Cosmo Oil Refinery Set on Fire, Nuclear Power Reactors Shut by Earthquake
By Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada - Mar 11, 2011
March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Cosmo Oil Co.'s refinery near Tokyo caught fire and at least three other crude-processing plants and 11 nuclear power reactors were shut after Japan was struck by the world’s strongest earthquake in more than six years.
Damage from the temblor is widespread and some nuclear plants stopped operating without leaking radiation, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in a nationally televised address today. Japan’s government is making all efforts to minimize damage from the earthquake, he said.
Cosmo Oil’s 220,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Chiba is burning after a fire started at the plant’s storage tanks following the quake, spokesman Yusuke Kaneda said today. Eleven reactors operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Asia’ biggest utility, Tohoku Electric Power Co., and Japan Atomic Power Co. were shut, the trade ministry said in an e-mailed statement.
The 8.9-magnitude quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time 130 kilometers (81 miles) off the coast of Sendai, north of Tokyo, at a depth of 24 kilometers, the U.S. Geological Survey said. A 7.1-magnitude aftershock followed at 4:25 p.m., it said.
Tokyo Electric shut seven reactors at its Fukushima Daiichi and Daini atomic plants while three reactors at Tohoku Electric’s Onagawa station were halted, the trade ministry’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in the e-mailed statement. Japan Atomic Power. shut the No. 2 reactor at its Tokai plant, the agency said.
Four Million Homes
More than four million homes serviced by Tokyo Electric are without power following the quake, Daisuke Hirose, a spokesman for the utility, said today by phone.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. shut its refineries in Sendai, Kashima, and Negishi, according to a spokeswoman, who declined to be identified, citing company policy.
Electric Power Development Co. shut its 600-megawatt No.2 unit of Isogo coal-fired plant in Yokohama, spokesman Hiroshi Nakatani said by telephone.
Tokyo Electric’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa, Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka and Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear plants are operating, the agency said.