October 10, 2008

Smoke Detected at Japanese Nuclear Facility

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Mito, Japan, 10 October, Kyodo - Smoke filled a solid waste disposal facility at a nuclear power station in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture on Friday [10 October] morning, but no radioactive leakage, injuries or environmental damage have been reported, according to the operator and local government officials.

The electric power generation operations of the nuclear reactor at the Tokai No 2 Power Station are continuing despite the incident, which occurred around 6:35 a.m [2135 gmt, 9 October], operator Japan Atomic Power Co. said.

The smoke, which has been contained inside the facility, is believed to have been caused when a high-temperature metal in liquid state that was being carried on a conveyer belt spilled on to the floor, according to the Ibaraki prefectural government.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said it appears the smoke came from waste material that was molten by heat at the facility, which is for reducing the amount of low-level radioactive waste.

The power station started commercial operations in 1978, supplying electricity to Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Tohoku Electric Power Co.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0308 10 Oct 08.

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