IAEA team to inspect Fukushima plant this month

Kyodo

The International Atomic Energy Agency plans to send a team to Japan in mid-May to inspect the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, agency sources said Friday.

The team, composed of IAEA officials and experts from some countries, will stay in Japan for about a week and conduct on-site inspections of Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s complex in Fukushima Prefecture, the sources said.

The team is also expected to conduct on-the-spot inspections of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant, located near the No. 1 complex, and the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture operated by Tohoku Electric Power Co.

They, like Fukushima No. 1, were automatically shut down after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Members of the team plan to meet with officials of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, partly to evaluate the Fukushima No. 1 crisis.

The team from the IAEA will compile a report following the inspections, and the U.N. nuclear safety watchdog is expected to present its preliminary evaluation of the crisis at a ministerial meeting on the safety of nuclear power in late June.