Pump Failure Partially Shuts PA Nuke

Friday, April 17, 2015 @ 03:04 PM gHale

A plant malfunction overnight forced a partial shutdown at Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, PA, Wednesday, FirstEnergy Corp. officials said.

Plant operators noticed anomalies from the Unit 1 reactor and decided to shut it down at 4:11 a.m. for inspection, said spokeswoman Jennifer Young.

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They determined one of the reactor’s pumps, which moves non-radioactive water in the steam generation process, had failed due to a bearing in the motor. The company is still determining whether they will need to replace the failed bearing or the entire motor, she said.

“Equipment like this can wear out and break down over time,” Young said. “That’s why we monitor all the time.”

Plant operators expect to restart the reactor at half-power within a few days, officials said, with little noticeable effect on grid reliability. Unit 2, the plant’s other reactor, remained unaffected by the malfunction.

Federal regulators, which have two resident inspectors stationed at the plant, are aware of the incident.

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