Ohio nuclear plant says it has contained small coolant leak
Radioactive fluid at Davis-Besse never escaped, operators say
TOLEDO — Operators of a nuclear plant in Ohio say they’ve discovered and contained a pinhole-size leak spraying radioactive coolant at the plant.
Nuclear regulators and plant operators say the leaking coolant at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant near Toledo never got outside the building and posed no threat to the public.
Workers discovered the leak yesterday as they were getting ready to restart the plant after a monthlong maintenance shutdown.
A spokeswoman for the plant operated by a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. says they don’t know how much coolant spilled out, but it was contained by its collection system.
The plant was last shut down in the fall while its reactor head was replaced. Crews found cracks in an outer concrete wall, but the plant was allowed to restart.
According to the NRC Event Notification Report:
DEGRADED CONDITION DUE TO DISCOVERY OF PRESSURE BOUNDARY LEAKAGE
"On June 6, 2012, at 1956 EDT, with the Unit shutdown for refueling, leakage was identified from a 3/4-inch weld during Reactor Coolant System (RCS) walkdown inspections. The leakage amount was approximately 0.1 gpm pinhole spray.
"During the performance of MODE 3 engineering walkdown inspections in accordance with procedure DB-PF-03010 (ASME Section III, Class 1 and 2), with the RCS at Normal Operating Temperature and Pressure, a pressure boundary leak was identified on the Reactor Coolant Pump (RCP) 1-2 1st seal cavity vent line upstream weld of 3/4 inch small bore pipe socketweld at a 90 degree elbow between the RCP pump and valve RC-407 (1st Seal Cavity Vent Isolation). The plant was in MODE 3 at Normal Operating Pressure and Normal Operating Temperature (NOP/NOT) for the inspections.
(H/T John Noah)