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Kepco begins checking pipes at three Fukui nuclear reactors

Kyodo

Kansai Electric Power Co. on Tuesday started checking the safety of pipes at three nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture, following a fatal accident on Aug. 9 at the utility’s Mihama nuclear power plant.

The Osaka-based utility company on Friday suspended the operations of the No. 2 reactor at the Mihama plant and the No. 4 reactor at the Oi plant, and those of the No. 2 reactor at the Takahama plant early Saturday.

It was the first step of Kepco’s plan to suspend the operations of all eight of its running nuclear reactors to check the safety of pipes.

The checks were carried out in the presence of officials from Fukui Prefecture and the town of Mihama.

Checks were mainly conducted around the downstream part of the orifice meter for secondary cooling water. The company conducted ultrasound examinations to check the thickness of the pipes at the reactors.

Kepco said the thickness of all the pipes checked on the first day cleared the minimum safety requirements.

The checks are expected to last at least a month; examining each reactor takes one to two weeks, company officials said earlier.

The decision to check the pipes was made Friday at the request of Fukui Gov. Issei Nishikawa, the officials said.

The company plans to suspend five other reactors in two stages. At least 150 points will be examined in total.

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