“There’s a rubber seal in the reactor which has possibly aged. Earlier a sample was sent away and the result will be back next week,” said Anders Jörle, head of information at the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, SKI.
An analysis of the seal showed that the elasticity of the rubber could have declined, according to a press message from power company Vattenfall, which owns the plant.
“If it’s not tight then the system in the reactor does not work. If a real accident were to happen this controls the flow of steam to the reactor – if it does not work then you have fewer options for dealing with a possible disaster,” Jörle explained.
He stated that the decision to close Forsmark 1 was correct, but would not be drawn on how serious the matter was.
“I don’t want to answer that. We will have a technical meeting,” he said.
The shutdown of the reactor began at midnight on Friday. On Saturday the nuclear inspectorate will hold a meeting about the incident.