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Spent fuel containers not strong enough for intented storage?

December 5, 2015

Regulator probes fuel container strength at Fukushima nuclear plant



TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's nuclear regulatory body said Friday it has launched an investigation into metallic spent fuel containers at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as they may not have sufficient strength.

Members of the Nuclear Regulation Authority raised the issue Friday at a meeting to discuss nuclear safety problems. The body will examine whether the containers made by Kobe Steel Ltd. are safe for long-term use.

The nuclear regulation watchdog said it will also launch a probe at Japan Atomic Power Co.'s Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture as the same type of fuel container may be used there.

The fuel storages meet strength criteria set by the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers. But the metal plates inside them may not be strong enough for use in storing nuclear spent fuel.

TEPCO said it believes the strength of the containers meets the NRA's safety standards.

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