APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We could have told you that, Iran...

Here is some proof that equipment manufactured, installed and left unmaintained since the 1970's will, in all likelihood, fail upon being started in 2011.

The Iranian plant at Bushehr, being jointly finished by the Iranians and by Rosatom of Russia, has been (quite famously) defueled and startup seriously delayed by the failure of a main coolant pump. Apparently not only did wear shavings enter the coolant system, but pump vibration caused piping failures. (No pump monitors? NONE?!! Really?!) This serious failure is a major setback; surely the original pump design is no longer available. If it is, will the Germans sell it to the Iranians, or to Rosatom? Who knows.

We will need to keep this squarely in mind if anyone here in the United States seriously considers finishing any of the unfinished plants and using installed hardware.

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