Steam leak discovered at Japan's Takahama NPP

26 January 2024

A leak of steam from a pipe was discovered at unit 1 of Japan’s Takahama NPP in Fukui prefecture as well as increased amounts of leaking cooling water at another location. There were no radiation leaks, and nobody was injured and the plant reduced power output by 40% determine the causes, NHK reported, citing plant operator Kansai Electric Power Company. Steam was found leaking from the pipe that connects to a pump at the reactor. A worker carrying out inspections at the turbine building found the leak and stopped the pump which sends cooling water to power generation equipment. The Fukui prefectural government said there were no changes in the measurements at radiation monitoring posts in areas surrounding the plant.

Kansai Electric in November 2023 applied to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to continue operating the 826 MWe pressurised water reactor after it reaches 50 years of operation in November 2024. Kansai Electric has submitted changes to the plant's safety regulations, including plans for the inspection and maintenance of the reactor for the next 10 years. Takahama 1, the oldest operating reactor in Japan, was commissioned in November 1974. In May, Japan enacted a law allowing power utilities to operate nuclear reactors for more than 60 years. The law will come into effect in June 2025.

Image: Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture

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