NJ Nuke Outage Extended

Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 02:05 PM gHale

The ongoing refueling outage at the 1,160-megawatt Unit 2 at the Salem nuclear power plant in Lower Alloways Creek, NJ, will continue beyond its originally scheduled time frame to give the operator extra time to inspect all four of the plant’s reactor coolant pumps and, if necessary, make repairs.

“During the ongoing refueling outage for Salem Unit 2, a bolting issue was discovered with one of the four reactor coolant pumps that pump water through the reactor coolant system,” said Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) spokesman Joseph Delmar.

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He said there was no potential for damage to the reactor core or any threat to public health and safety.

The company did not say how long it would extend the outage.

When the unit shut down April 14 for refueling, estimates said the plant would come back online about a month later in mid May.

Now the estimated time of restart should be in an additional few weeks, provided there are no major overhauls needed. The company likely will have to remove the pump motors to perform the inspections.

There are huge shield plugs which need to end up removed from the upper level of the containment floor and then they would need to use a large crane to remove the motors, officials said.

Meanwhile, Unit 1 suffered an unplanned shutdown last week and returned to service a week ago Sunday after repairs to the system that protects the plant’s main generator from electrical surges, an official said.

The plant began sending electricity out over the regional power grid at 2:23 a.m. last Sunday morning.

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