BWK Inc. has announced plans to conduct ultrasonic tests on the reactor pressure vessel at its Muehleberg nuclear power plant in Switzerland.
The move comes after suspected manufacturing faults were reported in the RPV at Belgium’s Doel 3 nuclear power plant, which came from the same foundry.
According to the manufacturing documentation for the Muehleberg plant, all forged and rolled parts of the pressure vessel were 100% tested during the manufacturing process, and no impermissible indications or anomalies in quality assurance and documentation were found.
Further, there are important differences in the reactor pressure vessels of the two plants including the base material supplier, wall strength and manufacturing dates.
Nevertheless, BKW said that it has decided to inspect a representative area of the Muehleberg reactor pressure vessel’s base material to exclude any error in the manufacturing process and inspections.
The Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI) has been informed of the planned inspections, and has defined the test conditions, BKW said. The inspection will last for only a few days and result in a minor delay in restarting the plant, which began a four-week refueling outage on 5 August.
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