By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano told the UN nuclear watchdog’s board in Vienna today that the IAEA’s role in nuclear safety may need to be reexamined.
“The agency’s role in nuclear safety may need to be re-examined, along with the role of our safety standards,” he said. “It is already clear that arrangements for putting international nuclear experts in touch with each other quickly during a crisis need to be improved.”
Amano made the comment after a visit to Japan, where he reviewed information about the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Amano said the IAEA could not intervene in critical situations because its role is purely advisory. And, he said that maintaining nuclear safety is the responsibility of IAEA member states, not the IAEA itself.
But, he said the situation called for more detailed and faster communication between the IAEA and member states.
He said the situation in Japan remains critical after an earthquake and tsunami damaged the nuclear power plant, though he saw “positive developments.”