A Russian nuclear facility shut down one of its reactors after swelling and cracks appeared in the graphite used to moderate the reactor, Swedish language daily Hufvudstadsbladet reported on Friday.
The defects at the No 1 reactor at the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant (LNPP), which is operated by Russias state nuclear energy company Rosenergoatom, were apparently discovered in May when it was switched off for routine maintenance.
But the plants problems have only just been reported in Russias state media, according to the Norwegian energy paper, Bellona.
High purity synthetic graphite is widely used as a moderator and structural component in nuclear power plants all over the world, including in reactor bolshoy moshchnosty kanalny (RMBK) reactors, owing to its ability to retain its properties at very high temperatures.
Changes of graphites initial physical properties which occur during sustained...