Lungmen vessel supports must be rewelded

3 July 2002

Taipower has to reassemble four of five layers of the pressure vessel support platform for the Lungmen 1 ABWR currently under construction, after regulators confirmed that workers used improper welding material in assembling it the first time.

At issue is a 1000 ton platform that holds the vessel, which is made of steel-reinforced concrete, and which was manufactured at the China Shipbuilding Corporation (CSC) in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, and was then assembled at the Lungmen site.

Li Shen, who is in charge of nuclear regulation for Taiwan's Atomic Energy Council (AEC), said that the AEC had inspected the platform and had confirmed that it had been welded with improper welding material. Li said that workers had used low-intensity welding material to assemble the platform where high-intensity material had been specified. "The welding material was confirmed to be inappropriate and Taipower will have to reassemble the pressure vessel support." The problem is still under investigation, and may point to an organisational or quality control deficiency at CSC or Taipower. For several years, CSC has been in financial difficulties, and has been forced to make massive layoffs.

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