*Important* Nuclear Reactor Malfunctions, Possibly Y2k-related

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The safety-critical feedwater system at the Millstone 2 nuclear reactor in Waterford, Connecticut has malfunctioned today.

David Lochbaum of Union of Concerned Scientists has stated: "The worst US nuclear power plant accident occurred at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. An equipment problem interrupted the plant's feedwater flow"..."Y2K can start any US nuclear power plant down the Three Mile Island pathway. The feedwater system at every nuclear power plant in the United States is Y2K vulnerable. Many of these systems use embedded chips and/or digital controls. All of these systems require the electrical grid to be available. Y2K can directly disable the feedwater system or it can indirectly disable the system by knocking out the electrical grid."

Further, the NRC has itself reported today that 23 of 45 emergency sires are disabled due to ice storms (a loss of their off-site response capability). http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/DAILY/der.htm

View the Millstone 2 NRC page at: http://www.nrc.gov/AEOD/pib/reactors/336/336toc.html

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) Northeast Utilities on Thursday shut down the Millstone 2 nuclear power plant after a malfunction in the system that supplies water to generate electricity.

Spokesman Joe Pillittere said workers monitoring the feedwater system which funnels nonradioactive water to the steam engines that create electricity shut down the plant manually at about 2:30 p.m.

The workers noticed a change in the pressure or temperature in the system, he said. There was enough of a discrepancy that the plant would have automatically shut down if the workers had not pulled the plug.

Pillittere said there was no danger of a meltdown or leak and the reactor remained at normal operating pressure and temperature.

Pillittere said officials would review the incident to determine the cause of the malfunction. He could not say when the plant would be brought back online, but said safety is the top priority.

''We've raised our standards to a higher level and we want to do things right,'' he said.

All three Millstone reactors were shut down in 1996 due to safety concerns. In the past year, Millstone 2 and 3 gained federal approval to restart. Millstone 1 is being decommissioned.

Article at: http://www.boston.com/dailynews/027/region/NU_shuts_down_Millstone_2_afte:.shtml

-- Antoine Neron (metis@2000now.org), January 27, 2000


The source for the David Lochbaum quote above is http://www.co-intelligence.org/y2k_UCS+nukes.html

-- Antoine (metis@2000now.org), January 28, 2000.

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