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'Rat-like animal' blamed for power loss at Japan nuclear plant

By Josh Levs, CNN
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 0137 GMT (0937 HKT)

(CNN) -- A "rat-like animal" just might be the reason for power outages at a critical Japanese nuclear facility this week.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant suspects such a critter of causing a short circuit in a switchboard that led to a power outage, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Wednesday.

U.S. military join lawsuit over Fukushima exposure

Since a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 that triggered a nuclear disaster at the plant, the switchboard has been on the back of a truck outdoors, the report said.

CNN's Chad Myers explains the power loss

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has resumed operations at all nine facilities where power outages occurred, including a facility that removes radioactive substances from water used to cool reactors, Kyodo reported.

The temporary power loss did not trigger a known release of radioactive material.

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