NJ Nuke Shuts Down — Again

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 04:04 PM gHale


For the second time in a week, the Salem 1 nuclear reactor in New Jersey shut down just after restarting following a problem last week, officials said.

The plant automatically tripped off-line at 9:13 p.m. Sunday, according to Joe Delmar, a spokesman for the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear.

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Delmar said Monday a generator protection relay has been singled out as the cause. The switch protects the main generator which produces electricity at the plant from changes in voltage.

He said PSEG workers are currently “troubleshooting’ the situation to determine a cause and what repairs they need to do before the reactor can be restart.

Last week Salem 1 ended up taken manually off-line when one of the pumps that feeds water into the steam generators shut down. A short in a wire was the cause of that incident, Delmar said. Salem 1 restarted Friday evening.

Delmar said there is no relation between the two problems and both incidents were on the non-nuclear side of the Lower Alloways Creek plant.

Salem 1 was operating at 100 percent power when it shut down.

Inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) found the plant shut down as it should in such an instance.

“ … the operators responded to the event in a manner that was appropriate and in accordance with safety procedures,” according to Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman.

NRC inspectors who work on site will continue to monitor the situation, Sheehan said.

Delmar had no estimate as to when Salem 1 might restart.

With Salem 1 back down, that leaves two of the three reactors operated by PSEG Nuclear at its Artificial Island generating complex off line.

The neighboring Salem 2 reactor shut down Saturday at 8 p.m. for a scheduled refueling.

The third reactor at the Island, Hope Creek, remains operating at full power.

The three plants comprise the second largest nuclear generating complex in the United States.



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