UPDATE 2-Glitch shuts Japan reactor, power crunch looms

Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:11pm GMT
 

* No radiation leaked

* Unplanned closure tightens power supply further

* PM Kan aims for stability at Fukushima earlier than planned (Adds comments from PM Kan, nuclear minister)

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) - Japan's Kansai Electric Power Co on Saturday shut down one of its reactors due to technical glitches, worsening a tight power supply that is stifling manufacturers.

The No.1 reactor at Kansai's Ohi plant, located 350 km (220 miles) west of Tokyo, was manually closed for checks after pressure in a tank containing boric acid water fell for a time on Friday night for unknown reasons, a company spokesman said.

The pressure has since come back up to the normal range, and no radiation leakage has occurred.

"Power supply (in western Japan) has been quite tight in the first place. This problem at Ohi's No.1 unit is making it worse," Nuclear Minister Goshi Hosono told reporters.

"We want to keep restrictions on economic activities and people's daily lives as little as possible. But it is quite clear that the situation has become very severe now."

The government is already ordering power users in Tokyo and surrounding areas as well as in northern Japan to cut their electricity consumption by 15 percent as safety concerns following a radiation crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant keep some reactors from restarting after routine maintenance.   Continued...

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