Nuclear Plant Damaged in Quake

Possible spills follow radioactive water leak
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2007 10:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Japanese officials acknowledged today that as many as 50 problems have been found at the Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant, which was damaged in yesterday's quake. Exhaust pipes were knocked out of place and barrels of nuclear waste were overturned, knocking the lids off some. Both areas are still being inspected for radioactive leaks.

A "small amount" of radioactive material was emitted into the atmosphere from an exhaust stack, officials said. Japanese nuclear plants, which supply a third of the country's power, have a long history of accidents and an official reluctance to disclose them, the AP reports. The death toll from the quake has risen to nine, and 13,000 people are said to be homeless. (Read more nuclear power plant stories.)

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