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Five dislodged control rods probably caused a 7 1/2-hour criticality accident at a Fukushima nuclear plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in 1978, an internal probe by the utility and the reactor’s builder, Toshiba Corp., revealed Thursday.

A probe also uncovered two more cases where a control rod dislodged from a reactor core at the No. 1 plant in Fukushima Prefecture — the plant’s No. 5 reactor in February 1979 and its No. 2 reactor in September 1980. None of the cases was apparently reported to the government, Japan’s largest electric power firm said.

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