Storm briefly halts cooling system at Onagawa nuclear plant


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Why didn't a backup system cut in immediately? Diesel generators? Battery systems? Has this plant submitted the results of its "stress tests"?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And this was just, respectively, a storm... imagine if it were worse! But I can just see Edano now claiming it is no problem and there was never any danger, and we need the plant to avoid shortages, etc. etc.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ah, but nuclear power is safe, isn't it? NOT!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is not a small issue, this is a big one. I thought by now everybody had learned that the cooling systems are absolutely essential. Are we now learning that they are still relying on external grid power, so that even a frigging storm can interrupt the cooling? Why the heck did the auxiliary system not start up immediately? That would be mind-boggling.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This is of concern that it required in the intervention by plant operators instead of a fully automatic system and had this happened during a powerful earthuake like the one last year then the operators are thinking more about saving their lives and unable to give the plant 100% attention.

A very waek link in these plants is the human one.

The govt are discussing restarting the KEPCO NPPs in Fukui when it`s really not clear how safe these plants really are.

Last year, this plant had a fire in one of the turbine halls from the earthquake.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

The stress tests, at least Pt 1, are just computer simulations that take no account of real-world staff behavior and training, or lack of; and assume that equipment and operators will work as designed and built. Neither do they take into account multiple failures and cascades, as happened at Fukushima, as well as instrumentation and/ or controls not working, as also happened at Fukushima. They were originally written by a European nuclear industry association, so they naturally focus on parameters that they have control over, but should really be examined in the total context of NPP operations.

Some of these back-up generators that have been featured heavily in the IAEA 'test' and pro-nuclear media are just sitting in the grounds of the power plants; they are not integrated properly in the plants' infrastructure, hence the time taken to start them up and connect them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Stress tested! That didn't include wind and rain? Guess that's a FAIL..

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Also on the same general theme, Jiji and some other news sources say that the nitrogen pumps failed for reactors 1-3 at Fukushima. Staff noticed nitrogen flow registering zero. After some time they managed to get some back-up pumps to work.

Nitrogen is pumped in to keep the amount of hydrogen below 4%, thus helping to avoid build-up of hydrogen which can lead to explosions.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most data centers in Japan have better failover facilities. Time to get real!

Don't they do drills for this?

3 ( +3 / -0 )


4 ( +4 / -0 )

should not an alarm go off if something fails in the equipment in Onagawa and Fukushima, can not alarms have a separate energy sources while monitoring systems equipment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh the weather outside is frightful.

But the nukes are so delightful.

Even though we've no H2O

Let It glow, let it glow, let it glow.

10 ( +9 / -0 )

I suppose most of humanity has to learn things the hard way! Seems to me that Japan is a fragile delicate balancing act with clowns clinging to an obscure notion that everything is under control! I started reading JT because of the disaster! It seems though the disaster is those that run the asylum! We can split the atom but cannot accomplish the simple things like safety and reality!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Onagawa has multiple power lines into the site IIRC 4 of them. As others said, why didn't the diesel generators take over, or the batteries? They tried to blame the failures at Fukushima on TEPCO. TEPCO deserves plenty of blame but the operator of Onagawa couldn't handle a storm without an outage. This requires a more detailed explanation. What failed to take out all the power?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some of these back-up generators that have been featured heavily in the IAEA 'test' and pro-nuclear media are just sitting in the grounds of the power plants; they are not integrated properly in the plants' infrastructure, hence the time taken to start them up and connect them.

In the information that was disseminated at the time of the Fukushima accident, three different power systems were described - external "mains" power, diesel generators and battery backup systems. It's not clear to me that these three supplies provided power to the spent fuel pool cooling systems (subject of this article) or only the reactor core cooling systems. One would hope that they do; triple redundancy ought to be a requirement for the spent fuel pools as well as the core, although the consequences of a core overheating are more likely to lead to a major disaster than a spent fuel pool. I used to work in a hospital that had diesel backup power which was regularly tested and supported core systems. I'm astonished if it's true that nuclear reactors don't have tested triple redundancy for their cooling systems.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even the supporters of re-starting these disasters must be at a loss for this one...lost power due to a storm? God forbid or " we didn't plan on a natural phenonamen" happening. As the press release said, it's ok we were shut down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's difficult to know if what happens at one NPP is the same for all NPP's.

I think they all are suppose to have 3-4 off site power supplies for the normal operations. Backup generators to provide limited power to maintain basic emergency systems like cooling for the reactors and spent fuel pools and instrumentation of the plant. Finally, batteries to provide very limited power for cooling the reactors.

At Fukushima,

The emergency generators were located below sea level in a non waterproof location. Swamped by the tsunami.

Many of the main electrical control panels located on ground floor levels in non watertight locations. Swamped by the tsunami.

Cooling pumps for the reactors and cooling pools located on lower levels in non watertight location. Swamped by tsunami.

Cooling pipes twisted and ripped off the walls by the earthquake.

Loss of external power supplies because of total power outages. Loss of one out of three power lines because the earthquake collapsed the pylons.

Loss of external water mains due to power outages. No water no cooling.

The emergency cooling systems needed power, water. pipes, pumps.

