Japanese reactors assessed following quake

26 July 2007

A quake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale centred off the coast of Niigata that prompted Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) to shut down four operating units at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa station will now see all seven units at the site off line until their resistance to earthquakes is reassessed.

Initial inspections suggest the quake only caused minor damage to the station, causing a small fire in a transformer, toppling some drums of low-level waste, causing some water from a cooling pond to spill, and some minor pipe leaks.

Three of the units were off line when the quake hit as a result of planned outages. However, media reports indicate that at least one ground motion sensor detected a level double that assumed in the plant's seismic design basis, as a result the units won't restart until seismic stability is assessed.

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