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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finnish regulators halt welding of piping at Olkiluoto-3


Stockholm (Platts)--12May2009
STUK has ordered a stop to welding of Olkiluoto-3 primary circuit piping due to discovery of small cracks next to some welds, Martti Vilpas, an official from the Finnish nuclear regulatory agency said in an interview May 12. STUK will not allow welding to resume until manufacturer Areva and its customer, utility TVO, submit a report outlining the root cause of the anomaly and its potential safety implications, he said. Indications of cracking were found earlier this spring during the manufacturer's inspection of welds on hot leg piping in Areva's facility in France. Vilpas said that a few weeks ago similar indications were found next to a weld on the third hot leg. The cracks are 1 to 2 millimeters in length and 1.8 millimeters deep. The piping is 76 millimeters thick. He said the defects can probably be ground out. Areva is building the 1,600-MW-class EPR at Olkiluoto-3 along with Siemens in a turnkey contract with TVO.


Anonymous said...

Project owner TVO now says:

The works proceeding in Olkiluoto as usual

Inaccurate information has appeared in the media regarding STUK's press release of today informing of the faults in the welding of the main coolant pipes for TVO's Olkiluoto 3 unit. The welding in question and their quality control have been done at the manufacturer in France, where the pipes still are, and no work has been halted at the site in Olkiluoto.

These defects in the weld seams of the main coolant pipes can be easily repaired. One of the pipes is already repaired. The defects in question are on the surface, very small and have no effect in the strength properties or safety. The pipes will be in compliance with the quality and safety requirements and will not impact the project schedule.

rsm said...

There was a similar article on the World Nuclear Association website.

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