Millstone Reactor Back in Operation

Wednesday, December 22, 2010 @ 03:12 PM gHale

The Unit 2 reactor at Millstone Power Station in Waterford, CT, returned to full power after its owner Dominion repaired leaking tubes in a feedwater heater.

The reactor went completely back online, said Dominion spokesman Ken Holt. The Unit 3 reactor continued to operate at full power.

Over the weekend, two tubes were leaking in one of a series of feedwater heaters. The heaters heat water that then feeds into a steam generator to create steam; the steam then pipes to a turbine that turns to generate electricity. The water circulates through the tubes during the heating process.

Plant operators brought the reactor down to half power Saturday night and early Tuesday finished plugging the two tubes and strengthening eight adjacent tubes, Holt said.

The high pressure of water coming through the tubes because of the leaks required the fixes on the adjacent tubes, he said.

The water passing through the tubes is not on the radioactive side of the reactor and never comes into contact with the reactor, according to Dominion and Neil Sheehan, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman.

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