Alarm Goes Off at JAEA Facility; No One Exposed to Radiation

Society Science Technology

Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--An alarm indicating a radioactive leak went off at a nuclear fuel facility in the eastern Japan village of Tokai on Wednesday afternoon, but no one was exposed to radiation in the incident, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said.

No radioactive materials leaked outside of the premises of the JAEA's Nuclear Fuel Cycle Engineering Laboratories in the Ibaraki Prefecture village, the government-affiliated institute added.

The alarm went off at a plutonium fuel development laboratory in an radiation-controlled area at the facility around 2:25 p.m. Wednesday (5:25 a.m. GMT), according to the JAEA.

At the time, nine male workers were replacing the bag covering a stainless steel container for powdered mixed-oxide, or MOX, fuel, a blend of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel, and uranium. They were wearing radiation protection suits and half-face masks during the task.

The JAEA set up an off-limits area because of possible leaks of plutonium or other radioactive materials, while checking the possibility of the nine workers inhaling radioactive materials or of such substances attaching to their skins.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press