U.N. nuclear agency sends new Fukushima expert mission

Reuters

VIENNA, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear agency said onFriday it would send an international team of experts to Japanlater this month to look into efforts to clean up affected areasaround the crippled Fukushima atomic power plant.

Japan's nuclear regulator earlier ordered the operator ofFukushima to draft in additional workers if needed to plug leaksof radioactive water from its tanks and report within a week onsteps taken to fight the crisis.

The warning was the second in as many months issued to TokyoElectric Power Co, or Tepco, after the company found asecond escape of contaminated liquids that probably entered thePacific Ocean.

In Vienna, the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) said the Oct. 14-21 mission would "review theimplementation of remediation activities in areas affected bythe accident ... and provide advice to address associatedchallenges".

It did not give details and an IAEA spokesperson was notimmediately available for comment.

The 16-person mission of IAEA as well as other experts, afollow-up from one carried out in 2011, was sent at the requestof Japan's government, the U.N. agency said in a statement.

In the world's worst nuclear accident in a quarter of acentury, reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima facility after anearthquake and tsunami in March 2011 sent radiation spewing overlarge areas, forcing more than 160,0000 people to flee.

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