Illinois nuke shuts down unexpectedly : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Clinton plant shuts down unexpectedly

By KELLY JOSEPHSEN Pantagraph staff CLINTON -- The Clinton nuclear power station unexpectedly shut down early Tuesday as workers conducted routine testing. Plant officials expect the plant will resume generating power sometime today.

Illinois Power, which is partially supplied by the Clinton plant, did not have any trouble meeting customer demand despite the loss of output.

Clinton station spokesman Bruce Paulsen said the station went off-line at 2:51 a.m. "During the test, the steam turbine shut down automatically, and as a result the generator shut down," Paulsen said.

Steam produced by Clinton's reactor spins a turbine that makes the generator produce electricity for transmission lines, Paulsen said. He did not know why the turbine shut down.

Workers have done maintenance work during previous shutdowns, but Exelon, which owns the station, wants it to return to service as quickly as possible, partly because of the hot weather.

Paulsen said Exelon still can fulfill the contracts it has with power suppliers across the country.

IP buys 75 percent of the plant's output under a power purchase agreement that was part of its sale of the Clinton station in December 1999.

Mike Harrison, Bloomington-Normal regional manager for IP, said the utility still has plenty of power available to meet customer needs.

"We're not having any power supply problems because we have contracts with multiple suppliers, and using that approach we're able to meet demand," he said.

Harrison noted that, despite the heat, IP has not yet seen any demand records.

Peak usage records typically come in August, he said.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 25, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