Officials in Tokyo have announced that radiation leaks related to the Fukushima power plant disaster will not compromise the safety of the 2020 Olympics.
In a letter obtained by the Associated Press, bid leader Tsunekazu Takeda stated that radiation levels surrounding the capital of Japan are not only “normal and safe,” but also equal to those of New York City, Paris, or London.
“You might have seen news reports about the situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant, in the northeast of Japan. Please allow me to reconfirm that Tokyo remains completely unaffected,” Takeda said in the letter. “Life here, for all 35 million residents, is completely normal and safe and we do not foresee any change to that. The city’s air and water are monitored daily and there remains no evidence at all of any issue, as confirmed by the Japanese government.”
According to the Nulcear Regulation Authority (NRA), the nearly 300 tons of highly radioactive water released into the environment from Fukushima have been estimated to total several thousand terabecquerels (a standard unit of radioactivity).
The NRA stated it will consult with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to determine if its level assessment is appropriate since the leak occurred in the wake of the meltdown crisis. In March 2011, a tsunami resulting from an earthquake damaged reactor-cooling systems and sparked three meltdowns at the plant. This accident has been recognized globally as the worst nuclear plant calamity since Chernobyl in 1986.
The International Olympic Committee will make its decision on the 2020 Olympics location this Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.