Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Minor Damage Found on Channel Box (That Contains Fuel Bundles) in Onagawa Nuke Plant Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool, Says Tohoku Electric

It's been a long time since we heard anything about other nuclear power plants on the Pacific Ocean side of Japan. Tohoku Electric Power Company released the monthly report for Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in Miyagi Prefecture for June 2012, and said a very minor damage was found in one of the channel boxes (that contains fuel bundles).

It looks one of the top corners of the channel box in question had cracked and the portion had been chipped away (1.9 centimeter piece).

It was discovered on June 15, 2012 during the inspection of the spent fuel pool of Reactor 3 using a submerged video camera. The company checked other channel boxes, and found several others with potentially similar damages, according to the June 2012 report on Onagawa Nuke Plant, released on July 7, 2012, page 21:

It's not clear from the document whether these channel boxes were in the reactor when the earthquake hit and later removed to the Spent Fuel Pool, but Mainichi Shinbun (7/10/2012) says they were, and there are more than 10 of them damaged in a similar way.

Tohoku Electric says there is no problem with the functionality of the channel boxes found with damages, and there is no leak of radioactive materials.

There was a spike in radiation level at the monitoring posts at Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant in the early hours on March 13, 2011. The highest was 21 microsieverts/hour. At that time, Tohoku Electric announced that it was not from Onagawa Nuke Plant, which had achieved cold shutdown on all reactors. It was concluded that the spike was caused by a radioactive plume from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

Attachment to Tohoku Electric's announcement on March 13 last year:


Anonymous said...

As the Black Knight said, "It's just a flesh wound."

Anonymous said...

This could be a good posting exskf.... Sellafield in the UK and nuclear waste.

Plutonium on the beaches ... its a can of worms..

Atomfritz said...

Damn interesting... such damage could easily mean the compromise of the first barrier, the fuel cnclosement/cladding.
Well possible they used the Fukushima accident as a cover to hide the incident, like the German THTR=300 people tried to cover-up their reactors' accident which luckily happened just that moment everybody was looking at Chernobyl.
So we can well assume that this news is _very_, _very_ uncomfortable to the Japanese nuke industry.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

I browsed through the maintenance report by Tohoku Electric. It's full of "minor incidents" and "minor damages" that have been "fixed" since the earthquake. It's clear that they were primarily caused by the earthquake. You bet the nuke industry may be uncomfortable. There is hardly any coverage of this news.

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