Power still not restored at Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool and Common Fuel Pool — No fresh cooling water for over a day — Tepco: Extremely sorry it took so long to announce blackout

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 10:38 am ET


Enformable, March 19, 2013 at 9:56a ET: TEPCO still unable to restore power at all affected facilities […] After further investigation, TEPCO announced that the switch gear in the process building, common fuel pool, and Unit 3 and Unit 4 switchgear had been found to be not operable. Workers were unable to determine what caused the boards to stop functioning, as no visible damage was found.  They later repaired two of the boards, but are currently using an emergency power generator to restore cooling for the Unit 4 spent fuel pool while the Unit 3 spent fuel pool and common fuel pool are still not restored. […]

AFP: Engineers at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant partially succeeded Tuesday in restarting cooling systems after a power cut underlined its still-precarious state two years after a tsunami struck. […] Power was restored to part of the equipment […] The system on the pool at reactor 3 will likely return to full operation Tuesday evening […] A separate cooling system for a common pool is expected to be back online at 8:00 am on Wednesday […]

AP: Power partially restored at crippled Japanese nuclear plant […] Power has been restored to two fuel storage pools at Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant, but two others have been without fresh cooling water for more than a day, raising concerns about the fragility of a facility that still runs on makeshift equipment. […] The current power outage is a test for TEPCO to show if it has learned anything from the disaster. […]

The Japan Times: Tokyo Electric Power Co. said repairs to fully recover the cooling functions of the fuel pools at reactors 1, 3 and 4 would be completed by Tuesday evening, while another huge common fuel pool would be fully functional by 8 a.m. Wednesday. […]

Asahi: Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi told TEPCO to restore the operations as soon as possible. He also scolded the company for the delay in disclosing the latest problem at the stricken nuclear plant. TEPCO announced the power outage more than three hours after it occurred. “We thought we had better make a report after confirming and summarizing the situation at the facilities,” a TEPCO official said. “We are extremely sorry because it took us so long.” […]

Watch NHK’s latest broadcast here

Published: March 19th, 2013 at 10:38 am ET


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  3. Blackout at Fukushima Daiichi — Cooling at fuel pools stopped March 18, 2013
  4. Reactors No. 5 and 6 were NOT in cold shutdown after quake, implies report by US nuclear industry — Cooling at Spent Fuel Pool No. 5 stopped until cables installed — Fresh fuel had been loaded into both reactors November 13, 2011
  5. VIDEO: Wreckage crashes into nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima Unit 3 — Officials not reporting if damaged, but “will continue monitoring regularly” — Cooling in pool interrupted September 2, 2014

44 comments to Power still not restored at Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool and Common Fuel Pool — No fresh cooling water for over a day — Tepco: Extremely sorry it took so long to announce blackout

  • ion jean ion jean

    Emergency power temporary for sfp4 and no power for MOX spent fuel or over 6,000 in common pool? Really?

    • Arizonan Arizonan

      Yes, it is extraordinary. Nice we are to remain calm when they only have 4 days to 2 weeks to avoid armageddon. Wierd.

      • Au Au

        Yes, it is so wierd that I just went on a bender and had a beautiful berry crepe with whipped cesium cream and a double shot espresso Americano with half and half and I think I'll make BLTs for dinner with extra bacon on white GMO bread, spread with Miracle Whip (who knows what's in that white stuff). Hec, let's put some potato chips on the side. Why not?! But, first we'll have Iodine in pure water. Let that absorb for 15 minutes. Then some enzymes to help digest it all.

        I'll save the juicing for tomorrow. Maybe it will be a celebratory Green Juice drink. Fingers crossed.

  • ion jean ion jean

    If these pools are overloaded they would heat faster, no?

    • hbjon hbjon

      Yes, and if the pools have damaged fuel in them they would overheat. Some pools have fresher fuel in them and that will reduce the time it would take for it to boil. It's been a while, I've almost forgotten that the fuel has melted and sits a half mile beneath the reactors. It gets more and more difficult to produce comic relief. Who's day is it to be funny?

      • CB CB

        Yaaawwwnnnnn. Boring.

        • hbjon hbjon

          The U.S. goes to the U.N. and Files a " Cease and Desist " on Tepco operations. The situation goes into UN receivership the next day. Enough time has passed for investers to run for the exit doors.

