Japan reactor begins shutdown after coolant leak

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Japan reactor begins shutdown after coolant leak TOKYO, April 7 (Reuters) - Japan's second-biggest utility, Kansai Electric Power Co Inc, said on Friday it had started to manually shut down a 500,000 kilowatt nuclear reactor after discovering a small leak of primary cooling water. There was no leak of radiation into the environment from the incident at the No. 2 Mihama power plant in Fukui Prefecture, some 350 km (220 miles) northwest of Tokyo on the Sea of Japan coast, a Kansai Electric spokesman said.

He said the volume and the cause of the coolant leak was not yet known.

The leak was discovered at around 10 a.m. (0100 GMT) Friday, and the company started steps to manually shut down the plant at around noon, he said.

Kansai Electric shares were down 1.81 percent or 30 yen at 1,630 yen in midafternoon in TokyoGMT, but up from the day's low of 1,620 yen.

Nuclear power accounts for about a third of Japan's electricity demand.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 07, 2000


Coolant leak forces closure at nuclear power plant Source: Kyodo News Service/Associated Press Publication date: 2000-04-07

FUKUI, Japan, April 7 (Kyodo) -- Kansai Electric Power Co. started manually closing down a reactor at a nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture after a worker found a leak of primary cooling water Friday, prefectural government officials said.

The company said the leakage at the No. 2 Mihama power plant in Mihama on the Sea of Japan coast had caused no emission of radiation into the environment.

Shortly before 10 a.m., a worker at the plant found that two to three liters of primary cooling water per hour had been leaking inside an iron cylinder housing the 500,000-kilowatt light-water reactor, the prefectural officials said.

A spokesman for Kansai Electric Power said the company started manually shutting down the reactor from noon.

The Osaka-based company will stop generating electricity at the plant from around 7 p.m., and start checking for the source of the leak Saturday, the spokesman said.

The leakage may have started about a week ago, he said.

The Fukui prefectural government, however, believes there was only a small amount of coolant leaked, although the water contains some radioactivity, a prefectural government official said.

http://cnniw.yellowbrix.com/pages/cnniw/Story.nsp? story_id=9860137&ID=cnniw&scategory=Utilities

-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), April 07, 2000.

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