Wind turbine catches fire in shadow of Saga nuclear plant

A wind turbine at the Kushizaki power plant in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, is on fire with black smoke pouring out on the afternoon of Aug. 21.

KARATSU, Saga Prefecture--A 60-meter-high wind turbine near a nuclear power plant in northern Kyushu caught fire on Aug. 21, posing difficulties for fire-fighting efforts from the danger of falling parts. 

A resident reported the blaze at the Kushizaki wind-generating power plant in an emergency phone call at around 2:55 p.m. One of the turbine blades and the connecting area around the base of the blades caught fire, according to Saga prefectural police and fire department officials.

The blaze was confirmed extinguished at around 6:50 a.m. of Aug. 22. No injuries were reported.

A fire department spokesperson said firefighters were unable to shoot water at the flames due to the fear of falling debris.

An official of Tokyo-based JFE Engineering Corp. said the wind turbine is operated by one of its affiliated companies. JFE Engineering said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Kushizaki plant in the city’s Chinzeimachikushi district is located about 700 to 800 meters from the Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai nuclear power plant in Genkai in the same prefecture across the sea.

The wind-generating power plant, with a full output capacity of 1,980 kilowatts, started generating electricity in April 2004. Power produced from the plant has been sold to Kyushu Electric.

The wind turbine, made of iron, consists of three 40-meter-long rotor blades made of resin, according to JFE Engineering.


AUG 23 2017
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