        • hbjon hbjon

          I appreciate the enthusiasm but if your a hammer and you treat all problems like their nails, this has now become a good job for you. Time to send in the A team. Let's put our closer in their. Indeed, now is the time for our ace in the hole to work some magic. Sure some people will get hurt. Some equipment will get wrecked. It won't be easy, but for the love of everything good and wholesome on this earth, would you pay a penny for a fish that thinks? Sure you would. Let's do this. Let's getter done. Inventers? Start inventing. Guards? Stand guard. Workers? Work hard. Slobbering, pathetic Tepco? Get out of the way.

      • My turn, although I might have written the headline differently, something like:


        Blackout Halts Cooling System at Fukushima Plant
        Published: March 19, 2013

        "TOKYO — Two pools for storing spent nuclear fuel remained without vital cooling systems more than 24 hours after a partial power failure at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan on Tuesday, the operator said. The company said it had restored the flow of cooling water to two other pools also affected by the blackout.

        The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said temperatures in the two uncooled pools still remain well within safe levels. It said its engineers were trying to repair a faulty switchboard that it blamed for the outage that began on Monday night, halting pumps that inject cooling water into the four pools located near the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors."

      • We Not They Finally

        WE should never have bombed Hiroshima or Nagasaki. This is the revenge….The only question for the world..How much time is left?
        In my bucket list…..To live long enough to be alive at the end.
        Its all about transmigration of souls..Those who have no souls. will stay here forever floating in the milky way along with what is left of the earth…

    • We Not They Finally

      Apparently we are co-dependent in the destruction of the only home we have known Earth…I have decided not to bother to seek remedy by confirming the obvious that its only a matter of a very short time.There are two facts i will mention:That we are watching the food chain die and that the end will start with the unborn than move to babies and then up the age chain.Then soon life will no longer be supported in North America and then gradually the whole world……….Apparently Japan is going along with the "Plan" Rats chewing though wires of the cooling
      system that is left.

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    Yahoo has this to say about the situation. Atleast there is some public media news on fukushima for a change. Ofcourse they show a mostly intact spent fuel pool in the yahoo picture instead of the mess that really exists. Nevertheless, more media exposure is always welcomed.


  • This just of the press! from bellona

    Blackout Halts Fukushima power! – Outage to spent nuclear fuel storage ponds partially restored

    ….“This is an unstable situation that will continue to be so for several years until fuel is removed from the plant to safe storage,” said Bellona’s nuclear physicist and General Manager Nils Bøhmer, who, with other Bellona staff, returned from Fukushima on Friday…..


    And maybe the chinese have started to get the idea too?

    China Suspends Nuclear Power Plant Approval – Bad news for uranium shares!

    Chai Guohan, chief engineer of nuclear safety and radiation at the MEP, said China’s nuclear power industry is running short on management personnel, and the expansion has made already-scarce human capital even thinner.

    He added that legislative framework of nuclear safety practices needs to be improved, with emphasis given to updating laws, not just regulations……


    however tepco plan to complete in 3 days and the pool starts boiling 63degrees in four days,, cutting it a bit close huh?

  • mungo mungo

    Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has restored the cooling systems for spent fuel pools at 3 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

    It still has to restore the cooling system for a shared pool that stores the largest number of spent fuel rods.


  • Replacant Replacant

    Is where we bring out Alfred E Newman so he can say "what me worry?" with a background of fuel pools steaming. With the scare north Korea launching missiles and testing nuclear weapons, what would it take to let the MSM know that the biggest nuclear threat to the US is Japan? Specifically the loss of power to the spent fuel pools this week, and next week and until they unload the seismically rated 0 buildings that hold this spent fuel? North America is already headed for a cancer rise just from the initial accident, but if those collapse..I know Im preaching to the choir, just so damn frustrating, no backup power 2 years into the accedent really?

  • weeman

    BBC reporting power outage at Fukushima also showed a chicken in China laying huge eggs, one had two yokes and a complete shelled egg inside one egg, looked real but you never know with the Chinese, did not pick up on location and have never heard of that before, seems strange any egg farmers ever heard or seen this and the beat goes on.

