Quantcast
Latest Stories

Cooling systems restored at Fukushima reactors—Tepco


JAPAN, OKUMA : This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on April 13, 2012 shows a wrecked 35-ton crane inside a fuel spent pool at the unit three reactor building of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. AFP

TOKYO— Technicians have restored power to all cooling systems at the reactors of Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear plant, the operating company said Wednesday after a blackout sparked a new crisis.

Equipment in pools used to cool used fuel became fully operational from 0:12 am (1512 GMT), some 30 hours after the blackout, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) said.

Used nuclear fuel becomes dangerous if its temperature is allowed to rise uncontrollably to the point where a self-sustaining critical reaction begins, causing a meltdown.

The incident was a reminder of the vulnerable state of the Fukushima plant two years after the tsunami, despite the government’s claim that the reactors are in a “cold shutdown” state and no longer releasing high levels of radiation.

The latest crisis began Monday night with a brief power outage at a building on the plant’s site that serves as the central command for work to contain the nuclear accident and to dismantle the reactors.

The initial glitch cut electricity to the cooling pools at three of four heavily damaged reactors as well as a common pool at 7:00 pm (1000 GMT) on Monday, according to Tepco.

By Tuesday evening engineers had managed to restart cooling systems in the three affected reactor pools, Tepco said.

A separate cooling system for the common pool was restarted just after midnight Wednesday, ending the latest problem, the company said.

“At 0:12 am today (Wednesday), the common pool cooling purification system was restarted,” Tepco said in a statement. “All of the systems have been restarted.”

Tepco has stressed that the glitch was fixed before any lasting damage was caused, saying the temperatures of all the fuel pools remained well below the safety limit of 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit).

Company officials say there has been no major change to the level of radioactivity at nearby monitoring spots.

Monday’s outage knocked out power to nine facilities at the plant, its largest simultaneous electricity failure since it was brought under control in December 2011.

Tepco is yet to identify the cause of the blackout, but suspects a problem with a switchboard.

The firm says the incident did not affect the injection of cooling water into reactors whose cores melted down soon after the start of the 2011 nuclear crisis.

The meltdown of three of Fukushima’s six reactors occurred after an earthquake and huge tsunami on March 11, 2011, which shut off the power supply and cooling system.

Tepco drew flak for playing down the scale of the disaster in the first few months. It has since admitted it had been aware of the potential dangers of a big tsunami but did nothing for fear of the reputational and financial cost.

The latest incident rekindled public concern about whether the politically connected utility is being fully transparent.

Tepco informed the government’s regulatory agency about the blackout shortly after it started, but waited three hours before issuing a public press release.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Fukushima , Nuclear plant , Power crisis , Tepco , Tokyo Electric Power Co.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  2. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  6. Massive infra spending set
  7. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  8. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  9. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  • Gunmen kill 20 at Sudan UN base–US envoy
  • S. Korea ferry rescue stalls as anger spreads
  • Sub dives deeper in hunt for missing MH370
  • US urges Myanmar to ease tensions
  • Sports

  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • LeBron still No. 1 with NBA’s most popular jersey
  • Pacquiao back in PH, heads home to wife, kids
  • Vietnam pulls out of hosting Asian Games due to lack of funds
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Business

  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement