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[cdn-nucl-l] Cracks on CSDV at Pt Lepreau
FW: Cracks in steam pipe worry nuclear safety commission Cracks similar to
those that led to fatal accident in JapanFYI
Cracks in steam pipe worry nuclear safety commission
Cracks similar to those that led to fatal accident in Japan
New Brunswick Telegraph Journal News, Thursday, November 18, 2004, p. A1/A8
BY RICHARD ROIK
OTTAWA - Operators of the country's nuclear reactors could be facing
stricter inspection regimes after potentially fatal cracks were found in a
main steam pipe at the Point Lepreau generating station last month.
Linda Keen, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, said on
Wednesday she is worried more inspections of non-radioactive equipment may
be needed amid staff reports that the cracks found at Point Lepreau are
similar to ones that led to an accident in Japan this summer that killed
four workers and injured seven others.
"I speak for the commission in showing some concerns for this," Ms. Keen
said during the federal watchdog's monthly meeting in Ottawa.
Her comments followed on the heels of an admission by an NB Power official
who said three "significant" cracks on a condenser steam discharge valve
were only noticed after a steam leak was discovered on Oct. 4.
Wayne Theriault, NB Power's acting production manager at Point Lepreau, said
the ensuing inspection was the first ever performed on the pipe, which
allows non-radioactive steam to periodically bypass the station's turbines.
Ms. Keen said the incident raises questions about whether staff and the
industry should be taking a second look at conventional health and safety
She also "urged" NB Power to share its experience with the country's other
nuclear reactor licensees.
Mr. Theriault said after the meeting that NB Power already routinely shares
its findings with operators of the country's other nuclear power generating
A commission staff report indicates that the required repair work at Point
Lepreau and additional inspections were completed and subsequently accepted
by the commission on Oct. 16.
Commissioners also accepted a staff report outlining how human error at
Point Lepreau last month diminished the reactor's ability - over an
11-minute period - to shut down automatically in the face of any emergency.
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