  • nedlifromvermont

    Keep it up 'newsers … never stop uttering the truth however it comes out … humor … anger … it is all nuanced … and additive … the nuclear shame runs deep, through all of us; we have been deeply lied to and betrayed by our corporate/military/political leaders since the 1940's … all in an effort to protect the interests of a war machine, the A-bomb, which was authorized to fight Hitler … that is where this terrible industry was born ..

    Hitler is gone, but the fascist nucleocratic state built on the back of the Manhattan project lives on … only for its own benefit …

    The guilty at GE have long ago moved on, having sold out the nuclear portfolio to the Japanese … but still they will not admit complicity in their actions to built the nucleocratic State.

    In Omaha, Nebraska, all five mayoral candidates are pro-nuke … this is the situation Japan voters faced in the last election … no anti-nuke candidate to vote for, so democracy fails …

    The nuclear fascist regime has paid dearly for their deception and lies … on all our behalves … and they will not go quietly or easily … despite our best logic and most outrageous charges …

    They paid for a workforce to extoll their dastardly deeds, and they have corrupted science at most major universities to further their Mephistophelian goals … truly the story of Marlowe's Faust come to life ..

    peace …

  • amberlight amberlight

    Point of irony: So many family members and people I know are sick and disabled. They have so many medical issues that when I try to talk to them about nuclear fallout, GMOs, etc., they say they have no time to worry about any of that.


  • datura17

    apparently eggs within eggs can happen. not sure why.
    a google search for 'egg within egg'
    spits back a lot, news articles, snopes, videos…

  • We Not They Finally

    Love the "extremely sorry that it took so long" part. They're sorry that it took THREE HOURS? It was over a year before they admitted MELTDOWNS. Were they even the ones who released the news? Three hours would be a huge rush for them — not their style at all.

  • We Not They Finally

    Quoting TEPCO in The Republic:

    "Fukushima Dai-ichi still runs on makeshift equipment, and we are trying to switch to something more permanent and dependable, which is more desirable," he said.

    …."The Unit 3 and 4 reactors share a makeshift switchboard that sits on the back of a truck, but an upgrade to a permanent, safer location is being planned later this month. Reactor cooling water pumps also sit on the back of a truck, with hoses traveling several kilometers (miles) to reach the reactors."

    The controls for cooling the reactors enough to prevent Armaggedon are "makeshift" and "SIT ON THE BACK OF A TRUCK"? Are they freaking kidding???

  • We Not They Finally

    AP gave the exact same quotes. No one is even blinking. A multi-billion dollar industry claims to be protecting the world with "makeshift equipment" from out of "the back of a truck" and no one is even blinking.

  • IMHO, there should be an emergency meeting held at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) (of which Japan is NOT a member) RIGHT NOW! In this meeting, a code red global, worldwide emergency should be immediately declared in Fukushima, Japan. Then, in response to that emergency, UN Troops should swiftly move in and immediately take over the entire Fukushima prefecture and immediately declare it a United Nations territory. All TEPCO executives, managers and non-critical engineers deemed "useless" are to be immediately arrested and indefinitely detained in a top secret offshore United Nations detainment center located somewhere outside of Japan.

    The United Nations will then take over all operations and management and then proceed to resolve the current power issue and continue for the next 50 years or more (however long it takes) in fully resolving all other problems and decommissioning all of the Fukushima power plants. United Nations troops should forever be posted at the Fukushima power plant site, and at other strategic locations nearby Fukushima. These troops should be fully armed and ready to shoot anyone on site at any and all times.

    Finally, a permanent United Nations military base should be constructed at the power plant site and it should be kept fully staffed and operational 24/7, 365 days a year from right now until forevermore.

    • We Not They Finally

      Wow. That's all assuming that no one can even get close enough without getting fried?

      • Thank you We Not They Finally. Yeah I should have written something like this:

        "These troops should be fully armed and ready to arrest and/or shoot any suspicious individuals on site at all times. Only visitors on official business will be granted entry to the facilities."

        but I hit the submit button, thinking I could edit it later but NOPE! Oh well. Thanks again.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      The U.N.? I don't know, Rod. That's probably the only organization on earth more useless and incompetent than TEPCO.

      I remember when Belgium's former slave-state, Rwanda, started going south on them. The majority Hutu people – mostly dirt farmers – rebelled against the small Rwandan Tutsi aristocracy that Belgium used to control them. The Hutus reversed the former apartheid system to punish the Tutsis instead. That was somewhere in the 1960's – most of the Tutsis fled.

