Sendai nuclear plant operator set to plug leaks in 5 cooling system pipes


SATSUMA-SENDAI, Kagoshima Prefecture–The operator of the recently reactivated Sendai nuclear power plant here said it had pinpointed the sites of leaks that forced a postponement of full reactor operations.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said it detected tiny cracks in five narrow pipes that carry seawater used to cool steam. The pipes are part of the steam condenser at the No. 1 reactor, which resumed operation on Aug. 11.
Output will be maintained at 75 percent of capacity, while the utility carries out checks for further holes.
Kyushu Electric was expected to release a final report on the glitch on Aug. 25. At the same time, it said fully restored reactor operations will be postponed from the scheduled date of Aug. 25.
The regional utility detected a tiny amount of seawater leaked into one of three condensers in the secondary cooling system of the reactor, which has an output of 890 megawatts, on Aug. 20.
The seawater was flowing in the condenser, a device that converts steam used in power generation to water by cooling it, and became mixed with the secondary cooling water that does not contain radioactive materials.
Kyushu Electric suspended operations of one of the two water circulation channels through the condenser at issue and inspected narrow pipes forming the system by passing an electric current through it.
Technicians found miniscule holes in five of 13,000 pipes they had inspected as of 10 a.m. on Aug. 24. After inspecting all the pipes, the workers will repair the faulty bits.
Kyushu Electric said the seawater was removed with a desalination device and operations at the No. 1 reactor were not hindered.
The reactor was restarted earlier this month for the first time since it was shut down for a periodic inspection in May 2011. Opponents of the plant have voiced safety concerns
Source: Asahi Shimbun
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201508250046

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