20 Juin 2012
June 20, 2012
Delayed disclosure at Ohi plant
The operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant says an alarm went off on Tuesday on a water level detector at its No.3 reactor.
The plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan will become the first to go back online in Japan since last year's disaster.
Kansai Electric Power Company said on Wednesday that the alarm suggested the water level had fallen in a tank used to cool an electric power generator at its No.3 reactor.
The firm says workers who examined the tank found no leaks but that the water level was about 5 centimeters lower than usual. The company says it's investigating the cause of the alarm.
The No.3 reactor is one of 2 being readied for a restart in line with a central government decision on Saturday.
The government has set up a special monitoring system with resident inspectors at the plant to deal promptly with possible accidents and problems.
But the disclosure of Tuesday's incident came about 13 hours after the alarm went off.
Kansai Electric says it did not make the information public on Tuesday because the incident did not match levels requiring disclosure by law and in-house rules.
Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official Yasushi Morishita apologized at a news conference, saying his lapse in judgment caused the delayed disclosure.
A water-level alarm went off at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture on June 19, plant operator Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) said, as preparations for the controversial restart of two reactors at the plant continue.
KEPCO announced June 20 that an alarm indicating a decreased water level in a generator cooling tank of the plant's No. 3 reactor was activated at 9:51 p.m. on June 19. Work at the plant is being monitored on a 24-hour basis.
In a news conference starting at 11 a.m. on June 20, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency apologized for the half-day delay between the incident and its announcement.
KEPCO said the alarm stopped after four minutes. Officials said there were no abnormalities with the water level in the tank, and it was thought that the water level had changed temporarily when a pump started operating.
It was the first alarm at the plant since work began on June 16 in preparation for the restart of the No. 3 and 4 reactors.