A nuclear power station in Japan has reported an oil leak after being shaken by a powerful earthquake.
The magnitude 7.6 quake hit in the Hokuriku region on New Year’s Day and killed more than 120 people.
The Shika power station is 65km (40 miles) from the epicentre and had already reported temporary power outages, oil leaks at the transformers and water spill-over from nuclear fuel pools.
Today, an oil slick measuring approximately five metres by 10 metres was seen floating on the sea’s surface in front of the power station, Hokuriku Electric said. The leak has been treated with a neutralising agent.
A small amount of oil film was detected in the gutter and on a road surrounding the No. 2 reactor, the utility company added.
External radiation levels have not been affected and there are no adverse impacts on human health or the environment, the company said.
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The utility believes the slick was caused by transformer insulating oil leaking during the quake. This triggered the fire extinguishing system, which dispersed the oil and sprayed water around the transformer.
The oil appears to have then entered the gutter through rainfall, the company added. Hokuriku Electric is still analysing the situation.
The plant’s key external power supplies, monitoring facilities and cooling systems are functioning normally.
Meanwhile, rescue teams are working through snow to deliver supplies to isolated hamlets affected by the earthquake.
As of Sunday morning, 195 people were still unaccounted for and 560 were injured.
A woman in her nineties is among those rescued – having been pulled from a collapsed house more than five days after the quake.