Well, TEPCO is pointing fingers at a rat as the likely cause of the power outage which has now been resolved.
If this was, indeed, caused by a rat of the rodent variety, it just serves to illustrate the potential dangers of long-term mothballing of closed nuclear facilities.
I remember Fairewinds Associates’ Arnie Gundersen describing exactly this scenario a couple of years ago at a UVM forum.
What happens when you or I don’t pay our electrical bill? After a certain grace period, we find ourselves standing in the dark.
What happens when a giant corporation fails to pay its electric bill?
There is a rumor circulating that TEPCO, owner-operators of the infamously troubled Fukushima Daiichi, facility may be finding that out right now.
On Monday evening, a brief power outtage at the command center was followed by black-outs at three of the seven fuel storage pools, and in “other facilities.”
The latest published information I could find online could not predict when the problem would be resolved:
The source of the blackout has still not been discovered and until then, the utility will not restore power to the cooling systems. The nuclear fuel in the pools will remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water. The temperature should not exceed beyond 65 C to still be considered safe. They reported the temperature of the water at the Nos 1, 3 and 4 units between 13.7 C and 25 C by 4PM on Monday. The No 4 spent fuel pool stores 1,533 fuel assemblies while another cooling system at another pool in a different building has 6,377 fuel assemblies.
Small comfort…”will remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water.”
If the deadbeat rumor is true, it is just further confirmation that the Japanese nuclear industry’s culture of corruption and incompetence continues to menace that island nation, while officials deliberately mislead the public in order to save their own bacon.