Turbine Trip Shuts Salem 2 Nuke

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 04:03 PM gHale

Workers continued today to investigate the source of an electrical problem with a turbine that caused the shutdown of the Salem 2 nuclear reactor in Lower Alloways Creek Township, NJ.

The reactor automatically shut down at 2:28 p.m. Friday, according to PSEG Nuclear Spokesman Joe Delmar.

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After the turbine, on the non-nuclear side of the plant, unexpectedly tripped off-line Friday, the automatic shutdown of the nuclear reactor occurred.

Shutdown of the turbine was the result of an electrical issue with the digital controls used to control the speed of the turbine, Delmar said.

Plant operators spent the weekend troubleshooting the problem.

The turbine gets its power from steam produced from water heated to boiling by the nuclear reactor. The spinning of the turbine is what produces electricity.

Delmar said he is not sure yet when the plant will return to service.

Salem 2 is one of three nuclear reactors operated by PSEG Nuclear at its Artificial Island generating complex.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which oversees the operation of the nation’s 104 operating nuclear power plants, was aware of the shutdown.

An NRC spokesman said one of its resident inspectors assigned to the Salem generating station independently verified all safety equipment operated as designed during the shutdown and the plant was in a safe condition.

The other two reactors at the Island, Salem 1 and Hope Creek, remained operating at full power today, Delmar said.

The three reactors comprise the second largest nuclear generating complex in the United States. They produce 49 percent of all electricity used in New Jersey.

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