Typhoon Wipha Spares Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, No New Problems Caused: Tepco

 
on October 16 2013 8:27 AM
Typhoon Wipha
An aerial view shows collapsed houses following a landslide caused by Typhoon Wipha on Izu Oshima island, south of Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo on Oct. 16, 2013. Reuters/Kyodo

Typhoon Wipha, which brushed past Japan’s Fukushima Daichi nuclear power station, did not cause any new damage to the power station, the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Corp (TYO:9501), also known as Tepco, said Wednesday.

Tepco, which is already battling a multitude of problems arising out of melted nuclear reactors at the plant following the March 2011 tsunami, had cancelled all offshore work and took precautionary measures to protect machinery, as the storm approached. Typhoon Wipha, the strongest storm to hit the country’s east coast in a decade, brought heavy rains and strong winds with speeds up to 125 miles per hour to the island nation. At least 17 people were killed and more than 50 are reported missing.

According to Tepco, the storm passed close to the Fukushima coast around midday, or 11:00 p.m. EDT, without causing any new damage to the plant and its temporary water tanks where radioactive water is stored. 

However, the storm caused heavy rainfall in the area and Tepco had to pump out huge quantities of rainwater collected in the protective containers where more than 1,000 temporary tanks with contaminated water are being kept. 

The rainwater was checked for radioactivity and radiation was found to be within permissible levels before the water was released into the sea, the BBC reported, citing a company spokesman.

The plant is situated on the eastern coast of Japan, about 130 miles north of Tokyo.

The Fukushima reactor was hit by a giant tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011, which damaged its back-up generators and cooling system leading to a meltdown of its reactors. And, Tepco has struggled to contain radiation leaks and other related issues at the wrecked power plant.  

Wipha was downgraded to a tropical depression by 3:00 a.m. EDT and was moving off the coast of Japan in a northeasterly direction at 59 miles per hour, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

 

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