Transformer Woes Shut MI Nuke

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 @ 11:04 AM gHale

The nuclear reactor at DTE energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear power plant shut down early Wednesday morning to replace one of the plant’s two main transformers.

The transformer was not working properly at the Frenchtown Charter Township, MI, plant after the restart following Fermi 2’s recent refueling outage, said Guy D. Cerullo Manager of Nuclear Communications for DTE.

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“We shut down early this morning to replace one of the two main transformers, which every power plant has,” Cerullo said Wednesday. The transformer is outside and separate from the reactor.

“The transformers increase the voltage of power coming from the plant’s generator so it can be sent out to the grid,” he said. “We found it was not working properly after the restart.”

They will install a spare transformer located at the power plant as a replacement.

Cerullo said the duration of the shutdown is not immediately available. The shutdown will not impact consumers, he said. “It won’t affect customers’ power,” Cerullo said. “Other plants can pick up the slack. Customers should see no difference.”

On Feb. 10, the power plant shut down for its 16th refueling outage and crews worked on plant performance and safety.

During the refueling, work included performing maintenance on several turbine control valves; installing a refurbished pump in the recirculating water system, and replacing one of the plant’s two reactor recirculation pump motors.

The plant synchronized with the DTE electrical system on April 5 and was operating at 25 percent power at that time, Cerullo said. Gradually, the percentage of power increased to 83 percent before it shut down Wednesday.

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