Three Nuclear Reactors Experienced Shutdown During Hurricane Sandy. One in Alert
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to maintain its heightened watchÂ over nuclear power plants in the Northeastern United States impacted by Sandy. Three reactorsÂ experienced shutdowns during the storm while another plant, Oyster Creek in New Jersey,Â remains in an â€œAlertâ€ due to high water levels in its water intake structure.
The three reactors to experience trips, or shutdowns, during the storm are Nine Mile PointÂ 1 in Scriba, N.Y., Indian Point 3 in Buchanan, N.Y.; and Salem Unit 1 in Hancocks Bridge, N.J.
Nine Mile Point 1 underwent an automatic shutdown at about 9 p.m. Monday when anÂ electrical fault occurred on power lines used to send power to the grid. It is likely a storm-relatedÂ event, but the plantâ€™s operators are still evaluating the cause. All plant safety systems respondedÂ as designed and the shutdown was safely carried out. Meanwhile, Nine Mile Point 2 experiencedÂ a loss of one of two incoming off-site power lines as a result of the fault. One of the plantâ€™sÂ emergency diesel generators started in response to generate power usually provided by the line.
Nine Mile Point 2 remained at full power.
Indian Point 3 automatically shut down at about 10:40 p.m. Monday in response toÂ electrical grid disturbances caused by the storm. All safety systems responded as designed andÂ the unit was placed in a safe shutdown condition.
Salem Unit 1 was manually shut down by plant operators at about 1:10 a.m. Tuesday as aÂ result of circulating-water pumps being affected by high river level and debris in the waterway.Â The circulating-water system is used to cool down steam generated by the reactor; it is a closedÂ system that does not come into contact with any radioactivity.
At Oyster Creek, the Alert was declared at approximately 8:45 p.m. An alert is theÂ second-lowest level of emergency classification used by the NRC. The Alert was preceded by anÂ â€œUnusual Eventâ€ at about 7 p.m. when the water level first reached a minimum high water levelÂ criteria. The water level rose due to a combination of a rising tide, wind direction and stormÂ surge. While the water level has dropped since peaking earlier today, the Alert will not be exitednuclear power plants, water levels
Short URL: http://www.solarthermalmagazine.com/?p=21490