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Updated January 8th, 2024 at 17:14 IST

Japan earthquake causes nuclear power station oil leak

A Japanese nuclear power station has reported an oil leak following a powerful earthquake that struck the Hokuriku region on New Year's Day.

Manasvi Asthana
The Shika Nuclear Power Station is 65km from the earthquake's epicentre
The Shika Nuclear Power Station is 65km from the earthquake's epicentre | Image:AP
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A Japanese nuclear power station has reported an oil leak following a powerful earthquake that struck the Hokuriku region on New Year's Day, with a magnitude of 7.6, resulting in over 120 casualties. The Shika power station, located 65km (40 miles) from the epicenter, experienced temporary power outages, transformer oil leaks, and water spill-over from nuclear fuel pools.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, an approximately five meters by 10 meters oil slick was observed on the sea's surface in front of the power station, according to Hokuriku Electric.

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The leak has been treated with a neutralizing agent, and while a small amount of oil film was found in the gutter and on a road around the No. 2 reactor, external radiation levels remain unaffected, with no adverse impacts on human health or the environment.

Hokuriku Electric believes the oil slick resulted from transformer insulating oil leakage during the earthquake, triggering the fire extinguishing system, which dispersed the oil and sprayed water around the transformer.

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The oil then appears to have entered the gutter through rainfall. The company is actively analyzing the situation, with the plant's critical external power supplies, monitoring facilities, and cooling systems reported to be functioning normally.

Meanwhile, rescue efforts persist in delivering supplies to isolated hamlets affected by the earthquake, as 195 people remain unaccounted for and 560 reported injured.

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Despite challenging conditions, rescue teams are navigating through snow to reach impacted areas. A notable rescue involved a woman in her nineties, who was extricated from a collapsed house over five days after the quake.

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Published January 8th, 2024 at 17:14 IST

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