Nuclear reactor trip caused by defective water pump via The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A cutoff in a nuclear power reactor on Tuesday was probably caused by a defective part or installation of a cooling water pump, and Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) said it might hold the supplier, Westinghouse Corp. of the United States, accountable.

Taipower said a cooling water pump of the No. 1 reactor at the Third Nuclear Power Plant malfunctioned at 6:25 a.m. that day, causing the reactor to trip and lowering the power reserve capacity to below 6 percent.

A “safe halt” mechanism was activated right after the reactor’s motor tripped, said Taipower, adding that an initial investigation found the incident was caused by the malfunction of a protective part.

Taipower said it has asked Westinghouse to confirm the cause of the trip, and will hold the U.S. company accountable for negligence, according to the terms of the contract.

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