Nuke Backup Generator Faults

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 @ 09:10 PM gHale

A problem with an emergency diesel generator at the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant triggered a special inspection.

The inspection is not about safety issues at the plant, said Victor Dricks, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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Diesel generators are the main backup power source to the plant’s safety systems, if there is a loss of off-site power. The generators undergo periodic testing and one of Wolf Creek’s diesel generators didn’t test correctly, Dricks said.

The generator fluctuated in power input, causing operators to shut it down, the NRC said.

Inspectors want to determine what caused the malfunction and what corrective action Wolf Creek took.

Wolf Creek’s plant is in northeast Kansas, about three miles north of Burlington.

In March, Wolf Creek’s nuclear reactor was one of three in the country targeted for increased oversight by the NRC. Wolf Creek triggered the attention because of three unplanned plant shutdowns in 2010.

After Wolf Creek took corrective action and passed a supplemental inspection, the facility went back in good standing with the agency in May.

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