Steam leak prompts halt of recently restarted reactor at Genkai nuclear plant in Saga

Kyodo

Kyushu Electric Power Co. stopped generating electricity at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture on Saturday after a steam leak was detected in a reactor the previous day.

The utility said that no radiation leaked and that it will inspect the reactor, which resumed operation just a week ago.

According to Kyushu Electric, at around 7 p.m. Friday staff discovered steam leaking from the pipe of a device used to remove oxygen and other dissolved gases from feedwater used in steam generators.

Reactor 3 resumed operation on March 23 after being offline for over seven years amid concerns about how to evacuate residents near the plant in a serious accident. It resumed power generation two days later.

Kyushu Electric said its plan to restart reactor 4 in May could be delayed in light of the problem.

Reactor 3 unit was suspended for a regular inspection in December 2010, three months before the March 2011 quake and tsunami sparked the man-made crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

It cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety screening in January 2017 under stricter, post-Fukushima regulations and was later approved for reactivation by both the Genkai Municipal Government and the Saga Prefectural Government.