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Fuel Rod Containers At Japanese Nuke Plant Found Damaged

Damage to fuel rod containers has been detected at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Japan's Miyagi prefecture causing concern among local residents.

Japan's nuclear safety agency has ordered the plant's operator Tohoku Electric Power Company to check and report on whether the damage was caused by the massive earthquake of March 11, 2011, Japanese media reported on Wednesday.

The utility recently used an underwater camera to inspect the 4.5-meter-high metal containers in a fuel rod storage pool. It detected a two centimeter-long, several-millimeter-wide chip on one of the containers. It also found more than 12 places on other containers where pieces were missing. Such damage has never been reported at a nuclear plant in Japan.

Tohoku Electric says the fuel rods are intact, and that there are no safety concerns because the plant's reactors are out of operation. The company will investigate the damage in detail, and inspect the plant's all three reactors.

Japan remains alert on nuclear plants since the 2011 quake-triggered tsunami that knocked out the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant sending out radiation that forced evacuation of thousands of people in a 30 kilometer radius of the plant.

by RTT Staff Writer

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