April 21, 2017 / 9:10 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Slovenia to halt nuclear plant over valve problem

(Adds detail, background)

LJUBLJANA, April 21 (Reuters) - The operator of Slovenia’s sole nuclear power plant Krsko (NEK) will halt the plant because of a problem with a steam valve, NEK spokeswoman Ida Novak Jerele told Reuters on Friday.

The plant is expected to be back on the grid by the end of the weekend. There was no impact on the environment, she said.

Some extra steam was released overnight from the plant due to the fault, but the valve has since returned to its normal position, NEK said.

The outage is needed to diagnose the problem and correct the valve placement and for that the temperature on the valve has to be reduced to 60 degrees Celsius from 270 degrees Celsius, it added. Regular maintenance of the plant, which takes place every 18 months, was completed in November.

The plant, which was built in cooperation with U.S. firm Westinghouse, now part of Japan’s Toshiba Corp., started operation in 1982. It is jointly owned by Slovenia and neighbouring Croatia, and its lifespan was prolonged last year by 20 years to 2043. (Reporting by Marja Novak; Writing by Maja Zuvela; Editing by David Evans and Mark Potter)

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