Cooling System Woes, Refueling Shut MI Nuke
Friday, September 25, 2015 @ 05:09 PM gHale
The nuclear reactor at DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 power plant shut down for cooling system work and will remain shut down as work begins on a planned refueling and maintenance outage earlier than initially set.
Operators shut down the Monroe, MI- based plant Sept. 13 after they discovered an issue with the cooling water system in the turbine.
“The plant remained in a safe condition following the shutdown,” DTE officials said.
The refueling and maintenance outage, originally scheduled to begin Monday, ended up moved to coincide with the outage. “Since we are already shut down, this enables us to more efficiently use the time and resources necessary to begin work we had already planned for the refueling and maintenance outage,” said Vito Kaminskas, Fermi 2 site vice president.
A refuel and maintenance outage end up performed every 18 months at the nuclear power plant. During the outage, plant personnel will replace about a third of the fuel in the reactor, in addition to completing thousands of maintenance and testing activities throughout the plant, officials said.
Over 1,500 supplemental workers are at Fermi 2 to support the work. DTE Energy said many of those workers are from the southeast Michigan area while others come from across the country.
Guy D. Cerullo, manager of nuclear communications for the plant, said the plant’s cooling system “essentially stopped working.” The cooling system cools auxiliary equipment and when the system is not available to do so, operations staff manually shut down the plant. A plant also can automatically shut down when equipment malfunctions. The last automatic shutdown took place March 19. The plant had been operational for 163 days without a shutdown until Sept. 13.