The IAEA on their last visit to inspect for the reactor stress tests only visited two NPP's. The TEPCO one in Niigata and the KEPCO Oi plant in Fukui. At the time of the inspection in Fukui photo's were released showing emergency generators on the roadways. I'm confused why they should do that? Don't they already have emergency generators?

I don't believe any reactors are ready for restart unless the safety standards were increased.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No reactors should be restarted, we have paid the price already.

I read that cesium has been detected 600 kilometers out to see from fukushima, will these idiots not be happy untill the whole pacific ocean is polluted with radiactive particles or do you think for 1 tiny fragment of time they may have learnt , or are they just so ignorant as to think it wont happen again?

If there is another nuclear accident i dont think we, let alone the whole nation would be able to recover or deal with it, physically or mentally. Enough is Enough.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's very hard to understand how it could be allowed for a nuclear plant to not have an auto-back up electrical system to keep cooling water flowing onto stored fuel rods..Scary!! The risk of another disaster is just too great! The boat that was a few days ago off the coast of Canada has now moved north into Alaskan waters. IMO this boat must be feared by the US government. Think about it,this is a steel vessel over 150 ft in length and probably packing over one hundred thousand dollars of fuel yet not one salvage company wants to retrieve this vessel and the US and Canadians haven't made any attempt to board the vessel to search for survivors or bodies. There must be great fear of radiation contamination on board. The damaged reactors are still spewing radiation onto the Pacific Ocean,onto the land in Japan, into the air and possibly into the Japanese ground water supply. Please -Please -Please- Japan, press you government into action into upgrading ALL safety systems at All the reactors!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just recently, the nuclear summit declared that the nuclear progression didn't suffer from the Fukushima incident, but rather gained knowledge from it.

Now a common storm knocked out a nuclear station's cooling systems.

Personally, I would say that we indeed learned something out of these disasters: that whatever we do, nature can destroy and undo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


" I don't believe any reactors are ready for restart unless the safety standards were increased. "

I agree. Given that cooling is essential, the engineering must be so that cooling is assured, even when outside power goes down, when pipes get rattled by an earthquake, and when water swamps the plant. If the specifications are set like that, the engineers can meet them.

The anti-nuclear crowd always forgets that the the Fukushima plant met and EXCEEDED its design specifications. The problem is that the specifications where wrong. Relying on outside power always to be there and on backup generators never to get wet was clearly ludicrious.

As is the fact that we now learn that a storm can disrupt the cooling for 20 minutes. I totally agree that the plants should only be commissioned again after this has been fixed. That they STILL rely on outside power after the 3/11 experience, I personally find mind-boggling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If a storm can block normal external electricity supply to a critical Cooling syatem that forms the lifeline of protection to the spent fuel storage tank in the vicinity of a Nuclear reactor,how can any rational person believe that its impact will not cause another Fukushima explosion?After cooling systems are intended to remove residual heat both from the Core of the reactor and its spent fuel storage tanks all the time and no body takes a chance to compromisde with Nuclear plant safety standards as stipulated by the Guide lines furnished b y the International Atomic Energy Authgority. That is why the Chancellor of Germany,Ms.Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Japan confirmed that Nuclear safety is a pure Myth.While alternate sources of Energy are available i n plenty in India,the Vested interests in parliament including the prime Minister and Chief Ministers of states are all the time propagating that Nuclear power is safe and it is the only Energy that promotes National development. Nuclear Energy structure is resting onthe foundation of most poinous rocks cemented with bundles of mortar of lies that make Goebbel s war propaganda fade into insignificance.Every citizen of thde world must fight to save man and Nature by getting all the existing weapons and reactors dismantled if we have justify our existence as human beings because man is a rational animal and unless we use our humane brains to protect the interests of our progeny,we cannot expect future generations to brand us as human beings but treat us as wild and cruel animals of the wild forests.see web sites:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How harmless Uranium ore materials in nature are converted into destructive and killer materials by man can be understood by the following simple example. For instance king cobras live in nature in anthills in forestsand lead their normal life peacefully by catching their prey for food during nights But greedy people go and poke their iron rods into their abodes and disturb the Cobras when they become angry and bite the trespassers to inflict death over them by their poisons. Similarly, the selfish people are mining the harmless Uranium and converting it into harmful Enriched Uranium and then using it to produce electricity by means of the Nuclear plants and in the process they are producing Radioactive pollutants that poison man and nature slowly due to routine releases of radioactivity into the environment .In course of time if an accident occurs in the Nuclear plant due to several reasons like in Fukushima or Chernobyl, the poisonous pollutants are thrown into the atmosphere and they kill thousands of people slowly and inflict cancer to millions of people living downstream upto hundreds of Kilometers as in case of Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents. The Nuclear plant operators are misleading the public by stating that Nuclear power is safe and cheap just like the medical representatives of various pharmaceutical companies praise before the doctors about the virtues of their medical tablets and tonics as part of their sale promotion activity the nuclear authorities are praising the nuclear plants as safe and cheap energy producers which is wrong. This misinformation is dangerous to public health and welfare because in European states almost all people agree that safety of Nuclear (power is a Myth as accepted by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. She had consulted the genuine experts on nuclear plants and realized that nuclear safety is a myth and ordered for gradual closure of all the nuclear plants in Germany. Subhashini

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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