OH Nuke Fixes Leaky Pipe

Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 11:07 AM gHale


The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in northwest Ohio returned to service after a two-week shutdown to fix a coolant leak.

FirstEnergy Corp., the operator of the Davis-Besse plant located east of Toledo, said it returned to service July 12. The plant shut down June 29 after a power cable shorted out and crews discovered the leak.

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Davis-Besse shut itself down after a power cable to one of its four 25,000-horsepower reactor coolant pumps shorted out. Engineering crews then discovered the small leak.

The leak was a cracked weld in a small pipe that is part of reactor coolant recirculation system. The huge pumps and the small pipe are near the reactor, inside the reactor’s containment building.

A plant spokeswoman said the leak, about eight drops per minute, was too little to show up in daily measuring of coolant levels in the 89,000-gallon boiler.

None of the radioactive coolant escaped the containment building, said FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young.

To fix the leak, the company need to employ specialized welding to repair the crack, and that work could not occur until after the reactor cooled down, which took days, meaning FirstEnergy had to buy power, on an as needed basis, from the regional grid to replace what the reactor would have generated.



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