21 Janvier 2017
January 21, 2017
Large crane collapses at Takahama nuclear plant
A large crane has toppled onto a building storing nuclear fuel at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. Part of the building's roof was damaged. There were no reported injuries.
Workers at the plant found on Friday night that the crane had half-collapsed onto the building next to the containment vessel of the No.2 reactor.
The crane is about 110 meters long. It buckled where it hit the edge of the roof and is lying across another building.
Officials at Kansai Electric Power Company say no one was injured. They confirmed damage to a facility collecting rainwater on the roof, but say they have detected no change to radiation levels in the surrounding area.
The Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority says its inspectors have confirmed the falling crane caused wall panels inside the building to move. Workers are checking the building's functions to prevent radioactive materials from leaking.
Kansai Electric officials say they believe strong winds likely toppled the crane. They are investigating whether there was any problem in its installation.
Weather officials had warned of strong winds in the prefecture at the time.
The Takahama plant's operational chief, Masakazu Takashima, has apologized for the accident.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority in June last year approved the operation of the plant's No.1 and No.2 reactors beyond the basic limit of 40 years.
The crane was reportedly being used for construction work on the containment vessel as part of safety measures for the operation extension.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
TAKAHAMA, Fukui Prefecture--A large crane toppled in strong winds at the Takahama nuclear power plant here Jan. 20, causing some damage to the roofs of two buildings but no injuries.
Plant operator Kansai Electric Power Co. reported the incident before dawn Jan. 21 and said no change had been detected in radiation levels in surrounding areas.
The 113-meter tall crane used for construction work collapsed around 9:50 p.m. Nobody was working in the vicinity at the time. The plant's operations have been suspended.
The mangled wreckage lies on an auxiliary building for the aging No. 2 reactor and another building used to store spent nuclear fuel. The fuel rods were not disturbed, Kansai Electric said.
Winds gusting at 50.4 to 54 kph were raging at the time, and a warning had been issued in Fukui Prefecture.
In June last year, the Nuclear Regulation Authority approved the operation of the plant's No. 1 and No. 2 reactors beyond the basic limit of 40 years for another 20 years, the first time it had done so.
Kansai Electric plans to install dome-shaped concrete roofs on the upper part of the reactors' containment vessels as a safety step to fulfill the requirements for the extension.
To prepare for the full-fledged start of the installment work in February, the utility set up four big cranes in December.