UN urges a rethink on Japanese nuclear facilities

UN atomic safety experts said Japan underestimated the threat from a killer wave to its crippled Fukushima power plant and urged sweeping changes to prevent a repeat of the crisis that triggered the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

In a report presented to Prime Minister Naoto Kan the 18-member International Atomic Energy Agency team urged a rethink in how nuclear facilities are built, run and regulated.

Officials have been criticised for failing to plan for a tsunami that would overrun the plant's 5.7-metre wall, despite looming risks.