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The maintenance manager of the Three mile Island nuclear power plant testified yesterday that in one of the reactors there, a key valve opened in the 1979 accident did not carry out preventive maintenance, allowing thousands of gallons of important cooling water to flow out.
Manager Richard Edward siglitz also said that when he accepted the job, no one told him the history of the valve failure.
In the accident, this is the most serious event in the history of commercial nuclear energy, due to the lack of cooling water, the reactor core of the Penn plant was discovered and accumulated too much heat to destroy it. Mr.
Sieglitz testified in a trial at the Federal District Court in Manhattan that sought to resolve the liability for the accident.
The operator of the plant, general public utilities, sued reactor manufacturer Babcock & Wilcox for $4 billion.
Utilities have accused manufacturers of failing to provide proper safety instructions.
The manufacturer said the utility had all the information needed but failed to operate the plant properly.
There are no signs of problems.
As a public utility witness, Sieglitz said in a direct inspection that he did not see any indication that the safety valve
was operating improperly prior to the accident.
AdvertisementHe said that he discounted the high temperature measured on the valve discharge pipe because the valve was on the top of the pressure vessel, which may indicate a leak of steam and hot water, which he thought was raised
The failed safety valve is designed to release the pressure before the main safety valve is triggered.
When these valves are closed, the factory must be closed for a long time. Mr.
Sieglitz argued that he had no reason to believe there was any problem with the safety valve because he knew that its design was more resistant to leakage than other valves.
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Inspection by Robert Wise, lawyer at Babcock & Wilcox
Sieglitz said he was not told there was a problem with the valve and had to return the valve to the manufacturer Dresser Industries for reconstruction.
The judge who tried the case without a jury, Richard Owen, seemed surprised that no one at the management had told him
Sieglitz of valve history.
The judge asked, \"Hey Dick, have we had a problem with these valves before ? \"? \'\' Mr.
Siglitz replied, \"I don\'t know.
Opinion of Babcock & wilcoxmr.
Wise sent out a letter from Babcock & Wilcox to utilities on 1975 saying that the valve should be checked regularly for corrosion, which could cause the valve to stick together. Mr.
Sigretz said he did not see the letter before the accident. Mr.
Wise asks if there is any preventive maintenance plan for the valve.
\"I don\'t remember anything . \"Sieglitz said.
Referring to earlier testimony about an incident that occurred at the plant on April 1978, excessive pressure caused the safety valve to be closed 50 times within 24 hours, Sir
Wise asked that this may not have damaged the valve.
\"For me, it looks like it is performing its functions . \"
He said no one asked him to check the valve after the incident.
A version of this article appears on page 9 of the National edition Avel, dated January 5, 1983, with the title: maintenance of valves recalled during the trial.