The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said when its engineers looked inside a faulty switchboard, they found burn marks and the rodent’s scorched body. The company said it appeared that the rat had somehow short-circuited the switchboard, possibly by gnawing on cables.
The company, known as Tepco, has blamed problems with the switchboard for the power failure that began Monday, cutting off the flow of cooling water to four pools used to store more than 8,800 nuclear fuel rods. It took Tepco almost a day to restore cooling to the first of the affected pools, with cooling of the final pool resuming early Wednesday.
Now none of us are nuclear engineers, but don’t you just think that maybe, maybe there should have been a backup system from something as critical as the cooling systems in a nuclear electrical generating plant. Oh, maybe next time.