Two Nukes Forced to Shut Down

Friday, June 5, 2015 @ 11:06 AM gHale

Two separate incidents forced the shutdown of two nuclear plants Sunday.

One incident occurred at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Welch, MN, as they had to shut down one of its two reactors Sunday after its feedwater system, which supplies water to the steam generators, malfunctioned.

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There was no danger to employees or to the public as a result of the malfunction, Xcel officials said. The company is working to repair the malfunctioning component.

During outages, Xcel purchases electricity from other utilities or increases electricity production at its other plants to prevent service interruptions.

In the other incident, the Cook nuclear power plant’s Unit 1 went offline Sunday after workers discovered a problem with a diesel generator during a routine test.

Indiana Michigan Power, owner of the Bridgman, MI-based Cook plant, said a bearing failure occurred during a regular surveillance test, and now the repair plan will include replacing the 16,000 pound, 17-foot long crankshaft, requiring extensive disassembly of the 80-ton generator.

The generator is one of two 35 hundred kilowatt backup power generators at each Cook unit.

I&M said Unit 2 continues to run at full power, noting that the outage of Unit 1 won’t affect customers. It doesn’t have an estimate for how long the Unit 1 outage will be.