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Fire at Japan N-plant, no radiation leak

world Updated: Dec 08, 2008 11:26 IST

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A fire broke out at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan and a worker was sickened by smoke inhalation, but there was no release of radioactivity, the plant operator said on Monday.

A small fire broke out at a turbine facility at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex during welding of pipes aimed at enhancing quake resistance, Tokyo Electric Power Co said in a statement.

A worker was sickened from inhaling smoke, but not seriously, said the company, known as TEPCO. The fire was extinguished within one hour and there was no radiation leak from the incident, the company said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation, TEPCO said. The nuclear power complex, which suffered extensive damage in an earthquake last year, has been out of service and undergoing repairs.

The incident occurred just days after a December 1-5 inspection by a team from the United Nations nuclear watchdog. The team of 10 experts from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency assessed safety measures designed to deal with the continuing threat of earthquakes.