Japan’s Trade Minister has told the Tokyo Electric Power co to delay restarting the TEPCO Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power plant after it was damaged by a powerful earthquake that hit Northwestern Japan on Monday. Around 1,200 litres of contaminated water got into the sea and 100 drums containing low level waste were knocked over.
Some lost their lids. Checks are being made on possible environmental damage.
Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said:
“ According to the data released by the nuclear plant operators, we have learned the quake was bigger than the reactors were designed to withstand.”
The quake killed nine and injured as many as 1,000 leaving 12,000 people to find shelter in evacuation centres.
As aftershocks continued, forecasts of wet weather raised fears of mudslides that could add to the devastation.
Japan is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, with a tremor occurring at least every five minutes.