Arkansas Nuke Up and Running

Thursday, August 8, 2013 @ 07:08 PM gHale

The Arkansas Nuclear One power plant is preparing to have both reactor units back in operation, four months after a fatal industrial accident during refurbishment work.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recorded 1 percent output from unit 1 just as the reactor began start-up activities to eventually bring it to full power operation.

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The reactor went offline early this year for refueling and refurbishment work which required the removal of the generator stator.

A major incident occurred March 30 when the gantry used to remove the stator from the turbine hall collapsed, sending the 500-metric ton component crashing through a hole in the floor to a heavy transport vehicle below. One man died and two ended up seriously injured.

Certain electrical systems shared by both reactors suffered damage in the incident with the immediate effect being that unit 2 shut down, waiting around ten hours before normal grid power supply ended up restored. Unit 2 is now operating at 100 percent power.

Plant owner Entergy said in July the costs of tackling the repairs and replacing damaged equipment was in the range of $95-120 million, not including replacement energy to meet customers’ needs while the reactor remained shut down. At the same time, the utility said it had taken legal action to recover some damages and was assessing other options including insurance claims.

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