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Earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the status of nuclear reactors

14/03/2011

Earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the status of nuclear reactors

WANO extends its condolences to the people of Japan, following the devastating impacts of Friday's earthquake and tsunami, with the association ready to offer its fullest support to its members in Japan.

On 11 March 2011, a major earthquake of magnitude 8.9 struck north-eastern Japan, followed by a tsunami that caused wide-spread damage.

Situation – as at  17:30 (GMT) 14 March 2011

A severe earthquake and subsequent tsunami inundated a portion of the Northeast Coast of the Japanese Island of Honshu on 11 March. Several nuclear power plants operating on the coastline were affected, primarily by the tsunami. These include: six units at Fukushima Daiichi, four units at nearby Fukushima Daini, one unit at Tokai Daini, three units at Onagawa and one unit at Higashidori.

All 15 units either automatically shut down as a result of the earthquake or were already offline. The most significantly affected were the three operating units at Fukushima Daiichi (Unit 1, 2 and 3), which eventually lost cooling capability.

All four units at Fukushima Daini were also affected, but not as severely and shutdown cooling capability has since been restored. Ten of the 15 units are now in safe shutdown condition and two others are approaching that status. Efforts continue to resolve the issues at Unit 1,2 and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi.