Unprecedented power surge hit Russian nuclear plant

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Unprecedented power surge hit Russian nuclear plant Source: BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union - Economic Publication date: 2000-09-11

Text of report in English by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS Yekaterinburg, 11th September: The Beloyarsk nuclear power plant in the Urals and two other electricity-generating utilities were hit by an unprecedented power surge on Saturday [9th September], however no changes in radiation background were reported.

The incident which affected numerous enterprises in Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk Regions was kept secret even from emergency services until Monday [11th September]. Now the plant is readying to switch on the reactor which stopped because of a breakdown in the electric power grid of Sverdlovsk Region, plant director Oleg Sarayev told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

"The situation was very unusual on Saturday. Nobody from among the plant personnel could remember such sharp fluctuations in the voltage and frequency of the electric current," Sarayev said, adding that "thanks to strict work of the safety system and excellent discipline of the personnel the reactor was switched off according to the projected scheme".

Experts of the plant investigated the incident, found no damage to the equipment and requested permission from federal electricity authorities to restart the reactor, the director said.

The plant is expected to reach the projected yield on Wednesday- Thursday [13th-14th September].

So far it is only known that two lines of Sverdlovenergo electric utility switched off, triggering a major surge in frequency. Emergency safety systems at electric power plants activated. Besides the reactor of the Beloyarsk nuclear plant, the breakdown shut down seven units of the Reft heat and power plant and the Krasnogorskaya electricity-generating unit.

The breakdown lasted for 55 minutes and then normal work was resumed, according to Sverdlovenergo.

The company said it was a "technological breakdown" which could have been triggered by a short circuit


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), September 12, 2000


Nobody could remember such a surge, huh? That's interesting. I'm no longer a 9 on y2k, but things are still happening that make me wonder a little bit.

-- Uncle Fred (dogboy45@bigfoot.com), September 13, 2000.

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