Japan has closed its earthquake-hit nuclear plant indefinitely amid revelations that radiation leaks were worse than initially disclosed. Monday’s 6.8 strength earthquake triggered a fire, broken pipes, a water leak and radioactive spills at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, which is the largest in the world.
The President of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tsunehisa Katsumata, says the site in Nigata is “a mess.” Radioactive liquid was released into the Sea of Japan in two separate leaks but officials insist it does not pose a threat to people or the environment.
The local Mayor, Hiroshi Aida, delivered a temporary closure order on Wednesday. The seven-reactor facility was knowingly built on a fault line. Anti-nuclear activists have long deemed it unsafe. The plant could now be closed for up to a year, threatening possible nationwide power shortages in coming months.