Unplanned Shutdown for NJ Nuke

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 @ 11:05 AM gHale

A turbine-generator problem triggered an automatic shutdown of PSEG Nuclear’s Salem Unit 1 along the Delaware River Wednesday morning, the third unplanned shutdown at the operation in a month.

The utility and federal regulators will investigate the 5 a.m. incident, but have already confirmed that the plant is “in a safe condition,” said Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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Workers shut down the same plant April 8 after a breakdown in a pump that sends condensed cooling water and steam from generating turbines back to steam-producing equipment.

Unit 1 also tripped off briefly April 13.

NRC rules require stepped-up oversight for reactors that report three unplanned shutdowns within any 7,000 hour, or roughly nine-month, period of consecutive operations.

Salem 1 is the oldest of three reactors at PSEG’s Salem/Hope Creek nuclear complex in Lower Alloways Creek, NJ, and received its first licensed for operation in 1976. The Salem units can generate about 1,175 megawatts each, with the newer Hope Creek plant rated at 1,219 megawatts.

Salem Unit 2 is presently offline for refueling.

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