Worker Dies from Japanese Nuclear Accident
August 30, 2004
The death count now stands at five, after another worker died this week
from injuries he suffered earlier this month in Japan's worse ever nuclear-plant
30-year-old Masaru Kamelwa was severely burned in the August 9th accident,
which occurred when a corroded cooling pipe carrying boiling water and
superheated steam burst. No radiation was released.
Officials said that one of the injured workers has been released from
the hospital, while three others are still being treated for serious injuries.
The Mihama plant's operator, Kansai Electric Power Co., has admitted that
a ruptured part of the pipe had not been inspected since 1996. It is being
investigated on suspicion of negligence leading to death.
Killed in Japanese Nuclear Accident
August 10, 2004
- A nonradioactive steam leak killed four people and injured seven others
in the worst-ever accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant, officials
The leak was caused
by a lack of cooling water in the reactor's turbine, said Kimihito Kawabata,
a spokesman for plant operator Kansai Electric Power. The steam was believed
to be about 518 degrees Fahrenheit.
Four workers died
after suffering severe burns, seven others were injured, two of them critically,
said police officials. Three of the others were seriously injured, and
the remaining two suffered minor injuries.
No radiation was
involved and there was no need to evacuate the area around the plant in
Mihama, a small city about 200 miles west of Tokyo, officials said.
After the accident,
Kansai Electric officials found a hole on the condenser pipe, public broadcaster
NHK reported. It did not elaborate on the size of the hole, believed to
be the source of the leak.
The No. 3 nuclear
reactor in Mihama, which started operations in 1976, automatically shut
down when steam began spewing from the leak, said Takahiro Seno, another
Kansai Electric Power official.
plant's two other reactors were operating normally, officials said.
"There was no
leak of radioactivity that could harm the environment," said Nobutake
Masaki, a Mihama city official. He added that the steam, which was not
radioactive, leaked only inside the building.
were all employees of Kiuchi Keisoku Co., an Osaka-based subcontractor
of Kansai Electric. They were all inside the turbine building to prepare
for regular inspections of the plant.
in Mihama, which has a population of about 11,500, was the second fatal
accident at a Japanese nuclear plant.
The first was
in 1999, when a radiation leak at a fuel-reprocessing plant in Tokaimura,
northeast of Tokyo, killed two workers and caused the evacuation of thousands
of local residents. That accident was caused by two workers who tried
to save time by mixing excessive amounts of uranium in buckets instead
of using special mechanized tanks.