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Japan's Kansai used possibly falsified Mitsubishi Materials products at reactors

[TOKYO] Japan's Kansai Electric Power said on Wednesday it has used products in important safety equipment at two of its nuclear plants that were supplied by a unit of Mitsubishi Materials Corp with possibly falsified data.

The utility has found it is using rubber seals from Mitsubishi Cable Industries with possible falsified specifications in dozens of locations at its Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants, a spokesman said, confirming Japanese media reports.

The discovery comes after Kansai Electric delayed the restart of one of the nuclear power stations because it needs to make checks on parts supplied by Japan's Kobe Steel, which, like Mitsubishi Materials, is embroiled in a scandal over product specifications.

The utility has told Japan's nuclear regulator that it has not found any immediate safety issues, the spokesman said.

Mitsubishi Materials said last month it had discovered that products with falsified specifications had been sent to more than 300 of its customers.

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That was latest in a slew of scandals to rock Japan's manufacturing industry. Apart from Kobe Steel, similar lapses on specifications have been found at Toray Industries and incorrect final inspection procedures were discovered by automakers Nissan Motor and Subaru.

Kansai Electric's delays and checks on Ohi reactors are further hitches to the protracted reboot of Japan's nuclear sector, shut down in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Kansai Electric does not plan to close down the Takahama station for checks, or expect any additional delays on the restart of Ohi, the spokesman said.


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