The concentration of impurity in steel a Japanese manufacturer supplied to nuclear facilities in France exceeded the standards set by the European country, Japan’s nuclear watchdog said Wednesday, meaning the steel could be weaker than expected. Briefed recently by French regulators about the finding, the Nuclear Regulation Authority is looking into allegations regarding the products provided by the Kitakyushu-based firm under scrutiny, Japan Casting & Forging Corp. The NRA said it needs to carry out tests to evaluate whether the steel is in fact lacking in strength. The French regulators said in June they found steel containing larger-than-expected amounts of impure substances in facilities such as reactor pressure vessels at 18 reactors operating in France and are investigating the matter. The steel products in question were made by Japan Casting & Forging and Creusot Forge, a subsidiary of France’s Areva SA. In August, the NRA ordered local utilities hosting nuclear power plants in Japan to examine reactors and other major parts at the plants. The utilities have been asked to report the results to the NRA by the end of October.
Japan Times 14th Sept 2016 read more »