AFP: Cracks found in South Korea nuclear reactor

Published: November 9th, 2012 at 7:38 am ET


Title: Cracks found in South Korean nuclear reactor
Source: Yahoo! News
Date: Nov. 9, 2012

South Korean nuclear regulators have found microscopic cracks in tunnels that guide control rods at a nuclear plant under maintenance, government officials said on Friday, raising new concerns over the country’s nuclear power sector.

The discovery of the cracks at the reactor comes just days after two reactors at the same plant in Yeonggwang county, in the southwest of the country, were shut down to replace parts that had been provided with forged certificates.

[… A spokeswoman for the presidential Korea Nuclear Safety and Security Commission] said it was the first time cracks of this type had been found in South Korea’s nuclear sector, but added the safety risk was not serious enough to require public disclosure.

CNN: The cracks themselves are not a serious issue and have been found at reactors in such other countries as the United States and Japan, said Jae Moo-sung, a professor in the nuclear engineering department of Hanyang University. But Jae warned that the news could hurt South Korea’s efforts to export its nuclear power technology to other countries.

See also: AFP: South Korea watchdog finds cracks in nuclear reactor

Published: November 9th, 2012 at 7:38 am ET


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16 comments to AFP: Cracks found in South Korea nuclear reactor

  • markww markww

    DUE to the WORLDWIDE INCREASE of MASSIVE earthquake ALL REACTORS USA WIDE need SAFETY INSPECTIONS due to the age and deterioration and then SHUT THEM DOWN USA WIDE.





    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      They all need to be shut down immediately, regardless of where they are located. No need for faked security checks, too.

  • "The cracks themselves are not a serious issue…" they said. No… the cracks aren't serious until you try putting the control rods in and they jam, or you get leakage, or the cracks grow (even on a car windshield it is illegal to drive with a tiny crack since cracks can spread rapidly and lead to sudden catastrophic failures.)
    Saying the cracks are no danger is like saying a time bomb is not a danger by itself. Of course since it is the explosion that kills you, not the bomb, then the bomb is no threat to safety. Just like a nuke plant.

    • And yes, that was sarcasm. Bombs AND nuke plants with cracks are both immediate hazards.
      P.S. ALL nuke plants have cracks, flaws, and problems… most just haven't been found yet.

  • TalonThorn

    Andrew, I was thinking the same thing.

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    It is "forged certificates" in Korea, and "computer problems" in Pennsylvania, the nuclear industry is borrowing their excuses from college students: "Computer problem prompts Pa. reactor shutdown

    Posted: Nov 09, 2012 4:59 AM PST
    Updated: Nov 09, 2012 4:59 AM PST

    BERWICK, Pa. (AP) – Operators at nuclear power plant say a computer system problem triggered a manual shutdown of 1 reactor at the northeastern Pennsylvania plant.

    Plant owner PPL says the Unit 2 reactor at its Susquehanna nuclear plant near Berwick, Columbia County was safely shut down Friday morning…"

    • static66 static66

      I actually buy the forged certificates story.

      Korea is a serial forger, copyright infringer, trademark violator. From fashion, to entertainment, to technology, it is all ripped off there.

      So it would not surprise me in the least.

  • weeman

    You missed the most important statement that the facility was closed to replace bogus parts purchased, so this industry is plagued by substandard parts like the airline industry,
    This is worry some, low grade parts in nuclear reactors, the money to be made of these bogus parts are astronomical and the savings the facility can save knowingly installing substandard parts would be tempting and very profitable to some management staff.
    What is the purpose of the IAEA they are supposed to certify parts, not doing their due dilegants again. What a farce, if you can put bogus parts on air forse one you can put them in reactors, this is suicide.

    Wake up a smell the pletunium.

