Crucial system fails at Japan's quake-damaged nuclear plant

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are trying to fix a crucial part of the plant that stopped working today.

Workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant scrambling to fix broken cooling system in 3 reactors

In this Dec. 29, 2012 file photo, the Unit 1 reactor building, left, and Unit 2 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant can be seen. (Itsuo Inouye/Pool/Associated Press)

Workers at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are trying to fix a crucial part of the plant that stopped working today.

The system that cools hundreds of spent fuel rods that are stored at the facility has stopped working, which could have dangerous consequences, CBC News producer Craig Dale has learned.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company confirmed that it had a partial power failure Monday evening and then discovered the problem with an electricity supply unit.

Currently the cooling systems in reactors one, three and four are not operational and representatives from TEPCO are unsure how to fix them.

However TEPCO says it should have a solution within a few days and that the fuel rods stored in the pools will remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water

The disabled plant was seriously damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, which destroyed the plant's power and cooling systems. 

Three reactor cores melted and fuel storage pools overheated because of this. The plant is now using makeshift systems.

With files from CBC's Craig Dale and the Associated Press