Backgrounder: Major nuclear leakage accidents in Japan

18:28, March 12, 2011      

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BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Radiation is leaking from the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant in northeast Japan, after its reactors were disabled by Friday's massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami, Japanese officials confirmed Saturday.

Following is a list of nuclear accidents Japan has gone through since 1990s.

Dec. 8, 1995: Sodium coolant leaked at Monju, Japan's first prototype fastbreeder reactor in the city Tsuruga in western Fukui prefecture, causing a shut-down of the reactor for a complete overhaul.

March 1997: An explosion occurred at a nuclear reprocessing plant in the village of Tokai, northeastern Ibaraki Prefecture, causing radioactivity to leak outside the facility and exposing dozens of workers to radiation.

April 14, 1997: A tritium leakage occurred at the Fugen reactor in Tsuruga, Fukui prefecture.

July 12, 1999: Cooling water leaked from a pipe in the building housing the reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant owned by Japan Atomic Power in northern Japan.

Sept. 30, 1999: A nuclear leakage accident occurred at a nuclear manufacturing plant at Tokai village, killing two technicians, exposing dozens of people to radiation and forcing more than 300,000 local residents to stay indoors.

Aug. 9, 2004: Four workers were killed and seven injured by a steam leak at the No.3 reactor at Kansai Electric's Mihama power plant, 350 km west of Tokyo.

May 22, 2006: A radiation leak occurred at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, without posing any hazard to the surrounding environment.

Jan. 14, 2007: Four employees at the Takahama No. 1 reactor in Fukui prefecture were splashed by radioactive water during a routine inspection. The workers' health and the area were unaffected by the incident.

Sept. 3, 2007: Some 2.4 tons of water leaked from the No. 1 generating unit at the Ohi power station in Fukui prefecture.

Oct. 8, 2009: A small amount of radioactive water leaked at the Fugen Nuclear Power Plant in central Fukui prefecture. One worker was exposed to levels of radiation higher than the limit set by government regulation to ensure the health of employees.

Source: Xinhua

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