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Case of alleged break-in at nuke plant sent to prosecutors.

SAPPORO, July 20 Kyodo

Hokkaido police sent to prosecutors Wednesday the case of alleged break-ins by 24 people into the premises of a nuclear power plant of Hokkaido Electric Power Co. in May for collecting bamboo shoots and other edible wild plants.

The 24 people -- three collectors of edible wild plants and 21 part-timers hired by them -- are suspected of braving a 2.5-meter high barbed-wire fence around the premises of the Tomari nuclear power plant in Tomari, Hokkaido, at around 4 a.m. on May 20 by climbing the trees nearby.

They were alleged to have collected edible wild plants for a few hours in the area surrounding the premises which is under security and surveillance monitoring for antiterrorism measures.

The power company, however, designated the premises as a ''surrounding monitoring area'' where it voluntarily keeps vigilance.

The alleged trespassing was detected by a nuclear power plant worker who alerted the police.

Hokkaido Electric initially said it could not answer any question about the alleged incident because of security concerns. But in late June, President Tatsuo Kondo admitted to the intrusion and said the company will take steps to prevent a similar incident.
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Publication:Japan Energy Scan
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Aug 26, 2005
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