07/17/2007, 00.00
JAPAN
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Earthquake: fears of a fresh radioactive leak

Environmental alarm for the possibility of a fresh leak from the Kashiwazaki nuclear power plant. In the meantime the official death toll rises to 9 dead and 900 injured.

Tokyo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A possible second radioactive leak from the world’s biggest nuclear power plant, Kashiwazaki, is being studied by experts: according to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, drums with “low-level nuclear waste” fell over during the tremors, and some of their lids were found open.  

Yesterday Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said water containing "a small amount of radioactive material" was released into the sea, but insisted it posed “no environmental risk”.

Meanwhile the search for survivors buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings continues, hampered by meteorologists forecast of heavy rains for today.  According to police sources the death toll from the quake has risen to 9 people: 6 women and 3 men between 70 and 80 years,  with over nine hundred injured and receiving hospital care in the area.  

Over 10 thousand people spent the night in special civil defence shelters: the situation is being made even more difficult by the heavy rains which are creating the risk of mudslides.  Tens of thousands of citizens have been left without access to electricity or drinking water,

 

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