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Japan N-plants report 3 problems; may be Y2K; power generation not affected

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Third equipment malfunction reported at Japan N-plant

Updated 5:06 PM ET December 31, 1999

TOKYO (Reuters) - Three equipment malfunctions were reported at Japanese nuclear plants after the start of the new year but the problems had no effect on power generation or reactor operations, local and company officials said.

Two of the malfunctions were reported at the Shiga nuclear power plant about 186 miles northwest of Tokyo run by Hokuriku Electric Power Co

Officials reported problems with the plant's radiation monitoring system. There was also a problem with a system used to send data on radiation emission and the state of the power plant to company headquarters and the government in case of emergencies.

A local official said the first malfunction prevented the monitor from displaying data on radiation emitted to the environment. But the official said checks of five on-site monitoring posts found that radiation levels were normal.

The monitoring system is run by the Ishikawa prefecture.

The data transmission system failed to display information soon after midnight, a spokesman for Hokuriku Electric said.

An alarm for a system processing meteorological data at Tohoku Electric Power Co's Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture also went off soon after midnight, but order was restored 10 minutes later, with no disruptions to power generation, government officials said.

The cause of the problems, including the possibility that they were Y2K-related glitches, was being investigated, company and local officials said.

Japan has 51 nuclear reactors providing roughly one-third of the nation's electricity.

-- Drew Parkhill (, December 31, 1999

-- Critt Jarvis (, December 31, 1999


This was also reported on at about 1700 CST.

-- Michael Dudar (, December 31, 1999.

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