Japan's Kansai Electric Power Co. said on Friday it would gradually close all of its nuclear reactors for safety checks and would start procedures immediately to take three units off line after the country's deadliest nuclear industry accident.
Four workers were killed on Monday when non-radioactive steam escaped from a ruptured pipe at Kansai Electric's Mihama nuclear power plant, 320 km (200 miles) west of Tokyo.
The government of Fukui Prefecture, where the plant is located, had asked for inspections to be carried out on all of the company's 11 reactors.
The Mihama No.3 reactor, where the accident occurred, is already closed while two others are shut for regular maintenance, informs Reuters.com
According to CBC.ca after Monday's accident, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told Kansai and six other privately owned utilities to review their inspection records of cooling pipes.
Kansai went further, ordering a temporary shutdown of its 11 plants in western Japan for safety checks.
The company has acknowledged Tuesday that the pipe responsible for the accident at Mihama had not been thoroughly checked, though inspectors warned last year that it could be dangerous.
A Japanese cabinet minister said "punitive action" would likely be taken against Kansai as a result.
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