Around five tons of seawater is estimated to have entered the reactor core of Unit 5 at the 3,617 MW Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Japan, according to the Jiji Press. That follows the discovery of an estimated 400 tons of seawater that flooded the reactor’s main steam condenser.
Workers with plant owner Chubu Electric Power Co. found the seawater while shutting down the reactor as requested by the government. Officials said the assessment of the purity of the water inside the pressure vessel showed it came from the condenser.
The utility does not plan to decommission the reactor, but will dilute and desalinate the water to prevent any corrosion inside the reactor.
The operator reportedly is now pumping fresh water into the pressure vessel to reduce the concentration of salt.
The Japanese government on May 6 requested that the Hamaoka power plant shut down due to concerns that another strong earthquake would cause another nuclear crisis. The plant is located along a geological faultline.
Subscribe to Nuclear Power International