The Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan has apparently withstood the latest aftershock that struck off the coast of the battered nation on Monday, according to the plant’s operator.
“There was no damage to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant from today’s earthquake and the one on April 7,” said Junichi Matsumoto, general manager of the company’s nuclear power and plant fitting division.
An aftershock measured at about 7.0-magnitude sent a jolt across eastern Japan and it temporarily interrupted the injection of cooling water into three reactors at Fukushima plant, said Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), because power was cut off. This hampered efforts to remove highly radioactive water from the reactor.
However, TEPCO was able to revive the power after about 50 minutes and the pumping resumed.
Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director-general of Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said there were no ”abnormalities” at the plant.
David Weaver, professor of nuclear physics at Birmingham University in Britain told Bloomberg: “I wouldn’t expect a short-term power interruption to lead to a significant problem again. What we’re looking for is a sustained cooling so that the rate you’re taking the heat away at least outweighs the heat generation of the decaying fuel. The goal is to pour enough cold water through so that the kettle never gets to a boil.”
The aftershock also caused nuclear plant workers to temporarily evacuate the site.
Separately, no damage from the latest quake was reported that two other nuclear plants in Ibaraki Prefecture.