Checks on thirteen used hafnium control rods in unit 3 of Japan’s Hamaoka nuclear station have revealed cracks in at the one rod inspected so far.

Cracks have been discovered in the sheath and tie rod sections of the rod at the 1.1 GWe BWR and operators Chubu Electric Power Co have said it appears that these cracks are the same as others found in hafnium control rods.

All thirteen hafnium control rods removed from the nuclear reactor are to be replaced with boron carbide control rods.

In January the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency issued an instruction to all companies running boiling water reactors requiring inspection of all hafnium control rods after cracks were found in hafnium control rods in the Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima station.

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