13 Mars 2012
March 13, 2012
S.Korean nuclear plant lost power for 12 minutes
A South Korean nuclear regulator says a reactor at a nuclear power plant in the country had no electricity for 12 minutes last month.
The Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said on Tuesday that the accident took place at the number one reactor at the Kori plant in Busan.
The institute said electricity was lost for 12 minutes from shortly after eight thirty PM on February 9th when the plant was undergoing a regular inspection.
Inspections and repairs were underway at the reactor for exchanging nuclear fuel when the power went out. An emergency diesel generator also did not work.
The commission said the reactor was halted but that a storage pool for spent fuel and facilities to cool the reactors were operating.
The plant's operator did not file a report about the outage until Monday, more than one month after the incident.
The reactor began operating in 1978 with a time limit of 30 years set for its operation. But the government later extended the limit.
The accident last March at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan worsened because all power at the facility was lost. The commission is taking the latest occurrence seriously and has sent investigators to the plant to look into the cause.
US: Nebraska nuclear plant fire was serious threat
US nuclear regulators say a fire that knocked out the cooling system for spent fuel at a nuclear plant in Nebraska last year represented a serious safety threat.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a preliminary report on Monday into the fire at the Fort Calhoun plant last June.
The report says the plant operator could have prevented the fire if it had investigated an unusual smell coming from an electric breaker 3 days earlier.
The fire caused a loss of power that knocked out the system to cool spent nuclear fuel for about 90 minutes.
However, the report says temperatures never exceeded safe levels as the plant had been shut down for refueling maintenance from about 2 months earlier.
US nuclear regulators are keen to avoid any nuclear accident, drawing lessons from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.