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4 Dead in Japan's Nuclear Plant Accident - 2004-08-09


A steam leak at a Japanese nuclear power plant has killed at least four people and seriously burned a number of others.

Reports say at least five workers suffered heart and lung failure in today's (Monday's) accident at the Mihama Nuclear Power Plant, located 320 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. Ten other people were seriously injured.

Japanese authorities say no radiation leaks were detected inside or outside the facility, which houses turbines for the power plant.

The reactor was automatically shut down. The plant is owned by Kansai Electric Power Company, the nation's second largest utility.

Officials are investigating the cause of mishap, the worst since 1999, when a radiation leak at another facility at a fuel re-processing plant in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo killed two workers and affected several hundred others.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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