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+ - Japanese company admits nuclear accident cover up

Submitted by
a-charles
a-charles writes "Reuters reports on a disturbing anouncement for anyone in the same state as a nuclear power plant:

"A Japanese power company admitted on Thursday that it had covered up a 1999 incident in which mishandling of nuclear fuel rods led to an unintended self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction for 15 minutes."

"Hokuriku Electric said the mishandling of nuclear fuel rods caused the company's Shiga No. 1 nuclear unit in central Japan to go into a "critical state" for 15 minutes in June 1999. The unit was shut down manually after an automatic shut-down function failed."

"The news... is likely to further dent public confidence in Japan's nuclear power industry, already undermined by safety scandals over the past decade."
And a separate incident later that year:

"In one of Japan's worst nuclear accidents, two workers were killed in September 1999, when workers at a nuclear facility in Tokaimura, northeast of Tokyo, set off an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction by using buckets to mix nuclear fuel in a lab."
"

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