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Rat to blame?

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The carcass of a small animal inside the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on Thursday.— PHOTO: AP
The carcass of a small animal inside the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant on Thursday.— PHOTO: AP

A rat may have been to blame for a power cut that knocked out cooling systems at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, said the operator, in an episode that highlighted the jerry-rigged nature of the fix.

Equipment keeping used nuclear fuel at a safe temperature in four different pools was out for up to 39 hours from Monday, with Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) admitting their recovery work was sometimes less than perfect.

The incident served as a reminder of the precarious state of the plant two years after the tsunami which sparked meltdowns in three reactors, spewing radiation over the land and sea and forcing tens of thousands from their homes. “We suspect a small animal may have caused a short circuit in a switchboard” leading to the outage and disabling cooling systems for spent fuel pools, said a spokesman. — AFP


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