Monday, February 28, 2011

Delay at Bushehr Caused by Damage to Cooling Pump

Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, the builder of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power reactor, said today the damage to one of the reactor’s four main cooling pumps was the reason behind the removal of the fuel core last week that would be followed by the inspection of the reactor and its fuel assemblies to make sure they harbored no metal particles or chips, the New York Times reported [28 February].

Detection of metal shards requires thorough cleaning of the reactor, which could delay the startup up to two months. But University of Wisconsin’s nuclear scientist Michael Corradini told the Times that metallic debris whirling through the reactor’s cooling water posed no danger, although it would cause wear and tear, shortening the reactor’s lifetime.


Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight: the nuclear scientist says metallic debris swirling about the cooling sections and back through the pumps is AOK? Good gravy, I hope he isn't in charge of any US reactors.

Nader Uskowi said...

And Rostam's account does not explain why such damage occurred. I don't know much about the reactor, but I agree that metallic debris swirling about its cooling section does not sound good!

Add this one to a list of unending controversies surrounding the Bushehr. It's been decades in the making, different builders at each stage, using old technologies even before it starts up. Safety will remain a major concern.

Mark Pyruz said...

Good grief, the cooling pumps are 70s era German units integrated into a Russian system.