Four nuclear power plants workers killed

Four workers have died and seven others were injured when super-heated steam leaked from a reactor at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture which is owned and operated by Kansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO), Japan’s second-largest utility.

In terms of fatalities, this ranks as Japan’s worst nuclear plant accident.

In a statement Japan’s Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency said, “The steam leak occurred around 3:30 pm at a facility housing the turbines for the No. 3 reactor of the plant, located in the town of Mihama, 340 kilometres west of Tokyo.”

“The 826 mW pressurised water reactor was automatically shut down immediately after the incident [and] radiation monitors in the surroundings showed no radioactive leakage,” added the regulatory watchdog.

According to the authorities, the four fatalities were: Hiroya Takatori, 29, Kazutoshi Nakagawa, 41, Tomoki Iseki, 30, and Eiji Taoka, 46. KEPCO has said the victims were employees of Osaka-based Kiuchi Keisoku and were delivering tools into the site in preparation for a regular inspection.

Doctors at a hospital in Tsuruga still do not know what killed the four men but of the seven survivors two are in critical condition. The Fukui prefectural police have begun their investigation into the matter and are classifying the incident as “professional negligence resulting in injury and death”.


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