A catastrophic failure is a sudden and total failure of some system from which recovery is impossible.
The affected system not only experiences destruction beyond any reasonable possibility of repair, but also frequently causes injury, death, or significant damage to other, often unrelated systems. As such, catastrophic failures often lead to Cascading failures.
In Thermal power stations
This case particularly refers to that of failures of condenser tubes in Turbine main condensers. This has been investigated and reported to be that of catastrophic failure.
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