Another day, another power failure at Fukushima


by David Safier

The_three_stooges_a_plumbing_we_will_go_1To recap: Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a tsunami 2 years ago, knocking out the plant and spilling all kinds of dangerous radiation into the environment. Surely the highly competent Japanese engineers have had plenty of time to stabilize the system, right?

How do you say "Three Stooges" in Japanese?

Last month, cooling systems at the power plant were knocked out for 30 hours because a rat got into a switchboard, gnawed into a cable and short-circuited the system. They know, because they found a fried rat at the scene of the crime.

Now they're trying to fix the rat problem by installing wire nets. (Let's pause for a moment here to note: a disabled state-of-the-art nuclear power plant is putting up wire nets to catch rats so they won't chew up the electrical cables and create another nuclear disaster.) But one of the nets caused another power outage Friday. They took care of it in a few hours. Nothing to see here, folks.

After two years, according to the Times, Fukushima nuclear plant is "debris-strewn" and "still relies on makeshift cooling systems, some of which were hastily put together in the accident’s frantic aftermath."

From Reuters, we learn that Tokyo Electric Power Co. just reported a leak of 120 tons of radioactive water from a storage tank. The company didn't say how long the tank has been leaking but assured us the radioactivity won't reach the sea. Which is a good thing, because they caught a fish near Fukushima in February that has the honor of being the most radioactive marine life ever tested, so there's plenty of radioactivity out there already.