ALL power plants require external power for cooling once they're tripped. In big plants like that, if you don't shut the system down correctly and cool the boiler off in a controlled fashion, you're going to cause all kinds of damage. This can include catastrophic failure of the boiler. Only difference is a coal fired boiler doesn't contain nuclear fuel and radioisotopes.
Fukushima was a cluster fuck. American plants apparently have more redundancy on the emergency generators than Japan requires. In addition, there are emergency cooling systems, even in the older designs, that use (for example) the steam generated by the plant itself to turn pumps. In Japan, they'd never tested those systems; so, didn't know if they were working or not (they were not).
I would like to see the plants all upgraded to newer designs myself but that's going to take decades; and, in the current societal and political climate may not happen.
This story is being way overblown. Yes, it's a bug. Yes, it should be fixed. However...
248 days of continuous operation is well past the scheduled major maintenance for the aircraft. By this point, a 787 would have to go through many minor maintenance cycles which would have required shutting down the electrical system. In addition, loss of all 4 generators would not result in a loss of vehicle because there are batteries, an APU (a backup generator) and Ram Air Turbines (RATs), generators that deploy from the wing if the APU won't start. To have to rely on any of these would not make for a good day for the pilots; but, they would certainly provide the necessary power to safely land the aircraft at the nearest airport. They might even be able to continue on and finish their flight if they successfully reset the generators.
This is not the OMG Planes Are Going to Fall From The Sky! event the media is making it out to be.
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