Westinghouse dismisses 'link' between fuel and Zaporozhiya fault

08 December 2014

Westinghouse Electric Company has rejected as incorrect claims in some media reports that a problem with a nuclear power reactor in Ukraine ten days ago was linked to its nuclear fuel.

The Toshiba majority-owned company was referring to the automatic shutdown on 28 November of unit 3 of the Zaporozhiya nuclear power plant in Ukraine following a short circuit in its transmission system.

Energoatom, Ukraine's state-owned nuclear power plant operator, said on 3 December that the unit had disconnected from the grid automatically as "protection against internal damage to the generator."

Yves Brachet, president of Westinghouse's Europe, Middle East and Africa unit said in a statement on 5 December, "There is currently no Westinghouse fuel operating in any of the six 1000 MWe Russian type VVER reactors at the Zaporozhzya nuclear power plant, which to our knowledge is fueled only with fuel supplied by the Russian company TVEL. Westinghouse fuel is however operating safely and efficiently at the South Ukraine NPP without any defects in performance. We cannot speak further to the safety or performance of the operations at the Zaporozhiya NPP."

Meanwhile, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRC) said on 5 December that Zaporozhiya 3 had been connected that day to the power grid upon replacement of the transformer in the auxiliary power supply section ВА - 6 kV and completion of startup operations. Radiation levels at the site of the Zaporozhiya plant remain within the limits of normal plant operation and do not exceed natural background levels, it added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News