AEC admits four objects fell into Nuke 2 reactor
Four items accidentally dropped into the reactor core during a renovation project for the Second Nuclear Power Plant ( Nuke 2,
) in September 2014, though the incident was entirely left out of the Atomic Energy Council’s (AEC,
) construction report, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Cheng Li-chun ( ) revealed yesterday morning at the Legislative Yuan.
According to Cheng, a bolt, a C- clamp, a C- clamp bolt and a drop hanger fell into the reactor core of Nuke 2 last September when it underwent round of renovations.
The construction report later conducted by the AEC, however, failed to mention the incident, concluding that the renovations “were carried out smoothly without defects,” added Cheng. The legislator went on to question the AEC’s quality controls and its approval of Nuke 2’s operation, saying, “fallen objects cannot be retrieved (from the reactor) once the power generation process has begun.” Cheng went on to rhetorically ask, how can people trust that nuclear power plants are safe ... with such false reports?
In response, AEC Chairman Tsai Chuen-horng ( ) said that three out of the four items were retrieved in October 2014. Moreover, while the final bolt remains unfound, Tsai claimed that the Taiwan Power Company (Taipower,
) conducted an inspection and determined that the bolt most likely fell into the reactor, but not into the core itself.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nuclear Science & Technology Association (NuSTA, ) said that all reactor cores are set up with filters for situations such as this, and therefore even under the worst-case scenarios — which have now been ruled out by Taipower — the filters will prevent objects from falling into the fuel bundle. Tsai said that given these measures, there are no safety concerns.
As the AEC report made no mention of the incident, the council will take full responsibility for the error and avoid any similar faults in the future, Tsai said. He further explained that all deficiencies recorded in the construction reports will be carefully reviewed before any future renovations take place. “For every operation, the AEC sticks to this reviewing procedure, therefore construction safety is always taken seriously,” said Tsai.