Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) investigation into the cause of the blackout at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has apparently led them to finding the carcass of a rat near the makeshift switchboard. However, they are still determining if this was the exact culprit that led to the 30-hour power outage at the spent-fuel pool cooling systems.
The switchboard, which runs the cooling systems at the pools of reactors 3 and 4 and a common pool in another building, had burn marks which they assume was caused by the rat gnawing on the equipment. TEPCO admits that they have not done anything to prevent creatures from getting into their equipment. In fact, the switchboard is located at the back of a truck that has been parked outside the building since May 2011, although TEPCO claims they’re planning to switch to a more permanent one by the end of March. The reactor 1 has a separate electrical system but on the day of the blackout, it was connected to this makeshift switchboard due to other multiple tasks.
TEPCO says it has already restarted all of the nine facilities that were affected by the power outage by Tuesday midnight, just 24 hours after the blackout. This includes an installation to remove radioactive substances from water used to cool the inactive, crippled reactors. By Wednesday, the water temperature at the common pool was at 31.8 degrees while at reactor 4 spent-fuel pool it was 31 degrees and 17 degrees in the reactor 1 and 3 fuel pools. These temperatures are between 1-6.3 degrees higher than before the blackout. Tepco spokesman Masayuki Ono said they expect the temperature to go down to normal levels in a few days.
[ via Telegraph UK ]
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