added.
“It won’t remove doubts that they are covering up major issues at the site – but would be an improvement on the current situation”.
Hideyuki Ban, co-director of Cnic, said: “There would need to be lots of checks because there is a lot of water, but right now it looks very much to the outside world that they are trying to cover something up – as they have a long history of doing – and it would be very much in their best interests to be transparent on this.
“If they don’t, how will they ever get back any of the public trust that they have lost completely since the accident?” Mr Ban said.