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Nuclear power plant fire caused by a wet vacuum cleaner

first_imgAnyone who works at a nuclear power plant must be aware of the risks involved if something goes wrong. The effects of a radiation leak are all too apparent after the disaster in Chernobyl and the more recent Fukushima plant problems following a massive earthquake in Japan last March.A disaster at such a facility is clearly not something that can be recovered from overnight, so you’d expect all kinds of safe guards to be put in place to avoid any problems occurring. Even so, in May of this year the Ringhals power plant run by Vattenfall in Sweden suffered a major fire.The fire caused serious damage in reactor 2 and has meant all four of Ringhals’ reactors have been switched off at some point, with reactor 2 remaining offline until mid-December. Those months of downtime are expected to cost Vattenfall $267 million in lost profits plus whatever the repairs cost. The only good news is that the fire didn’t cause any kind of reactor meltdown.So what caused the fire?It turns out there was nothing wrong with the reactor, and all safety protocols look to have been followed. The only mistake made was someone forgetting to train the cleaning staff at the plant.The fire occurred during a pressure test on reactor 2 to ensure its containment worked. It would have gone without a hitch, but a wet vacuum cleaner was left in the building, and that was what burst into flames.The official reason for the fire has been classified as human error, but it just goes to show, anyone who works in such an environment has to undergo training, even if their job is just to keep the floors clean.Read more at The Locallast_img read more