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Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update

IAEA Emergency Centre

The IAEA´s Incident and Emergency Centre provides around-the-clock assistance to Member States in dealing with nuclear and radiological events, including security and disaster related events. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Vienna, 11 March 2011 (12:45 CET) -- The IAEA´s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) has received information from Japan´s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) that a heightened state of alert has been declared at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. NISA says the plant has been shut down and no release of radiation has been detected.

Japanese authorities have also reported a fire at the Onagawa nuclear power plant, which has been extinguished. They say Onagawa, Fukushima-Daini and Tokai nuclear power plants were also shut down automatically, and no radiation release has been detected.

The IAEA received information from its International Seismic Safety Centre that a second earthquake of magnitude 6.5 has struck Japan near the coast of Honshu, near the Tokai plant.

The IAEA is seeking further details on the situation at Fukushima Daiichi and other nuclear power plants and research reactors, including information on off-site and on-site electrical power supplies, cooling systems and the condition of the reactor buildings. Nuclear fuel requires continued cooling even after a plant is shut down.

All IAEA staff in Japan, both in the Tokyo office and in nuclear facilities, are confirmed to be safe.

Background

At around 0815 CET on 11 March 2011, the IAEA´s Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) received information from the International Seismic Safety Centre (ISSC) that an earthquake registering 8.9 on the Richter scale had occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

The IAEA then liaised with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to confirm further details of the situation. Japanese authorities later reported that the four nuclear power plants closest to the quake had been safely shut down. The IAEA has offered its support to the Japanese government.

The IAEA´s Incident and Emergency Centre is the global focal point for preparedness, event reporting, and response to nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies irrespective of their cause. The Incident and Emergency Centre provides around-the-clock assistance to Member States in dealing with nuclear and radiological events, including security related events through timely and efficient services and the provision of a coordinated international response to such emergencies.

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(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA).