Cracks in pipes found at S.C. nuclear power plant : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Cracks in pipes found at S.C. nuclear power plant Associated Press Friday, December 22, 2000

Columbia, S.C. --- More tiny cracks have been found in pipes that carry contaminated water through a Fairfield County nuclear power plant, but officials say the problem should not delay restarting its V.C. Summer plant next month as scheduled.

It would take three years for any newly discovered cracks to grow big enough to cause concern, according to a report by South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., presented to federal regulators Wednesday.

''We're still anticipating starting up in the first or second week of January,'' said Steve Byrne, vice president of nuclear operations for SCE&G.

The company plans to examine the cracks in 2003 to see if they have grown, Byrne said.

The plant has been closed since October, when inspectors found a major pipe leaking boric acid near the power station's radioactive core. Regulators say the leaking pipe did not pose a threat to the public because the plant has adequate containment areas and controls.

The discovery of the cracks prompted further testing last month that uncovered additional cracks along weld seams on other pipes, the company said Wednesday. Seven possible cracks were found on a section of pipe repaired since October. Eleven others are on other pipes, according to the company's report.

The cause of the cracks is unclear. SCE&G officials say the initial crack could have come from an outdated weld repair technique.

Nuclear safety advocates say the crack discovered in October could have led to a pipe break that would have required the plant to rely on emergency systems to keep the reactor cool.

Some of the possible cracks discovered last month were on pipes that carry water from a reactor core.

Federal regulators, nuclear safety advocates and atomic power executives have been watching the Summer plant closely. Cracks could indicate similar problems in plants across the country. A 27-inch crack was found in October.

Investigators also are reviewing the type of testing done to examine the safety of pipes.

-- Martin Thompson (, December 22, 2000


What the heck, its just a few little cracks. Lets just wait until they get bigger to fix them. Besides we don't even know why they are there in the first place.

-- Martin Thompson (, December 22, 2000.

Martin, I enjoy your remarks-it's good to know there are a few thinking human beings out there.

-- Ken (, December 22, 2000.


I certainly believe that the readers of this forum fall into that category. Otherwise I would have stopped posting a long time ago.

-- Martin Thompson (, December 22, 2000.

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