You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

World

  • 2 officers killed, 107 Islamists arrested in Egypt
    CAIRO (AP) — Two senior Egyptian army officers were killed early this morning as security forces arrested more than 100 Islamists ahead of planned anti-government demonstrations.
  • Mexico president announces anti-crime crackdown
    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's president announced a nationwide anti-crime plan Thursday that would allow Congress to dissolve local governments infiltrated by drug gangs and give state authorities control over often-corrupt municipal police.
  • Fugitive New Zealand killer deported from Brazil
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A convicted killer and pedophile from New Zealand who fled to Brazil while on temporary release from prison was deported today from the South American country.
Advertisement

Fukushima nuclear plant's cooling system fails

TOKYO – The cooling system for a storage pool for fuel at one of the reactors at the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant in Japan failed on Friday for the second in a month, although there was no immediate danger from the breakdown.

Nuclear Regulation Authority spokesman Takahiro Sakuma said an alarm went off in the afternoon about the problem at reactor No. 3. The cause was still under investigation.

The cooling system can be turned off for two weeks before temperatures approach dangerous levels at the spent fuel storage pools, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, the utility that runs Fukushima Dai-ichi in northeastern Japan.

But if the water runs dry, the fuel rods, even spent ones, will spew enormous levels of radiation.

The plant went into multiple meltdowns after the March 2011 tsunami damaged backup generators and all cooling systems failed, including those for the reactors. The plant is being decommissioned, but continues to have glitches.

Last month, a power outage led to a cooling system not working for two days, and TEPCO later said it had found a dead rat near a switchboard and suspected that was the cause for the power going out at nine facilities at Fukushima Dai-ichi.

Fears are growing about the safety of nuclear plants, and people have periodically staged streets protests that are rare in Japan.

Only two of the nation’s 50 working power plants are up, and the government is running beefed up safety checks on the plants, including scrutinizing quake faults right below or near the plants.

Shinzo Abe, who became prime minister about three months ago, has expressed a desire to restart nuclear plants. Japan lacks natural resources and relied on nuclear energy for about a third of its electricity needs prior to March 2011. Energy imports have soared over the last two years, putting a strain on the economy.

Advertisement