Fresh nuclear fuel assembly falls off transfer machine at Loviisa nuclear power plant
On 28 February, a fresh nuclear fuel assembly fell from the gripper of the transfer machine into the fuel transfer basket in the unit 2 reactor hall of Fortum's Loviisa nuclear power plant. The incident was categorized as an anomaly that did not cause a radiation hazard or a risk of radiation hazard.
When the incident occurred, the employees of the nuclear power plant were transferring fuel from one storage pool to another in the reactor hall. The incident did not put anyone in the reactor hall in danger as all the fuel transfers are conducted underwater. In addition, fresh fuel emits very little radiation, and there are no radioactive gases inside the fuel rods.
Following the incident, Fortum immediately stopped the fuel transfer operation, investigated the situation, and reported the incident to the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK).
In previous years, similar errors have occurred in the handling of fuel in Loviisa. Due to the recurring nature of these incidents, STUK issued to Fortum a request for information. In the request for information, STUK stated that Fortum will not be allowed to proceed with fuel transfers until STUK has assessed the corrective measures proposed by Fortum and found them sufficient to prevent similar incidents.
On 24 March, STUK received the requested clarification from Fortum, describing the corrective measures to be carried out immediately as well as long-term development procedures. STUK granted Fortum permission to proceed with the transfers on 18.4.
On the INES scale, STUK placed the incident in category 1; in other words, the incident was categorized as an anomaly.
Section Head Simo Verta, tel. +358 (0)9 759 88 225
Communications Expert Risto Isaksson, tel. +358 (0)9 759 88 208