"50-cases of malfunctioning at quake-stricken nuclear plant in Japan
Last updated at 14:11 17 July 2007
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A slew of problems including burst pipes, water leaks and radioactive waste spillage has been discovered at a nuclear power plant hit by an earthquake in northern Japan, the plant's operator said today.
The admission of further trouble at the world's largest nuclear plant near the quake's epicenter - and delays in notifying the public - triggered outrage among anti-nuclear activists and criticism from top officials.
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News footage shows smoke from the fire at the Tokyo Electric Power plant yesterday
Tokyo Electric Power Co's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant where an earthquake caused contaminated radioactive water to leak into the ocean
* New earthquake hits Japan as death toll rises
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said a total of 50 cases of malfunctioning and trouble had been found at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant since Monday's magnitude 6.6 quake.
The company said it was still inspecting the plant and that it could find further problems.
Still, TEPCO spokesman Kensuke Takeuchi called the instances discovered so far "minor troubles" and said they posed no danger to the outside environment or human health.
Cases included minor fires, broken pipes and water leaks triggered by Monday's quake, the company said in a statement.
In five of the reactors, major exhaust pipes were knocked out of place and TEPCO was investigating whether they had leaked radioactive materials, the statement said.
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Japanese Prime MinisterShinzo Abe inspects the facilities at the Tokyo Electric Power nuclear plant after the earthquakes yesterday
That came after TEPCO said earlier today that about 100 drums containing low-level nuclear waste fell at the plant during the quake and were found a day later, some of the lids open.
The company also said a small amount of radioactive materials cobalt-60 and chromium-51 had been emitted into the atmosphere from an exhaust stack. Yesterday's quake also initially triggered a small fire at an electrical transformer in the sprawling plant.
The spate of problems and TEPCO's delay in announcing them triggered concern today over the safety of Japan's nuclear power plants, which have suffered a string of accidents and cover-ups amid deep concerns they are vulnerable in earthquakes...."
Edited by signal-to-noise-ratio, 27 April 2011 - 12:04 PM.