Fire at nuclear plant in Japan

5 July 2005

A fire that broke out at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Omaezaki, Shizuoka prefecture, released no radioactivity and hurt no-one but has done little to restore confidence in the troubled Japanese nuclear industry.

The fire, which did not affect nuclear operations at the plant, about 180km west of Tokyo, occurred when employees were packing waste low-level nuclear waste materials into a drum in a building designated for waste disposal. According to operators Chubu Electric Power, the drum accidentally fell while being ferried on a conveyor belt.

The facility is designed to reduce the volume of waste before disposal.

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