INTRODUCTION: Japanese officials have been checking radiation detection cards carried by workers exposed last month to radioactive waste water at a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga.
AERIAL VIEWS Tsuruga nuclear plant. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN Tsuruga nuclear plant.
SV INT Inspector collecting samples.
CU Drainage cover.
CU & SV Faulty drainage valve being inspected.
SV Waste water puddle.
GV & CU Workers taking sample from water outlet. (4 SHOTS)
AV Tsuruga Bay.
CU & SV Scientists taking water samples from sea. (2 SHOTS)
SV Tsuruga nuclear plant.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Japanese officials have been checking radiation detection cards carried by workers exposed last month to radioactive waste water at a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga. The investigators also collected other data on Wednesday (22 April) from the Japan Atomic Power Company which owns the plant -- information which will verify levels of radiation received by the 56 workers when they cleaned up the waste.
SYNOPSIS: The company, which failed to report the leak as required by Japanese law, and the workers were exposed only to harmless amounts of radiation. But the Japanese government has opened an investigation into operations at the Tsuruga plant, on the Sea of Japan.
The water leak took place on 8 March but it wasn't discovered until Saturday (18 April) when soil samples taken near the plant showed abnormal amounts of cobalt-60 and manganese-54.
Government officials who inspected the plant said the radioactive material flowed on to the floor for three hours after a careless worker forgot to close a valve. It's believed that a large amount of radioactive slush flowed into a manhole in the floor of the building and down a rainwater drain leading to the sea. The officials said much of the waste disposal plant was contaminated by a high level of radioactivity. Workers were told to collect the waste in plastic buckets after the leak was discovered. Scientists say these workers might have been exposed to a high level of radioactivity.
The Japanese government, confronted by a barrage of protest from Communists and socialists, is sending inspectors to check all nuclear plants. The scandal blew up soon after an official report said nuclear power plants should become a core of Japan's aim to find alternative sources of energy.