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Police Probe Possible Negligence in Japanese Nuke Plant Leak - 2004-08-10


Police in Japan are investigating whether negligence was to blame for Monday's steam leak at a nuclear power plant that killed four people.

Officials say authorities are looking for any evidence suggesting negligence on the part of the plant's operator, Kansai Electric Power.

Plant managers say the steam pipe that leaked was overdue for inspection. But they say they believed the inspection could wait until this month and they never expected corrosion to occur as rapidly as it did.

Authorities at the plant in Mihama, 320 kilometers west of Tokyo, say no radiation was released in the accident. The victims were in a turbine room when intensely hot steam poured out of a hole in the pipe. The reactor automatically shut down.

Information for this report is provided by AP and AFP.

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