      The Tutsis came back in 1990 to reclaimm their master-race position. The U.N. had intervened in 1993 and sent in 2,500 troops to maintain some kind of truce they negotiated.

      The Tutsis had no intention of fighting a military war so the truce was meaningless. By 1993, they only wanted to hack every Hutu they could find to death with machetes: genocide. Many Hutu families sought refuge in the U.N. camps when the Tutsis started their mass slaughter. U.N. troops did nothing. The U.N. bailed out after a few of the Belgian 'peacekeepers' were killed. Tutsis swarmed in the abandoned U.N. camps and killed every Hutu they found.

      The biggest loss of life in one day during WWII was over 100,000 Tokyo residents during a U.S. firebombing. The Tutsis managed to kill 80,000 Hutus in one day – mostly with machetes. 800,000 Hutus in 100 days. The U.N. finally showed back up months later. They were arguing about what color to paint the APCs.

      • Thank you PavewayIII. Yeah, I wrote the above as a kind of wishful thinking exercise. But if things keep spiraling downward as they are, I can see some kind of foreign intervention happening in the mid term, and you are right on as it would take too damn long and cost too much to involve the UN. Well, let's hope that it does not come to that, but it could. Thanks again.

    • dharmasyd dharmasyd

      U.N. guards for NPPs? Never happen! Even though the U.S. doesn't pay it's dues to the U.N., the U.S. owns the U.N. The U.S., Obama, Republicans, and most Denocrats LOVE nuclear power. Obama will never renounce one of his main mentors, Excelon Energy, the nuclear energy company at which Obama's former Chief of Staff, David Axelrod, went back to work after leaving the White House.

      • Thank you dharmasyd. You're right on and it would never be the UN, even though it should be if things were to get much worse and really require foreign intervention. Probably it won't happen, but if things get really bad, then there may have to be some kind of brief US military intervention that would include top scientists et al. And if that were to actually happen, it would be totally classified.

  • the site-light is yellow when on backup generators… they only have on generator there… and from what I heard.. 2 of the 3 main power station control boards are fixable.. the third one is complete fragged.. needs replacement.. they direct-shorted the lines feeding the site.. and THEY WENT DOWN ! There were flashes from the high-volt towers feeding the site yesterday… That says blown transformers off site.. and other plants at other locations also lost off-site power as well.

    • andagi andagi

      Dear Mark,
      Thanks for these links. They give depth and perspective.
      Just as an aside, it seems to me that there's a lot of 'fatigue' going around lately. Are we in the US feeling the effects from all this radiation?
      Take good care.

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    First, TEPCO tries to kill everyone on earth by hooking up *two* nuclear power plants to crumbling substation build directly over the Futuba fault. The Shin-Fukushima substation was junk and shook apart during the quake blacking out TWO nuclear power plants.

    Then they design the plant so the power turbines are on the ocean side. Safer? Nope – cheaper. Pipes are expensive.

    Which also encourages them to put all the power switchgear close to the turbines. In the basement. Below sea level. Safer? Nope – cheaper. Wire is expensive.

    TEPCO's curious engineering initiates a disaster – Shin-Fukushima failed during the earthquake blacking out Daiichi and Daiini. So they promise (you can trust TEPCO) to fix up the power distribution at Diichi this way:


    Which is just a mini- and cheaper version of what they had before, but with even less redundancy and more failure points. And all dependent on a single emergency generator, I guess.

    Today, they claim to have this non-redundant, unreliable rat's nest that just failed:


    This looks like something they would hack together in a third-world nation. Why hasn't Japan disbanded that incompetent monopoly and jailed the executives? The skinflints are trying to patch up Daiichi on the cheap and the disaster isn't even over.

  • nedlifromvermont

    that about says it all, PavewayIII … you seem to have a way with words in things nuclear …

    … …

    can't say as I have much to add …

    Where is the manufacturer, GE?

    Hiding in a closet?

    peace …

  • We Not They Finally

    This is a brand new scene from Dr Strangelove and how we learned to love the bomb….This is the last scene actually where perhaps the world blows up."We will meet again dont know where dont know when but well meet again some lovely day."

    Well as Albert Einstein said to paraphrase that one would have to be insane to heat water with nuclear energy…