Title: Typhoon Soulik shuts down Jinshan nuclear power plant in Taiwan
Author: Lucas W Hixson
Date: July 15, 2013
Typhoon Soulik stuck Taiwan over the weekend with winds over 100 miles per hour, equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane, so strong in fact that it took out a nuclear reactor twice at the Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant.
Early Saturday morning, the strong winds knocked out emergency systems at the Unit 2 reactor which are designed to reduce the likelihood of lightning directly striking the reactor building, which lead to an automatic shutdown of the reactor. After restarting the reactor, neutron readings in the core began increasing to levels so high they led to another emergency shutdown while repairs were still being carried out on the lightning protection system. [...]
The events at Jinshan leave the reader with many questions. Did the typhoon cause the nuclear power plant to suffer a loss of ultimate heat sink, as witnessed at Fukushima Daiichi? Did the emergency systems adequately cool the reactor core while the intake was blocked or clogged, or was the increase in neutron levels due to increased boiling or rapidly decreasing water levels in the reactor? [...]
Published: July 15th, 2013 at 7:43 pm ET