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Aomori Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant Stops Cooling Function “Valve Mistakenly Closed?”

July 19, 2022
Regarding the trouble at a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho Village, Aomori Prefecture, where the cooling function for high-level radioactive liquid waste temporarily stopped, the operator, JNFL, revealed the results of its investigation, which indicated that workers likely accidentally closed a valve on an operating pipe that circulates water for cooling.

At the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant, the cooling system at one of the tanks storing high-level radioactive liquid waste stopped for about eight hours on the second of this month, and JNFL was investigating the cause.

There are two systems of piping for circulating cooling water, and as a result of the investigation, it was revealed at the press conference that there is a high possibility that workers mistakenly closed the valve of the piping in operation, when they were instructed to close the piping under construction.

According to JNFL, the valves were not clearly labeled and instructions were given only orally. JNFL said that it will take measures by the end of this month, such as attaching tags to valves in more than 500 locations in the building where the trouble occurred, so that the status of the system and valves open and closed can be identified.

JNFL has informed the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the local government of the results of the investigation and measures to prevent recurrence. We have strongly requested that JNFL take all possible safety measures, and the village will continue to closely monitor the response.

July 22, 2022 - Posted by | Japan | , , ,

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