Japanese Nuclear Plant Leaks Small Amount of Radiation

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Nov 30, 2000 - 08:58 AM

Japanese Nuclear Plant Leaks Small Amount of Radiation The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) - A small amount of radiation escaped from a nuclear power plant in western Japan on Thursday during a gas sampling, but the leak posed no threat to local residents or the environment, officials said. The leak occurred at the Oi nuclear power plant in the state of Fukui, about 250 miles west of Tokyo, when a worker opened a gas valve, Ministry of International Trade and Industry officials said.

About five minutes later, a monitor attached to an exhaust pipe, which releases gas into the environment, showed an increase in radiation. But monitors outside the plant showed no radiation increase, a sign that Thursday's leak posed no threat to local residents, according to ministry spokesman Fumito Omagari.

The three workers in the sampling room were not exposed to radiation, and the plant continued running, he said.

Japan's nuclear power industry has been plagued by accidents.

The country's worst nuclear accident occurred Sept. 30, 1999, at a uranium-reprocessing plant in Tokaimura, 70 miles northeast of Tokyo. It killed two people, seriously injured one more and exposed hundreds to radiation.


-- Carl Jenkins (somewherepress@aol.com), November 30, 2000

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