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7/19/2007

Japan closes nuclear plant damaged by earthquake




Japan

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July, 2007

TOKYO: The Japanese authorities on Tuesday shut down a nuclear power plant after a radiation leak and other damage from an earthquake in the nation's northwest raised new concerns about the safety of Japan's nuclear industry.

Tokyo Electric Power, which operates the nuclear plant near the city of Kashiwazaki, said it had found more than 50 problems had been caused by the earthquake Monday. Most were minor, but the most serious involved 100 drums of radioactive waste that fell over. The lids on some of them opened, the company said, and the contents spilled out.

The earthquake, the first of two that struck Japan on Monday - one with the same intensity rattled the sea off Kyoto - also caused a small fire at the plant and the leakage of 317 gallons of water containing trace levels of radioactive materials into the Sea of Japan, the company said.

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