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Third Japanese Reactor Shut Down
July 26, 2000 Japan's largest power company began manually shutting down its third reactor in five days on Tuesday after discovering an increase in iodine in the water used to cool the reactor core. Authorities at Tokyo Electric Power Co. had not determined if the three reactors had been damaged in last Friday's magnitude 6.1 earthquake, but they said the incidents were probably unrelated.
One reactor was shut down on Sunday following the discovery of an oil leak. On Monday, a second reactor was also shut down when workers found a pool of contaminated water.
Kazuyoshi Takahara, spokesman for the facility said on Tuesday, "The incidents are not similar in nature and are most probably unrelated.
Honestly speaking, we have not reached the point where we can look into a possible relationship. We are just about to examine the interior of the reactor."
Japan is reliant on nuclear power plants for about one-third of its electricity, but public anger over numerous accidents has steadily mounted. A critical reaction at a uranium processing plant last September in the city of Tokaimura killed two workers and exposed 439 others to radiation.
Source: "Earth Alert", Discovery.com News
-- Lee Maloney (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 2000