IAEA tells Tepco to improve critical systems at Fukushima No. 1

AFP-JIJI

The International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday called on Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, to improve “essential systems” as it struggles to deal with leaks and power cuts.

“Tepco should continue its efforts to improve the reliability of essential systems, to assess the structural integrity of site facilities and to enhance protection against external hazards,” the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a statement.

The comments came after an IAEA mission met with officials from the government and Tepco last week in Tokyo, ahead of their on-site inspection at the plant.

The statement was released just hours after Tepco said it had temporarily switched off a reactor cooling system following the discovery of a pair of dead rats near to critical equipment.

The measure was taken to allow workers to safely remove the bodies and to check whether the animals had done any damage to delicate electrical systems, a Tepco spokesman said.