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Leak at Nuclear Plant Stokes Fresh Fears
May 8, 2011

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The nuclear industry is definitely taking a battering in Japan. First it was the crippling of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant by the March 11 earthquake. The quake and resulting tsunami also damaged a few other plants around the country but not nearly to the extent as at Fukushima.

Now, a tiny radiation leak at a reactor on the west coast has prompted calls for that reactor to be shut down as well. The owner of the plant, Japan Atomic Power, stopped the leak not long after it began, and officials there reported that damage to the environment was tiny.

Not waiting for a Fukushima-like disaster, Chubu Electric Power Company, Japan's third-largest electricity provider, announced plans to close the doors of one of its nuclear power plants in order to improve the plant's structural integrity, in anticipation of another large earthquake.

The Chubu plant being targeted, near the Hamaoka area in the middle of the country, is part of an overall prediction of a quake measuring 8.0 of larger in the next 30 years as 87 percent.

Both power companies have not doubt witnessed the very public struggles of the Tokyo Electric Power Company to contain the radiation and damage at Fukushima.

Meanwhile, recovery workers continued to clear debris caused by the tsunami. Stories of rescuers making miraculous discoveries of people alive among the rubble have all but disappeared, as the workers have gotten down to the grim reality of sifting through debris in search of valuables rather than survivors.

Nearly 25,000 people are listed as either dead or presumed dead.



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