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Swiss nuclear plant finds defective tubes from France's Areva

Staff Writer |
Tubes supplied by French Areva to a plant in northern Switzerland are defective and will be replaced, Swiss nuclear safety inspectors and the company said.

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"The nuclear power plant in Leibstadt informed the Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (IFSN) a few days ago that some of its fuel production components did not meet specifications", the agency said in a statement.

Areva said the problem was linked to the "sporadic dysfunction of the control system" in zirconium tubes, which are used to encase fuel rods at nuclear plants.

The company said the issue occurred at its Paimboeuf production site in Western France.

Areva said it had informed its customers that the tubes should not be used.

The IFSN said that the Leibstadt plant had already been shut down for regularly scheduled maintainance when the problem emerged, and that the site would remain closed through the end of the year while the issue was resolved.

The tubes are being replaced "for safety reasons", the agency said.

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