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Fukushima cooling suspended after earthquake

Fukushima Daini

The cooling function of Fukushima Daini’s third reactor was temporarily suspended when a 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck Japan’s coast in the early hours of this morning (22 November).

Fukushima Daini is about 10km south from its sister nuclear power station, Fukishima Daiichi, which was partially destroyed by an earthquake induced tsunami in 2011.

A tsunami warning was in place after the latest earthquake, which occurred at 5.59am local time; however, the warning has since been lifted. Tremors were felt in Tokyo and there were reports of minor injuries and structural damage.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said that no abnormalities or changes in radiation levels were found at any of its nuclear power stations after the earthquake. The cooling function of Fukushima Daini Unit 3 spent fuel pool was resumed at 7:47am after the cooling water supply stopped at 6:10am due to the earthquake.

Tepco is in the process of decommissioning Fukishima Daiichi nuclear power units one to four. Three of its reactors were badly damaged by a tsunami following the 9.1 magnitude earthquake in 2011, which caused a serious radiation leak and the evacuation of 150,000 people. The tsunami also destroyed the cooling system.

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