It as been reported that engineers at Japan’s fast breeder reactor plant Monju made a mistake during testing of the plant’s emergency power generator, which subsequently resulted in the release of black smoke and the ringing of the plant’s fire alarm.

On April 30 at around 2:30 p.m., the fast breeder-reactor located in Saga city in the Fukui Prefecture underwent its monthly emergency diesel generator test operations. However on this occasion, the test did not end well. According to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAERI), before the testing process it is necessary to emit the gas that accumulates in the emergency power generator by opening and then closing the valves. It is reported that the staff working at the plant, after opening the 12 valves installed in the generator, forgot to close six of the them before resuming operations, resulting in the expulsion of the worrying black smoke.

These most recent complications are believed to pose no direct risk to the fast breeder reactor itself, however as a result of the trouble, two of the three emergency reactors have been rendered unusable. JAERI reported this latest incident to the country’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, claiming that the conduct of the staff at the plant is clearly in breach of security regulations. It also made the following statement:

“In order to prevent a recurrence of the same problems, it is necessary to pay meticulous attention to the way in which personnel at the plant carry out their work.”

Source: NHK News