Second Oyster Creek nuclear power plant shut down due to electricity loss : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Operators at Oyster Creek nuclear power plant shut down the reactor yesterday morning after three pumps that recirculate cooling water through the reactor core lost electricity, a plant spokeswoman said. Operators were returning the generator to full power after repairing one of the plant's two main transformers when a loss of electricity to three of the plant's five recirculation pumps prompted operators to manually shut down the reactor, according to a plant news release. There was no release of radiation and no injuries. The reactor will remain out of service while operators and plant management determine what triggered the loss of power, said plant spokeswoman Debra Lynn Piana. If crews can locate and repair the problem, operators may be able to restart the reactor as soon as today, she said. "If in fact they do find the problem and can repair it quickly, they can turn around and start back up and restart full power," Piana said. Restarting the reactor from a cold shutdown can take from 24 to 48 hours, she said. Piana said the plant had been operating at about 60 percent power since Feb. 2 while crews repaired one of the two main transformers. 1 The transformers step up 24,000 volts from the generator to 230,000 volts of power for customers. Operators reduced power to about 20 percent yesterday to reconnect and re-energize the repaired transformer. They were in the process of bringing the generator back up to full power when the pumps shut down, she said. Piana said yesterday's shutdown is not related to a Jan. 21 incident in which the same pumps shut down because of human error. In that incident, during a test of instruments that send signals to the pumps, plant workers failed to reset a group of switches before moving on to test another group of switches. When the second group was tested, the pump system automatically shut down, plant officials have said. The Oyster Creek plant, located on Route 9, is owned by GPU Energy Inc., and is operated by GPU Nuclear Inc. 03/01/00 19:53 EST

-- Jeanette Thomas (, March 03, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