Japan Quake Causes Radioactive Water Spill from Spent Fuel Storage Pools; No Leakage Outside
TOKYO Water containing small amounts of radiation spilled out of spent fuel storage pools at two nuclear power plants in northern Japan when a powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook the region, the plants' operator said Wednesday.
The water spill from the three pools -- two at Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant and the third at the separate No. 2 plant -- did not leak radiation outside the compounds and workers were not exposed, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. Fukushima is about 260 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo.
Tuesday's powerful quake shook wide areas of northern Japan and injured 81 people, according to public broadcaster NHK, but there were no deaths. Tokyo police earlier said that 60 people were injured in the quake.
Water in spent fuel storage pools splashed against the walls during the quake, and some entered wall-mounted ventilation duct openings, company spokesman Hitoshi Hagiwara said. The water later dripped to the floor from the pipes' joints, he said.
More than 24 liters (6.3 gallons) of water spilled from the three pools, which store spent fuel from three reactors at the two plants, Hagiwara said. The leakage has now been cleaned up, he said.
The reactors, which are located in the same buildings as the pools, were unaffected by the quake, the company said in a statement.
Source: Associated Press