Statement: Steam leak at KEPCO’s Mihama Nuclear Power Plant
10 August 2004
- High-temperature steam leaked from a reactor pipe at a facility housing the turbines for the No. 3 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s (KEPCO) Mihama Nuclear Power Plant in Mihama, Fukui Prefecture at around 15:20 today. No radiation was believed to have leaked since the pipe where the leak took place was a secondary one. However, eleven workers of Kiuchi Keisoku, a KEPCO subcontractor, who were preparing for regular maintenance fell victim. Four of them were killed, two critically ill and others seriously suffering burns.
We are deeply sorry for those who have died and pray for earliest recovery of other victims who are being treated.
- KEPCO and the relevant authorities must take the accident seriously as it has caused serious casualties and ruined people’s confidence in nuclear power, although not accompanied with radioactive contamination.
All concerned, as well as the governments, should first fully grasp the facts and act accordingly in a prompt manner.
- We are concerned that secondary facilities often fail to be inspected, compared to radioactive ones. The judgement of KEPCO and the safety administration that the facility where the leak took place had not been inspected since the beginning of operation in 1976 should be thorough investigated in due course. Facilities with similar equipment should be also immediately inspected and improved when necessary to make sure that they are maintained at an adequate safety level.
- The government and those concerned must sincerely reflect on the accident and make every possible effort not to make it happy again. We also urge them strongly to take all necessary measures to avoid any accident by inspecting facilities, including those believed to be safe, in order to create an safe environment for all workers and residents and wipe away their anxiety and distrust.