Pump Fails; Hope Creek Shuts Down

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 @ 04:03 PM gHale

Hope Creek nuclear reactor shut down Sunday so operators could repair a key pump, a spokesman for the utility said.

The reactor went off-line at 11:02 a.m., according to PSEG Nuclear’s Joe Delmar.

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One of Lower Alloways Creek Township, NJ-based Hope Creek’s two water recirculation pumps tripped off-line Thursday afternoon prompting operators to cut the reactor’s output of electricity to 55 percent.

Since Thursday, workers had attempted to find what caused the one pump to shut down and make repairs needed to restart it.

Taking the nuclear plan off-line Sunday allowed workers “to finish troubleshooting and to make repairs,” Delmar said He had no estimate when they would finish repairs and when the reactor would restart.

The pump involved is one of two that recirculates water to the reactor and helps control the amount of power the reactor generates, Delmar said.

The reactor recirculation pumps are part of electricity production and separate from the critical safety-related core cooling water system.

Hope Creek is one of three reactors operated by PSEG Nuclear at its Artificial Island nuclear generating complex on the shore of the Delaware River.

The other two reactors — Salem 1 and Salem 2 — remained operating at full power Sunday, Delmar said. The three reactors comprise the second largest nuclear generating complex in the United States.

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