Crane accident reported at Japan’s Takahama NPP

23 January 2017

A crane collapsed on 20 January at Japan’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, damaging a building housing used nuclear fuel near the unit 2 building, plant operator Kansai Electric Power Co said the next day.

No one was injured although the roof of an adjacent building was damaged. However, nothing fell into the used fuel pool below it. There are a total of 259 fuel assemblies in the pool, including used assemblies ones, according to Kansai Electric. The crane also damaged the roof of another nearby building. A wind warning was in effect in the area, and strong winds were blowing at that time, Kyodo news agency reported.

The 112-metre-long crane had been used to prepare for safety-enhancement work in which a concrete dome-shaped cover will be placed over the unit 2 reactor building. A Kansai official apologised for the accident at a news conference, saying the utility would re-examine the risk of crane accidents amid strong winds and investigate the cause of the latest incident.

The unit 2 houses one of two ageing reactors at the plant with over 40 years of operation. Safety-enhancement work for the facility is scheduled for completion in 2020. In June 2016, the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the utility's plan to extend the operation of units 1 and 2 beyond the government-mandated 40-year service period. It was the first such approval given under new safety regulation introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. The plant has two other reactors but all four are currently offline.



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