26 Mar '11, 1pm

The Japanese operator of a stricken Fukushima nuclear plant marked 40 years since the first reactor started operations

OSAKA - THE Japanese operator of a stricken Fukushima nuclear plant on Saturday marked 40 years since the first reactor started commercial operations with a boast of safety 'unthinkable elsewhere'. 'It is extremely disappointing to mark the 40th anniversary this way,' Sakae Muto, vice-president of Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), told a news conference. 'And we feel very sorry.' The 9.0-magnitude quake and huge tsunami on March 11 paralysed the cooling systems of the Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) plant 250km north-east of Tokyo, leaving it on the brink of a catastrophic meltdown. Emergency workers have sprayed huge amounts of water on the reactors - including the 460,000-watt number one reactor - to prevent the fuel rods becoming exposed and spewing out dangerous amounts of radiation. US giant General Electric started construction of what was Tepco's first nuclear reactor in S...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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