Equipment at Japan’s Shika NPP damaged by earthquake

Tokyo, Jan 6 (UNI) The power equipment at Japan’s Shika nuclear power plant (NPP) has sustained some damage, including a significant oil leakage, after a powerful earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks struck the country on New Year’s Day, Japanese broadcaster NHK said on Friday.

A total of 19,800 liters (5,230 gallons) of oil leaked from burst pipes of the transformers that supply power to the plant’s reactors No. 1 and 2, the report said. The oil for insulation and cooling also leaked, resulting in some of the power supply systems becoming unavailable, NHK also said.

The Japanese officials said the plant workers managed to collect most of the oil by Friday noon. However, Japan’s Hokuriku Electric Power Company, which operates the plant, said it could not specify when it would be able to restore the outside power supply systems.

After a visual inspection of the plant, new damage was discovered, such as unevenness and settling of up to 35 centimeters (13.7 inches) in the concrete-paved ground in at least four spots, including one around the No. 1 reactor building. Nevertheless, the Japanese authorities said there was no nuclear safety risk.

The Japanese government and the Atomic Energy Commission of Japan established a task force for the prevention of accidents at nuclear power plants and are collecting information on the state of the Shika NPP. Its reactors No. 1 and 2 were shut down. The task force stepped up radiation level checks at the facility.

On Monday afternoon, a powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake, followed by a series of aftershocks, struck near the city of Suzu on the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. The tremors also led to buildings collapsing and left more than 32,000 households without power, although no nuclear power plant failures were registered. The earthquake became the most powerful for the Noto Peninsula region since records began in 1885. At least 94 people died, while 464 more have been injured as a result of the disaster.

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