Nuclear reactor shutdown probed : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Daily Record, MOrris County, N.J. 1/22/2000 Forked River (AP)

Managers at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station were investigating why pumps that recirculate water through the reactor core automatically shut down yesterday morning, triggering a controlled shutdown of the reactor.

GPU Nuclear Inc., which operates the 30 year old nuclear reactor said no radiation was released and no one was injured when the controlled shutdown occurred at 10:48 a.m.

"At this point in time, we need to troubleshoot," said GPU Nuclear spokeswoman Suzanne D'Ambrosio. "It's really a little early to pinpoint any cause."

The plant had been operating at a reduced level, about 65 percent power, so operators could perform routine quarterly plant testing. During testing yesterday morning of instrumentation that monitors operation of the reactor's five recirculation pumps, one of the instruments erroneously signaled the pumps to stop. Operators then immediately shut down the reactor as required.

The plant will remain off-line until the cause of the faulty signal is determined.

-- Jeanette Thomas (, January 27, 2000


Here is a follow up story than ran in the Asbury Park Press today:

BC-GNJ-NUKE Power plant may start up by weekend By ALLISON GARVEY MANAHAWKIN BUREAU LACEY Operators at Oyster Creek nuclear power plant plan to restart the reactor this weekend at the earliest, but more likely early next week, a plant spokeswoman said.

Meanwhile, plant environmentalists will continue to monitor the number of dead fish in lagoons around the plant and in Oyster Creek, a result of the cessation of warm water flowing from plant condensers, plant spokeswoman Suzanne D'Ambrosio said. "What we found, which is what we expected to find, was that as the ice started to melt in the lagoon, there were more fish (dying)," D'Ambrosio said. "Our environmental crews will keep a continual watch on the lagoon areas to keep a handle on the count." Monday, the fishkill was up to 530. D'Ambrosio said the plant didn't have a new count available, but that the number has obviously climbed with recent cold weather. The reactor was taken off line Jan. 21 when the pumps that recirculate water to cool the reactor automatically shut down during a routine test, officials said. Operators were testing the instruments that send signals to the pumps when one of the instruments suddenly and erroneously signaled the pumps to stop,they said. Operators immediately shut down the reactor as required with no release of radiation and no injuries, officials said. ednote Allison Garvey: (609) 597-7000, Ext. 5183 01/26/00 19:53 EST

-- Jeanette Thomas (, January 28, 2000.

Jeanette, what's the Url for this article? Thanks.

-- Lee Maloney (, January 29, 2000.

I got this article direct from the Daily Record newspaper while in NJ. I followed up with news editor Steve Johnson and asked for further info. He forwarded the second article. It may be on their web site

-- Jeanette Thomas (, January 29, 2000.

No URL. This just came in from Steve Johnson (see answer above)

Today's Oyster Creek story:

FORKED RIVER, N.J. (AP) -- The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station resumed generating electricity Wednesday morning following a 12-day unplanned outage.

Operators shut down the reactor on Jan. 21 when instrumentation that signals the operation of the plant's five recirculation pumps suddenly signaled the pumps to stop. GPU Nuclear Inc., which owns the reactor, determined that human error was responsible for the incident. No injuries were reported and no radiation was released from the plant, the company said. Since the plant was shut down, about 3,000 fish in waters surrounding theplant's discharge canal have died from thermal shock because the water turned much colder than they were used to. The outage ended a 434-day stretch of uninterrupted operation for the 30-year-old plant. The reactor is expected to remain at reduced power for several days until repairs can be made to a transformer that sustained minor damage during the shutdown. The plant was at about 27 percent capacity Wednesday afternoon, spokeswoman Suzanne D'Ambrosio said.

-- Jeanette Thomas (, February 03, 2000.

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