facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Fukushima a warning for U.S. plants

May 18, 2011 at 10:45 AM   |   Comments

| License Photo
TOKYO, May 18 (UPI) -- Emergency vents failed to prevent hydrogen explosions at Japan's Fukushima reactors and put the safety of U.S. nuclear plants in question, experts warn.

Documents released by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. this week show the panic that struck the utility when the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit, The New York Times reports.

The venting system, built by General Electric, used the same power source as the rest of the plant, backup generators in basements that were vulnerable to tsunamis. The earthquake also may have damaged the valves, Tepco said.

When the vents failed at Fukushima, the hydrogen gas fueled explosions that spewed radioactive materials into the atmosphere.

U.S. officials had said American reactors would be spare such disasters by new and stronger venting systems. But Tepco now says Fukushima installed the same vents years ago, the Times reported.

"Japan is going to teach us lessons," said David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "If we're in a situation where we can't vent where we need to, we need to fix that."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
France holds up delivery of warships to Russia France holds up delivery of warships to Russia
2
Father upset over Islam history lesson barred from school over threats Father upset over Islam history lesson barred from school over threats
3
Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News Navy SEAL who claims to be Bin Laden's shooter to reveal identity on Fox News
4
North Korea publicly executes 10 people for watching South Korean soap operas North Korea publicly executes 10 people for watching South Korean soap operas
5
Actress Lucy DeCoutere becomes first public accuser of Jian Ghomeshi Actress Lucy DeCoutere becomes first public accuser of Jian Ghomeshi
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback