Monday, November 8, 2010

Two Nuclear Shutdowns

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Transformer explodes at NY nuke plant; no one hurt
By CRISTIAN SALAZAR Associated Press © 2010 The Associated Press
Nov. 7, 2010, 11:21PM

NEW YORK — A transformer exploded at the Indian Point nuclear power plant Sunday night, leading to an automatic emergency shutdown of one of its reactors, authorities said. No one was injured and no radioactive materials leaked.

The explosion happened after 6:30 p.m. and triggered an alert at one of the plant's two main electrical transformers, said officials with Entergy Corp., the plant's owner. An alert is the second-lowest of four classification levels for emergency events.

The alert ended at around 10:20 p.m., but workers would continue to monitor the transformer, Entergy spokesman Jim Steets said.

The affected reactor, Indian Point 2, would remain offline until investigators determined the cause of the explosion, Steets said. The reactor began operating in 1973 and generates about 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

The plant's other main reactor, Indian Point 3, was operating normally, he said. Indian Point 1 was shut down in 1974 because the emergency core cooling system failed to meet regulatory requirements.

It was the second shutdown within the hour at an Entergy-owned plant.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in Vernon, Vt., shut down at about 7 p.m. after workers detected radioactive water seeping from a leaky pipe in the complex.

The cause of that leak wasn't immediately known. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the public wasn't in danger.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan called the two shutdowns "complete coincidence."

He said the risk of a radiological emergency at Indian Point were mitigated by the transformer being located outdoors on the power production side of the plant, not the nuclear side.

The plant's fire brigade responded but did not report any flames, Sheehan said. Foam was sprayed as a precaution to prevent flare-ups.

The Indian Point plant is located in Buchanan, about 25 miles north of New York City.

In 2007, a transformer failure and fire led to the unplanned shutdown of Indian Point 3.

Vt. reactor shuts down after leak

Updated: Sunday, 07 Nov 2010, 9:03 PM EST
Published : Sunday, 07 Nov 2010, 9:03 PM EST

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has begun an unscheduled shutdown so technicians can fix a leak where radioactive water is seeping from a pipe leading to the reactor.

Plant spokesman Larry Smith said the reactor was taken out of service about 7 p.m. Sunday. He said it will take about 13 hours for the reactor to cool down enough for technicians to enter the area where the repair needs to be made.

The leak spotted earlier Sunday is coming from a pipe 24 inches in diameter, and is not seeping outside the complex into the environment. Smith said there's no threat to public health or safety.

The plant provides electricity to the New England Power Grid. The shutdown is not expected to affect electric services.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan called
the two shutdowns "complete coincidence."

Yes, I've heard of those coincidence theorists: tin-foil-hat-wearing believers in all things coincidental.

I suppose if they had cooked up some 'event' for the DRILL they just had, they might have to remove some of the apparatus needed for the DRILL - especially if they made a last-minute decision to ABORT. That may have required taking two nuclear plants OFFLINE at the SAME TIME.


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