New power failure at Fukushima Nuclear Plant: Nothing to see here


by David Safier

On Monday, crucial cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the one hit by the 2011 tsunami creating the second largest nuclear plant disaster in history, were knocked out for 30 hours. The power company says there was no danger, because it takes 4 days for the fuel to reach dangerously high temperatures. Others aren't so sure it was nothing to worry about.

[T]he cutoff of the vital systems appeared to support fears by some experts and critics that the plant remains dangerous in part because some vital safety systems were makeshift fixes devised at the height of the nuclear crisis.

The latest information says the blackout was caused by a rat that they think chewed on the cables of a switchboard and short-circuited the system. A blackout caused by a rat is the definition of a system without the necessary safeguards.

The affected cooling system is there to keep the temperature of the spent fuel pools low. The system "still relies on makeshift cooling systems, some of which were built as stopgap measures in the frantic weeks and months after the accident." The fact that these systems are still makeshift two years later is frightening.

In other news,

A fish caught near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant last month [in February] now officially holds the dubious honor of being the world's most radioactive marine life ever tested, according to the Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the plant and has been testing marine life in the area.


  1. I guess they’ve never heard of conduit or proper panel construction. There are so many idiotic things you hear about with nukes. From major reactor components being installed backwards (with the ‘north’ sign pointing south!) to operators ignoring visible corrosion on reactor heads, the industry is just one error away from disaster. The wrong error will ruin your day. And the region around you.
    A small collection of such errors is at the subsidiary blog of this one, at: