Heat treatment cheat uncovererd

21 April 2009

Moisture separators at Japanese nuclear reactors Hamaoka unit 5 and Shimane unit 3, currently under construction, have been hit by heat treatment problems, according to a report in Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun.

An employee at Japan Industrial Testing Co, a subcontractor of equipment supplier Hitachi, admitted falsifying records of heat treatment on pipe joints in moisture separators and reheaters in the plants' turbine systems because he did not want to redo faulty work during his vacation time, according to the report.

According to the report, the heat treatment at Hamaoka 5 was conducted in July 2001, and in December 2008 at Shimane 3. Hitachi said that the same worker was to blame for both data alterations.

The report said that Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency issued a warning to Hitachi last week.

Hitachi said that the faulty heat treatment would not risk leaking radioactive material.


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