Japan:nuclear power reactor down after leakage

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Niigata nuclear power reactor being shut down after leakage Source: Kyodo News Service/Associated Press Publication date: 2000-06-29

NIIGATA, Japan, June 29 (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced Thursday it has started to manually shut down a reactor at its nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture due to leakage of water from a high-pressure turbine. TEPCO started to shut down the No. 2 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant on the Sea of Japan coast at 1 p.m. Thursday. The shutdown is necessary for the company to clarify the cause of the leakage, it said.

The 1.1 million-kilowatt reactor will be completely shut down at 12:30 a.m. Friday, the company said.

TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, which has seven reactors with a combined total generating capacity of 8.21 million kilowatts, is the world's largest nuclear power plant in terms of capacity.

The company said one of its employees found two small pools of water on the floor under the turbine at the No. 2 reactor shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday.

The water was estimated to total about 100 cc and contain an "extremely small" amount of radioactivity, the company said, adding the incident will not affect the environment outside the reactor.

TEPCO shut down the No. 6 reactor at the same plant on May 28 due to unusually high levels of iodine in its cooling water.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), June 29, 2000

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