Rat ‘may have caused latest Fukushima power outage’

A rat has been fingered with the blame for a prolonged power outage at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant this week. Japanese energy firm Tepco said a rodent could have gnawed […]

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By Vicky Ellis

A rat has been fingered with the blame for a prolonged power outage at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant this week.

Japanese energy firm Tepco said a rodent could have gnawed at a cable or the switchboard causing it to short-circuit on Monday. This led to a 30-hour power loss for the cooling systems which pumped water to the spent nuclear fuel rods. Power was restored yesterday.

The firm has now released an image which appears to show a small dead animal lying in the switchboard unit (pictured).

Masayuki Ono, a Tepco spokesman told the AFP news agency: “We have deeply worried the public, but the system has been restored.”

The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant suffered a triple meltdown in 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami took out some of its power systems, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.