Japan reactor likely wrecked by seawater during 2011 accident — Holes penetrated through metal — Problems from microorganisms?

Published: November 21st, 2012 at 2:43 am ET
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(Subscription Only) Title: Hamaoka reactor likely wrecked in seawater accident
Source: Asahi
Author: By JIN NISHIKAWA
Date: November 21, 2012

A restart may be impossible [for a reactor at Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture] without substantial repairs, after an accident during a shutdown procedure last year in which hundreds of tons of seawater flooded equipment including the central pressure vessel. [...]

The incident occurred while workers were shutting down the reactor on May 14, 2011. [...]

An estimated 5 tons of seawater entered the reactor pressure vessel itself.

Once inside, the seawater corroded pumps and driving mechanisms, key components that insert and remove control rods as operators regulate the rate of nuclear fission. The water also corroded 40 holes in the bottom and walls of the condensate storage tank, which stores cooling water for reactor operations. Some of the holes penetrated the tank’s metal lining. [...]

The panel also highlighted a need to search for other problems including possible corrosion-like damage from microorganisms in the seawater. [...]

The No. 5 reactor first went online in 2005. [...]

See also: Large amount of saltwater found in Reactor No. 5 at Hamaoka nuclear plant -- Trying to stop reactor from eroding

Published: November 21st, 2012 at 2:43 am ET
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