Nukes Take Hits

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 @ 04:08 PM gHale


Mother Nature and simple routine tests either slowed down or knocked offline a couple nuclear plants late last week.

In one case a lightning strike temporarily knocked out an electricity source for the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

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The bolt struck in an electrical switchyard across the street from the plant, disabling one of the plant’s three outside power sources for about an hour, plant officials said.

Power at the plant’s Unit 3 reduced to about 70 percent following the lightning strike. Indian Point 2 remained at full power.

Officials said no equipment endured damage in the incident and backup diesel generators kicked on to provide replacement power.

Meanwhile a reactor at PPL Corp.’s Susquehanna nuclear power plant unexpectedly shut down Friday while workers were performing routine tests, the company said.

No one suffered injuries from the automatic shutdown, which happened at 10:46 a.m. EDT as the unit’s sensors performed routine equipment surveillance, said PPL spokesman George Lewis.

The company has not determined whether the tests caused the reactor to shut down and stop generating electricity. Another unit at the two-reactor facility continued to operate at full power.

PPL and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. jointly own the northeast Pennsylvania power plant.



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