JAPAN | Human error blamed for cooling system halt

Posted on July 1, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | Friday, July 01, 2011 13:33 +0900 (JST)

Tokyo Electric Power Company says human error was responsible for the latest problems with a water-decontamination device at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The French-made device automatically stopped operating on Thursday afternoon after an alarm system was triggered. It resumed operation 5 hours later.

On Friday, TEPCO blamed the trouble on flawed programming of water levels in a tank that contains processed water. It says workers mistakenly set the water level at 3 percent of capacity, rather than 30 percent. As a result, water levels dropped rapidly and caused the device to stop operation.

TEPCO on Monday started the operation of a new cooling system that is expected to play a key role in stabilizing the crippled reactors.

But the system, which is designed to recycle cooling water after removing radiation from it, has been suspended several times.

Trouble has been occurring particularly frequently with the decontamination device, mainly because of human error.
TEPCO says the decontamination system had been operating just 55 percent of the time as of Tuesday.

The company said it will also take the step of improving operation manuals for the cooling system as a way of eliminating human errors.

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