Vattenfall reports control rod damage at Forsmark 3

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

STOCKHOLM, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Swedish power group Vattenfall said on Tuesday an inspection had revealed one broken control rod and cracks in about 30 percent of others at its Forsmark 3 reactor.

Forsmark communications director Claes-Inge Andersson told Reuters that about 100 out of 169 rods had been inspected and cracks had been found in some 25-30 percent of them.

The unit has been shut since Oct. 21 and Andersson said it would not reopen before Nov. 28 at the earliest.

The inspection will be completed at the end of the week and the results examined to see what has caused the damage.

The company said in October it would inspect Forsmark 3 after the discovery of a broken control rod at the Oskarshamn 3 reactor. The two reactors have similar designs.

Sweden's nuclear industry has been hit by a number of problems over the last couple of years. Forsmark, 66 percent-owned by Vattenfall, suffered an emergency shutdown in 2006.

Two nuclear power plants in Germany part-owned by Vattenfall have been out of operation since mid-2007, one due to a fire and the other a short-circuit.

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