Workers at Fukushima Daiichi lost cooling to unit 6 for 2 hours today. They were performing a test for an emergency diesel generator when they turned off a power panel. This caused the reactor to lose cooling for 2 hours. This is a highly abnormal situation where they lost both power sources resulting in a loss of cooling for such an extended period of time. The long time frame indicates there may have been equipment damage TEPCO is not disclosing.
Unit 6 was in shut down when the 2011 earthquake and tsunami hit. It did not suffer a meltdown and still has a full load of fuel in the reactor from 2011. Had the reactor lost cooling for 2 hours under other circumstances such as operation or a recent shutdown it could have had catastrophic consequences if they had been unable to operate any cooling system for 2 hours.
This incident shows TEPCO’s inability to safely manage a reactor. TEPCO blames the workers for failing to take necessary measures to prevent the cooling loss. The ultimate responsibility goes back to TEPCO’s management for not having procedures and training in place to prevent such a problem.
Mayors and the Governor of the area near Kashiwazaki Kariwa should take note of this incident as TEPCO continues to pressure them for permission to restart their nuclear plant in that area.
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