Japanese nuclear power plants unaffected by strong quakes

Published Jan 1, 2024



No disruptions at Japanese nuclear power plants (NPP) have been reported following a series of strong earthquakes in the country's west on Monday, while the toll of casualties is being tabulated, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Monday.

No emergency reports have been received, in particular, from the Shika NPP in Ishikawa prefecture, which is believed to be affected by the quake the most, Hayashi said.

"A tsunami of up to 5 meters is expected. Every minute is important so, please, evacuate to a secure place, such as a hill or a tsunami evacuation centre. … Via tight cooperation with local administrations, police, fire services, self-defence forces, and coast guard, we intend to make every effort to ensure search and rescue works," Hayashi told journalists at an emergency press conference.

A tsunami threat has been issued for all the western coast of Japan from the northern island of Hokkaido to the southern island of Kyushu, while a threat of the great tsunami has been declared in the Ishikawa prefecture after a series of earthquakes on Monday, Japan's Meteorological Agency reported.

Starting from 4:06 pm local time (07:06 GMT), nine earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 4.3 to 7.6 took place in Ishikawa and Niigata prefectures.

The Japanese government and Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission have established a task force on preventing emergencies at nuclear power plants in the wake of a major earthquake in the Ishikawa prefecture, Japanese news broadcaster NHK reported on Monday, adding that data is already being collected on the situation at the local NPP, Shika.

Currently, the first and the second reactors have been suspended, the broadcaster reported, adding that the task force stepped up radiation level checks at the Shika NPP.

An emergency task force on collecting and analysing data has been established within Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office following a series of the major earthquakes in the Ishikawa prefecture, Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Monday, adding the prime minister ordered for all possible measures to eliminate consequences and save people.

In particular, he ordered the cabinet to cooperate with local administrations to ensure urgent measures after the earthquakes, the report read.

Meanwhile, a tsunami threat has been issued in the Russian Far Eastern cities of Vladivostok and Nakhodka, as well as on Sakhalin island, local authorities said on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said that a 0.4 meter (1.3 feet) tsunami was recorded near the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP in Japan's Niigata Prefecture. A tsunami threat was declared along Japan's entire western coast from Hokkaido to Kyushu following a series of earthquakes of magnitude reaching 7.6.

"Attention! A tsunami threat was declared on January 1 at 6:40 pm. local time," Sakhalian's emergency service said.

The Vladivostok authorities also issued a tsunami threat alert, instructing the fishermen and all others at sea to return to the shore immediately.

"There is a potential threat of tsunami. In Nakhodka, the wave is expected to be 0.31 meters (1 ft) ... A dragnet alert is being issued, and warning sirens have gone off. According to civil defence and emergencies specialists, there is no danger to the public," the Nakhodka administration said.

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