A rat caused a battery charger to break down in an emergency gas turbine generator vehicle at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant, the latest rodent-related problem to hit Tokyo Electric Power Co.
The rat is believed to have entered the vehicle through a 3- to 4-centimeter opening for cables and then shorted a switchboard, a TEPCO official said July 3.
The No. 2 plant is located just south of the company’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The gas turbine generator vehicle was deployed for emergency use at the No. 2 plant after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, knocked out power at the No. 1 plant, leading to the meltdowns of three reactors.
The latest problem arose when a worker turned on the power for the control vehicle used to operate the gas turbine generator vehicle at 9:20 a.m. on July 2. An alarm indicated a malfunction in the battery charger, and the dead rat was found beneath the switchboard.
The official said the company took measures to block openings leading to switchboards and other equipment after a rat shorted a switchboard and halted the cooling system for spent fuel pools at the No. 1 plant in March.
The opening for the cables in the vehicle at the No. 2 plant was not filled in, the official said.
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