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Release: February 10, 2005

NGK Reports Fire at NAS Battery Plant

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. (President & COO: Shun Matsushita; Head Office: Nagoya, Aichi, Japan) announced that a fire broke out on February 7 at NAS (sodium sulfur) Battery plant on the premises of NGK's Komaki plant. (Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture)

NGK hereby informs of the incident and the company's response to it, as well as extends its deepest apology for causing much concern.

On February 7, at 11:05 a.m., a fire started from one battery module during its withstand voltage test in a room for testing battery modules at the NAS battery plant. Accordingly, the testing was stopped and the 119 (Fire Department) call was made. At 2:30 p.m., the fire department and NGK decided to let the fire go out on its own as it got almost under control, and they started monitoring the situation. Although one battery module was burned out, the fire caused no injuries or damages to buildings or the environment in the neighborhood. A fire department's "guidance vehicle" went around the neighbors to inform them of the incident and ensure them that they were safe. On February 8, an accident investigation committee was formed with Mr. Takayoshi Mizutani as the chairman to investigate the cause of the fire and to discuss measures preventing it from happening again. As of today (February 10, 4 p.m.), NGK confirmed that the interior temperature of the burnt battery module has dropped to 180°C. As sodium and sulfur inside the battery module becomes solid and stops reacting at about 100°C, the fire department will start looking into the cause of the fire when the interior temperature falls to 100°C, which is considered to be around February 13.

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