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Coolant levels drop at the Fukushima nuclear plant following the earthquake

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FUKUSHIMA, Japan, February 19: In the wake of last week’s earthquake in Fukushima, the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant reported a drop in cooling water levels, which could indicate additional damage to the reactors.

The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that the February 13 earthquake occurred off the coast in Fukushima Prefecture, with a magnitude 7.3 earthquake at a depth of 60 km.

As the plant continues to be shut down, lowering coolant levels may further complicate the work in progress.

A spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power Company said coolant levels in Reactors 1 and 3 had decreased after Saturday’s earthquake. However, it is believed that the contaminated water was not released outside the containment areas.

In 2011, a 9.1-magnitude earthquake followed by a tsunami hit the cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, causing three reactor cores to melt and spill nuclear fuel under the containment vessels.

In the aftermath of the February 13 earthquake, officials reported that more than 180 people in Fukushima Prefecture have been treated for minor injuries. There were reports of additional damage to homes and train lines, and cut off water and electricity.

(File photo)

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