Japan reports radiation leak from a nuclear fuel plant

Nine staff members are being examined

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The Fukushima nuclear plant (archive photo)

The Fukushima nuclear plant (archive photo) (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - An alert sounded signaling a radiation leak at a facility in Ibaraki Prefecture on the main island of Honshu’s east coast producing nuclear fuel, the Japanese authorities said Wednesday.

Nine staff members were present at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute at the time of the incident around 2:30 p.m., but it had not been determined yet whether they had been exposed to the radiation, the Central News Agency reported.

Prefectural officials said that measuring equipment on the outer rim of the facility, in the town of Tokai, had not revealed any abnormal swings in radioactivity. An investigation was proceeding into whether the potential leak had affected the nine employees, while no details were given into what might have caused the incident, CNA reported.

Tokai is the site of a separate nuclear plant which was damaged during the 2011 Fukushima tsunami and nuclear disaster, but the government late last year approved plans to extend its life for another 20 years, until 2038.