Skip to comments.Hungary nuclear plant leaks radioactive gas (incident level 3, cause: French-German equipment)
Posted on 04/25/2003 9:54:44 PM PDT by FairOpinion
Hungary's only nuclear reactor at Paks, has been leaking radioactive gas since April 10, claim "no damage to the environment", as a result of an incident rated level 3, highest, before it is classified an accident. 30 fuel rods were seriously damaged. The damage was traced back to cooling insufficiency, malfunctioning of cooling equipment made by French-German company.
This info is in two separate articles, but above was the summary. Here are the two articles, both by Reuters: ============= BUDAPEST, April 18 (Reuters) - Hungary's only nuclear plant said on Friday traces of radioactive gas had leaked into the atmosphere earlier this month but the incident, the most serious at the plant to date, posed no environmental danger.
Paks has four Soviet-type VVER-440 pressurised water reactors, the first of which became operational in 1982. "The incident did not affect the installations or technological systems of reactor bloc II," the Paks nuclear plant said in a statement. "Emission levels are within accepted levels, and there is no measurable difference in the background radiation level in the surrounding area."
Reactor II started to leak traces of radioactive gas on April 10, during a routine cleaning of the fuel rods, and the incident was originally classified level two on the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) seven-step scale. On Thursday, upon opening the reactor bloc which could until then only be inspected through video cameras, Paks raised the level of the incident to three.
This is the highest incident level, as events from four on the scale are considered accidents. The 1979 meltdown at the U.S. Three Mile Island power plant was classified five on the same scale and the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe ranked seven.
Paks said in previous a statement that most of the 30 fuel rods in the reactor bloc have been "seriously damaged" but the leakage of the radioactive gas caused no detectable increase in radiation.
Friday's statement from the plant also said that the damaged fuel rods were currently at the bottom of a pool containing several hundred cubic metres of water and nuclear specialists were planning their removal.
It also said that the other three reactors continue to operate normally.
The four reactors with an installed capacity of 1,860 megawatts cover about 40 percent of this 10 million country's annual power consumption.
And the second article, which mentions the cause, it's an update:
Hungary nuclear plant sees losses due to incident HUNGARY: April 25, 2003
BUDAPEST - Hungary's only nuclear plant said this week that it will suffer serious financial losses due to an incident earlier this month which will force the plant to delay the restart of one of its four reactors.
Last week the Paks nuclear plant said that traces of radioactive gas had leaked into the atmosphere earlier this month but the incident, the most serious at the Hungarian plant to date, posed no environmental danger. The incident, originally classified level two on the International Atomic Energy Agency's seven-step scale, was later raised to level three. This is the highest incident level, as events from four on the scale are considered accidents.
Paks has four Soviet-type VVER-440 pressurised water reactors, the first of which became operational in 1982.
This week Paks said in a statement that the maintenance of Reactor II will not be completed by May 6 as planned and the reactor will not be able to resume operation then.
Every idle day means a revenue loss of 50 million forints ($223,000), the plant added.
Reactor II started to leak traces of radioactive gas on April 10, during a cleaning of the fuel rods.
Upon opening the reactor bloc last week, Paks raised the level of the incident to three but said the incident did not affect the installations or technological systems of reactor bloc II and emission levels remained within accepted levels.
During the incident, 30 fuel rods in Reactor II were seriously damaged and had to be placed into a pool containing several hundred cubic metres of water for cooling.
Right now nuclear specialists are planning their removal.
"The final solution, the removal of damaged fuel rods, and their long-term cooling and then a decision about their storage will be the result of a complex work process. It would be irresponsible to project exactly how long this will take," the plant said.
French-German company Framatome ANP had supplied the tank and related equipment for the cooling process.
"According to preliminary findings, the damage (to the fuel rods) can be traced back to the cooling insufficiency of the tank, in which the fuel rod cassettes overheated," Paks said, but did not say whether it was planning to sue the company.
Late on Tuesday local news agency MTI said, citing Paks CEO Istvan Kocsis, that the plant would decide later, after a thorough inquiry into the causes of the incident, on any demand for compensation from Framatome ANP.
He said the value of the 30 damaged rods was 450-750 million forints.
No Paks officials were available for comment this week.
The four reactors of Paks with a capacity of 1,860 megawatts cover about 40 percent of Hungary's annual power consumption.
Remember, ABC revealed the liberal bias in reporting. CNN came clean after TWELVE years. At FR, we learn quickly the media is like this.