In a report released nine days before the disasters, the agency criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. for not inspecting 33 pieces of equipment.

Japan’s nuclear safety agency says the operator of the country’s troubled nuclear complex repeatedly failed to make crucial inspections of equipment in the weeks before it was crippled in the quake and tsunami.

In a report released nine days before the disasters, the agency criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. for not inspecting 33 pieces of equipment.

Among the machinery the utility missed were backup generators, pumps and other parts of cooling systems that the tsunami later swamped, leading to the plant’s overheating and the release of radioactive gas.

Even before the crisis, Tokyo Electric has been the target of criticism for maintenance lapses at its plants.

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