Nuke Cooling System Lost; NRC On Site

Thursday, August 18, 2011 @ 05:08 PM gHale

The Turkey Point nuclear power plant is undergoing a special inspection to assess how and why the facility had a brief loss of the intake cooling water function at one of the plant’s two nuclear units, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials said.

Turkey Point Unit 3 lost the function of the intake cooling water system for about 20 minutes Aug. 11 when an open valve closed and then failed in that closed position.

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The intake cooling water system provides cooling to important plant equipment. NRC staff determined because the failure resulted in the loss of a safety system and because there is also a potential generic concern, a special inspection was appropriate.

The NRC special inspection team consists of two inspectors as well as an acting resident inspector already at the Turkey Point plant. The team will develop a timeline and review Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) response, assess the plant’s ability to meet its design functions, review maintenance and testing performed for the valve, and assess the company’s problem investigation activities.

The on-site portion of the inspection will wrap this week, and a report documenting the results should ready to go within 45 days of the completed inspection.

Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit 3 is a 720-megawatt pressurized water reactor that began commercial operations in 1972 and received approval in 2002 from the NRC to extend its operating license through 2032.

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