Welding delays Qinshan II-2

1 January 2003

Significant deficiencies in quality assurance and quality control during manufacture of the reactor pressure vessel for unit 2 of China's Qinshan second phase (Qinshan II-2) were responsible for late detection of welding flaws, which will delay the startup of the unit into 2003.

Safety experts in China said that the pressure vessel for Qinshan II-2 was found to have serious welding flaws. As a result of the findings, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has had to undertake major repairs of the vessel.

Some Western industry officials have said that China had already repaired the vessel at that point.

Safety experts said that deficiencies in quality assurance and quality control had been found at Shanghai Boiler Works, at CNNC, and in China's regulatory oversight.

Some foreign experts and safety organisations have expressed concern about the pace of technology transfer from Western vendors to CNNC and other Chinese organisations. "They should slow this down if China can't supervise it," one North American regulator said.

Qinshan II-1 entered commercial operation in April 2002.

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