Residents ask for a full examination of damage to a Japanese nuclear plant caused by a recent quake

A group of residents of towns near Japanese nuclear plants has submitted a petition asking regulators to halt safety screening for the restart of idled reactors until damage to a plant that partially lost external power and spilled radioactive water during a recent powerful earthquake is fully examined. The magnitude 7.6 quake in Ishikawa on New Year’s Day left 240 people dead and 15 unaccounted for. Two idled reactors at Shika nuclear power plant in Ishikawa suffered power outages because of damage to transformers. The operator says radioactive water spilled from spent fuel cooling pools and the ground cracked, but no radiation leaked outside. The damage rekindled safety concerns and residents are asking whether they could have evacuated safely if it had been more severe.

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