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Corrosion Found in Japan Nuclear Plants

Monday, May 28, 2018

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Corrosion and connected damages were recently discovered in several ventilation ducts at nuclear plants across Japan, prompting concern over how much radiation workers are being exposed to.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority, a governmental nuclear watchdog, released the information as part of a nationwide survey, which was prompted by the discovery of corrosion in Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Shimane plant in western Japan in December 2016—the damage had left holes in air ducts.

Corrosion Discovered

Damages were found at 12 reactors at severeal plants including Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa nuclear plant, Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tokai nuclear plant and Tepco’s No. 1 Fukushima nuclear plant. If an accident were to occur, radioactive materials could pass through into a plant’s control room through the holes caused by corrosion.

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Corrosion and connected damage ere recently discovered in several ventilation ducts at 12 reactors at seven nuclear plants across Japan. This has provoked concerns over workers being exposed to radiation during an accident.

The common theme between the affected reactors is that they are all boiling-water reactors—the same sort used at the Fukushima plant. (Following the March 2011 earthquake, that plant released a sizeable amount of radioactive material into the air.)

The report says that the holes found were likely caused by dew condensation and rainwater that found its way inside the building, as well as salt deposits on the ducts.The watchdog concluded that the corrosion—and the subsequent holes in the ducts—occurred primarily because they were designed without filters equipped with a fresh-air intake, which would let fresh air into the room.

In light of the damage found, the NRA instructed electric power companies to inspect all ventilation ducts at their own facilities. No abnormalities have been discovered in these ventilation systems, however. Additionally, no problems were discovered at pressurized-water nuclear reactors either, given that filtering occurs near air inlets.

As a preventative measure, Chugoku Electric has chosen to increase the number of inspection points at fresh-air inlets, as well as taking more action against corrosion.


Tagged categories: Corrosion; Corrosion protection; Nuclear Power Plants; Quality control

Comment from peter gibson, (5/30/2018, 5:57 PM)

They said they were shutting down the plants. Short memory until the next big thing. Were all big mouth,then knew they had no power.

Comment from Michael Halliwell, (6/1/2018, 10:51 AM)

Well, nowhere near enough oil, gas or coal to supply their power needs on their own and importing them is super expensive...until solar, wind and geothermal can produce far, far more energy than they currently do, Japan really doesn't have a lot of choice but to stay nuclear. Though, it would be nice if they were also moving toward some of the newer designs that "go cold" when they have a disruption, rather then melt down.

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