Workers at the Sendai nuclear plant have found cracked tubes in the condensers that allowed seawater to migrate into the secondary cooling loop. The five cracked tubes found so far have been plugged to prevent their use. Sendai’s reactor has three condensers with 26,000 tubes each. Sendai’s design has a secondary cooling loop that acts as a “go between” to transfer heat between the reactor and the turbine systems. This has had the benefit of preventing the direct contact between the sea water and the reactor water. Failing condensers can still be a death sentence to a nuclear reactor if the costs to repair become too high.
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