Nuke Plant Pump Shuts, Fish Die

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 @ 02:08 PM gHale

Pumps that cool water as it leaves the Oyster Creek nuclear power plant shut down, causing a rise in water temperature and a trail of dead fish in the canal, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials said.

The problem started when electricity stopped due to a problem with the Jersey Central Power & Light grid, and the pumps shut down at 8:05 p.m., an NRC spokesman said.

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“Oyster Creek reduced reactor power to control discharge water temperatures, but a fish kill was subsequently identified in the canal,” said spokesman Neil Sheehan.

Plant operator, Exelon, said 300 fish were lost due to the rise in water temperature.

“Exelon operators and staff immediately took action to make sure the plant continued operating safely and reliably and that environmental impact was minimal,” said Oyster Creek Site Vice President Mike Massaro. “Although power to the dilution pumps has been restored and the reactor is returning to full power, it will be some time before environmental crews will have confirmed totals of lost fish.”

Power to the pumps came back early the next morning.

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