Earthquake Rattles Fukushima Area

No trouble reported after 5.3-magnitude quake
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 19, 2013 2:51 PM CDT
Earthquake Rattles Fukushima Area
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, in a red helmet, looks at a wall made of steel pipe installed along the coast during his inspection tour of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.   ((AP Photo/Japan Pool) JAPAN OUT)

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake has hit the Japanese prefecture that is home to the shuttered Fukushima nuclear power plant. The US Geological Survey says the quake struck at a depth of about 13 miles under Fukushima Prefecture and about 110 miles northeast of Tokyo. The Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., observed no abnormality in radiation or equipment after the quake.

Earlier today, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered TEPCO to scrap all six reactors at the Fukushima plant and concentrate on tackling issues such as leaking radioactive water. The 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused three reactors to melt and damaged a fuel cooling pool at another. Officials have acknowledged that radiation-contaminated groundwater has been seeping into the Pacific Ocean ever since. (More Fukushima Daiichi stories.)

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