    • NoNukes NoNukes

      weeman, I read that, it is just that I don't quite believe the nuclear industry, because of their track record. We are at the point where there is a sudden, unplanned shut down of a reactor every 1-2 days, and I believe that we need to *consider* the possibility that these are not discrete events. One reason for these sudden, unplanned reactor shut downs around the world, to my mind, would be age, they are far beyond their planned life spans. However, other possibilities include the increasing use of MOX fuel, and the instabilities it brings. Another systemic factor Lauri suggested is the instability of the methane layer worldwide. I don't know, but another possibility is that Korea wants to go the way of Germany, and the IAEA preferred this narrative about forgery/cracks. I wonder when they will start suddenly shutting down reactors, taking big financial losses, because "my grandmother died" and "my car broke down."

      • weeman

        I am with you 100 percent and agree with you in all points and have already established these facts in my mind, but my point is so we can rid ourselfs of these death machines, I want them to close all nuclear facilities not only nuclear power plants and If we could prove that all nuclear reactors have bogus parts installed it is another way to put pressure on the higher powers to close them.
        If this triggered a adiit of all plants that would cost them millions and if lots of fake parts are found the price to these people would be more than the money they make and that is how you get them through money, also these parts could close a plant immediately due to building codes,health and safety, fire regulations, they do not meet their own building codes.
        It is much like how they got al Capone, through the back door.
        Keep up the good work and fight the good fight, we will prevail we are the meek.

  • notactive

    Belgium plants with cracks:

    Those are from the same builder the Dutch plant Borssele is.

  • blackbuddha blackbudda

    "the safety risk was not serious enough to require public disclosure"
    "the cracks themselves are not a serious issue"
    same lies again and againd

  • weeman

    So we're to control rod guides bogus parts is that why they failed, this is worth further investigation and how wide spread are these parts being used.

    If I where the head of the IAEA my response would be get me my emergency response team and chief engineer on the phone, I am sending them to the facility in question to do a complete mechanical audit of facility and let find out how many bogus parts have been installed and how wide spread is this send another team to two other random plants. That's why I am CEO cause I can make the big decisions.
    Go eat your cheese, you rat but the weasels are getting hungery and you are on the menue, stand up and be a man, do the right thing, let's get a handle on this monster mankind has created and goes virtually unregulated, this is not right, we have inherited rights that we fought for that predates nuclear fission.

    I do go but my shrink says it is good for me, let it all out tell me about it, ha ha as you can see its working, you all stay tuned, don't turn off get turned on and we will win.

  • JustmeAlso

    Forge some papers and plants are ''safe''!! better believe in it! like religion..

  • Sue

    CE failed to obtain the safety guarantee which nuclear facilities are supposed to be issued by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission; the models for the planned reactors do not follow the 'Proven Design Concept' and the model's reactor pressure-vessel and steam generators have been found to be defective.

    This article was written in 1990 in a scathing anti-nuke attack on Yeunggwang NPP. More details of the usual bribery and corruption involved in building these things. I agree that MOX is probably the greatest contributor to cracking and the PWR's at Yeonggwang are the reactors able to use MOX (I believe).

  • Sue

    Yeonggwang NPP shuts down in April 2012 due to fuel rod defects causing radioactivity levels in the reactor coolant to rise.

    A nuclear reactor at an atomic power plant in Yeonggwang, South Jeolla Province, automatically stopped running Monday afternoon after its reactor protection system gave warning signals, the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. said.

    The 1-million-kilowatt Yeonggwang-6 unit came to a halt at around 2:57 p.m., according to the company.

    The unit had been under special treatment due to fuel rod defects that caused radioactivity levels in the reactor coolant to rise on April 30.

    The KHNP said it was looking into what caused the malfunction and will resume the unit’s operation after gaining approval from the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission.

    The Yeonggwang-6 unit began commercial operation in December 2002.

    The nation’s maximum power supply capacity dropped to 75.45 million kilowatts as the Yeonggwang reactor stopped.

    The electricity reserve and reserve rate remained at normal levels of 5.71 million kilowatts and 8.2 percent as demand dipped with the beginning of the peak summer vacation season. The likelihood of a power shortage will rise, however, if the Yeonggwang unit does not resume operation soon and the scorching heat wave continues.