VA Reactors Shut Down For Leaks

Friday, July 17, 2015 @ 05:07 PM gHale

The nuclear reactors at Dominion Virginia Power’s Surry County, VA, plant shut down to repair water leaks.

The first unit went offline over the weekend for planned maintenance to repair seals on one of the three reactor coolant pumps, spokesman Rick Zuercher said.

NY Nuke Shuts Down Again
Bad Insulation Caused NY Nuke Fire, Spill
WA Nuke Back Up after Outage
PA Nuke Updates Procedure, Training

The second unit went down Monday after failed attempts to repair a spray valve that’s part of its coolant system. Both units began operating in the early 1970s.

The leaks amounted to about 1,000 gallons, all of which ended up captured and processed for reuse once the reactors are running, Zuercher said. Each reactor’s coolant system operates with about 71,000 gallons of water.

“These happen occasionally. They’re not significant,” Zuercher said. “There are levels of leakage that require us to shut down, but these did not rise to that level. We always try to capture problems when they’re small and fix them so they don’t become big problems.”

The nuclear power station typically produces more than 1,600 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power about 420,000 homes.

The Surry plant, completed in the 1970s, has a license for Unit 1 to operate through 2032 and for Unit 2 through 2033. Dominion is considering applying for another 20-year renewal license on each unit.