Japan nuke plant under watch after quake, no leakgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread
WIRE:07/20/2000 23:44:00 ET Japan nuke plant under watch after quake, no leak
TOKYO, July 21 (Reuters) - Japan"s largest power utility said it stepped up surveillance at one of its nuclear power plants on Friday following an earthquake that jolted areas near Tokyo. Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc reported an increase in waste gas at a 1.1-gigawatt nuclear power station in northern Japan after the quake on Friday morning, but it said there was no radioactive leak. The company said in a statement that operations at the reactor and the generator"s output levels were unchanged but have been under enhanced surveillance.
The cause of the rise in waste gas -- fumes released from a nuclear generator -- in the system at the No.6 reactor at the Fukushima No.1 station was still under investigation although an inflow of air into the system was suspected, TEPCO said. The quake at 3:39 a.m. (1839 GMT Thursday) was measured at 6.1 on the Richter scale with its focus about 50 km (30 miles) under the seabed off the coasts of Ibaraki Prefecture, some 100 km (62.5 miles) northeast of Tokyo. Japan has 51 commercial nuclear reactors providing about 30 percent of the country"s electricity needs. Public anger after several major accidents at nuclear facilities over the past five years, including Japan"s worst-ever accident in September that killed two uranium plant workers, has forced delays in the government"s nuclear programme.
-- Martin Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2000