Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fuel Assembly Covers Found Cracked and Discolored in SFP of Tsuruga Nuke Plant Reactor 1

Reactor 1 of Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture, operated by Japan Atomic Power Company, is the very first light-water reactor (by GE) built in Japan, and the 7th oldest commercial reactor in the world (as of January 2012).

(Fukushima I Nuke Plant's Reactor 1 is the second oldest, after Tsuruga's Reactor 1.)

Reactor 2 of Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant (pressurized-water reactor by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) may be sitting on top of an active fault.

Both reactors have been stopped due to scheduled maintenance.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (8/17/2012):


Metal covers of fuel assemblies have cracks, discoloration in Tsuruga Nuke Plant Reactor 1


Japan Atomic Power Company announced on August 17 that they found cracks and discoloration in 9 metal covers that cover fuel assemblies in Reactor 1 at Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant (Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture) which has been stopped [for maintenance].


The [cracks and discoloration] are all minor, and there is no effect on the environment, according to the operator.


The metal covers are in the Spent Fuel Pool, and the cracks were found at the welded parts.


As damages were found in the metal covers at Tohoku Electric Power Company's Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry instructed Japan Atomic Power Company and other [nuclear power plant operators] to conduct investigation.

I think what Yomiuri is talking about ("metal covers") is a channel box that houses fuel assemblies. For Onagawa Nuke Plant's channel boxes, apparently damaged by the March 11, 2011 earthquake, read my post from July this year.

Japan Atomic Power Company has a lot to learn from TEPCO (believe it or not) when it comes to timely disclosure of information. At their website, the latest press release is from August 10. NISA or METI is no better; there is no press release on this incident on either of them.

Maybe this kind of news wasn't news at all in pre-Fukushima Japan.


Anonymous said...

It seems we read more and more and more about the world's entire nuclear infrastructure aging and falling apart. Almost like me!

Please pardon the shameless self promotion but many thanks to Ex SKF who I have specifically thanked in some of my previous articles and reference to many articles as usual in this one.

Fukushima Nuclear Situation 'Deteriorating'

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:40

I think it's pretty clear that decommissioning nuclear power plants is going to be a booming industry. The end of this absurd techonology is nigh.

Anonymous said...

Is anon at 2:39 AM a troll or what ?

has anyone heard of a decon (not decom) technology that is not :
- move the sh.. into you'r neighbour's garden
- spread the sh.. into anyone's garden around
- concentrated the sh.. deep into some special "nuke-garden" nobody knows how to deal with later
- so crazy expensive that "entomb and wait" is still the rule of thumb ?
Well, if I'm wrong, invest in decon start-ups, please...

Anonymous said...

Note that "Entomb (nuclear waste) and wait" means "wait until it becomes someone else problem"; who is going to babysit nuclear waste for hundreds or thousands of years?
150 years ago Japan still was in a feudal age, 250 years ago the USA did not exist.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Without the help of a dictionary, I have a hard time understanding the Japanese language from 1000, 1200 years ago. I can't even read the original text written in the cursive Japanese. For nuke waste management, it will have to be elevated to some "religious" status so that a group of priests preserve the manual as sacred text and maintenance procedure as rituals...

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9:16

I'm surprised at your attack. If we don't decommission them (shut them down), then what would you propose? How do we clean up this mess that has been made by our parents' generation? Do you expect it to go away by itself? Do you expect that wishing that it never was, will make that wish come true? We are faced with over 50 nuclear reactors in Japan. All of them will need to be shut down and their poisons secured. Each plant will cost billions. Someone will make a lot of money - it will be a booming industry. And that boom is coming soon because Japan is starting to recognize that there is no future in nuclear power.

Really, sometimes your comments befuddle me...

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Readers, please refrain from throwing words like "trolls" and "shills" at others. That's getting too tired after 17 months.

Anonymous said...

@1:39 I am not convinced that nuclear waste is a generational problem.
In recent elections (Kagoshima prefecture and another election I don't recall... Yamaguchi?) pro nuke governors have been elected -- younger people voted them too, I suppose.
Similarly, Hamaoka unit 5 (the one infiltrated by seawater) is only 7 yrs old and there a a number of sites in Japan where npps were planned.
It seems to me that, in terms of age, npps are a responsibility of anyone who is old enough to vote political parties that, until very recently, wanted to expand Japan reliance on nuclear power to 50%.
Let's stop thinking in terms of generations, it does not help.

Atomfritz said...

Maybe after four decades they finally should start to move some of these spent fuel assemblies to dry casks before their handles rust away in the water, making removal a challenging issue.

Apropos methusalem reactors, today I read:
Because of summer electricity shortage, Korea is restarting its oldest, 35-year-old reactor Kori-1, which in March had a station blackout (SBO) for 12 minutes.
They attempted to cover-up the SBO for more than one month, but no problem, IAEA now gave green light for restart even though they strongly criticized the Kori staff safety culture.

More reading:

Atomfritz said...

Oops, Kori-1 seems already to run full capacity, even if KHNP says "#1 is now under maintenance and testing process before implementing results of the special safety checkup. "

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Koreans learnt from the Japanese when Tomari plant was run at full capacity for months during the testing period. I wonder whether they learnt to lie about electricity shortages too.

Post a Comment