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Japan Power Hardware

Fukushima Cooling Knocked Offline By... a Rat 123

necro81 writes "The cooling system at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, responsible for keeping the spent fuel pools at an appropriate temperature, lost power early on March 18th. During the blackout, the temperature in the spent fuel pools gradually increased, although TEPCO officials indicated the pools could warm for four days without risking radiation release. Power was restored earlier this morning, and the pools should be back to normal temperature in a few days. During the repairs, the charred remains of a rat were found in a critical area of wiring, leading some to believe that this rodent was the cause of this latest problem. At least it wasn't a mynock — then we'd really be in trouble."
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Fukushima Cooling Knocked Offline By... a Rat

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  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @03:51PM (#43226881)

    Well, your stove hopefully isn't containing radioactive waste.

  • A little humility (Score:3, Insightful)

    by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @03:55PM (#43226923)

    Nature is very good at serving us humility in small bite size portions that can bring great things down. Events like this should remind us that we are mere stewards of the planet and that the rest of the ecosystem will happily take over the best laid plans we have if we let our guard down even a little.

    No matter how well you design something nature can and will find a way to get in, and it is arrogance in the extreme to assume otherwise. About the only way to avoid something like that is to have a clean room environment, and I'm quite certain that you can't fit a nuclear power plant inside a clean room.

  • Re:Not true. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @04:10PM (#43227063)

    I don't believe they exist.

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @04:22PM (#43227203)

    Mistakes, bugs or rodent problems are understandable. But c'mon, we're talking about nuclear power here. I expect at least some redundancy and fail-safety. Unless we're talking about some soviet era facility, I guarantee you that you'll never hear about such a problem on any other nuclear power plant in the world. It's like they didn't learn anything from two years ago. And Tepco is one of the most well-funded companies in Japan. Lack of money and staff shouldn't be a problem. As a guy who lives in Japan I hate Tepco. Thanks to them my power bill is freaking expensive and yet they can't even do a decent job. What a disgrace to Japan.

    How much redundancy do you need in a system that stays at safe levels for 4 days after a failure?

    I can see having full double or triple redundancy for systems that will result in unsafe conditions in hours or minutes, but for 4 days?

  • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @04:39PM (#43227401)

    Nah man, they may be a bit parasitic but they're not enemies, they love us - no other species creates nearly the mountains of delicious food waste and cozy warm walls to live in. Sure, they extract a bit of a tithe in grain and property damage, but in exchange they clean up a lot of our waste and share all sorts of cool things like bubonic plague that we might never discover on our own..

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.