MI Nuke Shuts after Water Leak

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 08:05 AM gHale


Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern Michigan shut down Sunday because of a water leak from a tank, which last year caused seepage into the control room.

Operators said they took the plant offline for repairs to the safety injection/refueling water tank.

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“There is no impact on the health and safety of plant employees or the public,” Palisades spokeswoman Lindsay Rose said.

The plant is along Lake Michigan in Van Buren County’s Covert Township, about 80 miles northeast of Chicago.

“This tank has leaked before. It leaked in 2012. The plant had to shut down to repair the leak to the tank,” said Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said. “It’s a repeat occurrence.”

The 2012 leakage caused water seepage into the plant’s control room. Sunday’s shutdown happened after the water tank exceeded a 38-gallon daily leak limit set after last year’s shutdown.

“The NRC resident inspectors are closely following the plant’s actions to identify the source of the leakage and repair the tank,” Mitlyng said.

She also said inspectors “are evaluating these actions to make sure that the plant and the public continue to be safe.”

New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. owns the plant and it has been under extra NRC scrutiny after numerous safety issues. It has shut down nine times since September 2011, including in February for a different water leakage problem.

In September 2012, the NRC conducted an 11-day inspection of the plant and determined its operators had “adequately addressed” problems identified in 2011. But it said the plant needed additional oversight to ensure remaining corrective actions ended up properly carried out and they would understand the cause of leaks earlier that year so they wouldn’t lead to new problems.

The NRC said the plant would undergo 1,000 hours of inspection beyond the 2,000 hours of baseline inspections at nuclear plants annually.



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