Cooling system fails at Fukushima nuclear plant for second time in a month
Friday 05 April 2013
The cooling system for a storage pool for fuel at one of the reactors at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan failed today for the second time in a month, although there was no immediate danger from the breakdown.
Nuclear Regulation Authority spokesman Takahiro Sakuma said an alarm went off in the afternoon about the problem at reactor No. 3. The cause was still under investigation.
The cooling system can be turned off for two weeks before temperatures approach dangerous levels at the spent fuel storage pools, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, the utility that runs Fukushima Dai-ichi in northeastern Japan.
But if the water runs dry, the fuel rods, even spent ones, will emit enormous levels of radiation.
The plant went into multiple meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami damaged backup generators and all cooling systems failed, including those for the reactors. The plant is being decommissioned, but continues to have glitches.
Last month, a power outage led to a cooling system not working for two days, and TEPCO later said it had found a dead rat near a switchboard and suspected that was the cause for the power going out at nine facilities at Fukushima Dai-ichi.
Fears are growing about the safety of nuclear plants, and people have periodically staged street protests that are rare in Japan.
Only two of the nation's 50 working power plants are up, and the government is running beefed up safety checks on the plants, including scrutinising quake faults right below or near the plants.
Shinzo Abe, who became prime minister about three months ago, has expressed a desire to restart nuclear plants. Japan lacks natural resources and relied on nuclear energy for about a third of its electricity needs prior to March 2011. Energy imports have soared over the last two years, putting a strain on the economy.
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Edgar Froese dead: Tangerine Dream founder dies aged 70
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...