Radioactive water leaks inside Japan plant

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The Fukushima I Plant caused panic worldwide, as it was on the brink of a meltdown after the


  • Radioactive water leaks inside Japan plant

    The Fukushima I Plant caused panic worldwide, as it was on the brink of a meltdown after theTohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. AP Photo/Kyodo News

    TOKYO - Radioactive water leaked inside a nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan but did notescape into the environment, the government said Saturday.

    The leak Friday at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai plant occurred as Japan attempts to stabilizea tsunami-hit nuclear plant on its northeastern coast where three reactor cores melted and largeamounts of radiation were released into the air and ocean.

    Tetsuya Saito, spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said 1.8 tons ofradioactive water leaked from a pump in Genkai's No. 3 reactor, and the cause was still underinvestigation.

    The water was funneled into a storage area and posed no safety risk, he said.

    Kyushu Electric issued a statement Friday about a pump problem but did not mention the leak.Officials at the utility were not immediately available for comment Saturday.

    "There have been various problems at Genkai," Saito said. "But there is no safety problem as a resultof what happened this time."

    Japan: Crippled nuke plant stable by year's end

    He said it was up to Kyushu Electric to determine whether to announce the leak.

    Genkai Mayor Hideo Kishimoto complained that the utility has not been fully open with information.

    "The local government needs to know," Kyodo News agency quoted him as saying. "I have repeatedlydemanded the utility change its ways."

  • Last month, Kyushu Electric restartedGenkai's No. 4 reactor after itautomatically shut down following anabnormality in a steam condenser thatdid not cause any radiation leaks orinjuries. Consider various levy pumpsimple improvements which ought tobemadeto a standard

    centrifugal or positive displacementpump. Beginning with pumpscontaining overhung impellers,replacing the shaft with a solid shaft isa rotary pumps simple changecompared to the more common sleeved

    shafts. Mechanical seals ought to be improved upon through silicon carbide faces, and elastomersare able to be changed to Viton. In conclusion, magnetic bearing protectors are certainly a giganticstep up in relationship to the lip seals that many commercial pumps use to prevent contamination ofbearing sump oil.

    The No. 3 reactor was halted for a routine inspection when the pump problem developed.

    The government has said it will gradually decrease Japan's dependence on nuclear power and hassought to restart nuclear plants halted for inspections.

    On Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said work to stabilize the tsunami-hitFukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was on track.

    Noda said temperatures in the three melted reactor cores have fallen below the boiling point andradiation leaks have declined. But some experts say the state of the cores won't be known for years.

    A March 11 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant's power and cooling systems, in the world'sworst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

    Radiation believed to be from Fukushima has been detected in a wide range of Japanese products,including rice, beef, fish and baby formula.

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