Genkai Nuclear Station Pressure vessel deteriorating faster than assumed

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The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) decided on Nov. 29 to set up a subcommittee to discuss whether to review its safety assessments of the No. 1 reactor at the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture in what could be a step toward decommissioning the aging reactor.

After a meeting on November 29th in which experts announced that the pressure vessel was deteriorating faster than generally assumed,  and that the reactor should be decommissioned, NISA made the decision to establish the subcommittee to weigh the decision.



It has been revealed that a process called “embrittlement” by which the pressure vessel becomes fragile after being exposed to neutrons emitted from the reactor core has progressed much faster than previously thought.

Therefore, some experts have pointed out that the vessel, if cooled down quickly, could break down easily.



Kyushu Electric’s explanation that there is “no safety problem” could be undermined and calls for decommissioning of the reactor would likely emerge stronger.

[quote]At the hearing held on Nov. 29, Hiromitsu Ino, professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, said, “I think the Genkai No. 1 nuclear reactor, which has been deteriorating much faster than predicted, should be decommissioned.”[/quote]


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