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New leak found at Japan nuke plant
Updated: 2004-09-17 15:09

A small radioactive water leak has been found at the same nuclear complex that suffered Japan's deadliest nuclear accident last month.

The operator said today the latest mishap posed no danger.

The leak was discovered last night at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s No. 1 reactor in Mihama, about 320 kilometres west of Tokyo, said Takao Yoneda, a Kansai Electric spokesman.

A small amount of radioactive water leaked from a heat exchanger at the reactor, which has been shut down for cooling system checks since September 5, Yoneda said.

"The amount of radioactivity in the water is extremely small and there is no danger to the environment outside the plant," he said, adding that it was not immediately known what caused the leak.

A steam pipe at the No. 3 reactor in the same complex exploded on August 9, hitting workers with superheated steam and boiling water. Five workers were killed, but no radiation was released.

Yoneda said that today's leak was discovered when a worker found a small pool of water under a cooling system pipe that contained a small amount of radioactivity.

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