Massive blackout in Brazil caused by defect in substation circuit

09:50, February 05, 2011      

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A defect in the circuit of an electrical substation is the most likely cause of the widespread blackout, Brazil's Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said Friday.

The defect occurred at the Luiz Gonzaga substation in northeastern state Pernambuco, which triggered the massive blackout that started on late Thursday and lasted till Friday morning, Lobao said.

Eight of the nine states in Brazilian northeastern region were affected, he said.

The minister said there was no overload in the electric system. The defect in an electronic component caused the substation shutdown, affecting the system, which shut down all transmission lines as a precaution.

Despite the incident, Lobao stressed that the Brazilian electrical system is safe and not outdated.

"There is no system in the world more modern than the Brazilian system," he said, adding that "defects occur in all parts of the world."

Meanwhile, Lobao assured that the incident will be fully investigated in order to avoid future blackouts.

Brazil had a massive blackout in November 2009, which affected 18 states for up to seven hours. In February 2010, several states in the northern and northeastern regions were affected by another blackout, which was less severe than the first one, lasting from two minutes to two hours.

Source: Xinhua
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