Nuclear, O&M

Schools of fish force Point Beach nuclear unit off line

HUDSON, Wis., June 28, 2001 — Point Beach nuclear plant Unit 2 was taken off line Wednesday evening after an influx of thousands of small fish, called alewives, caused a reduction in intake water levels.

In addition, operators reduced Unit 1 to 80 percent power because of alewives clogging intake screens.

The small fish clogged intake screens, reducing water levels in the plant circulating water pump bay area that supplies cooling water to the 1,022-megawatt, two-unit plant. Plant operating procedures require operators to take the unit off line if the water level is reduced too far. Unit 2 was taken out of service at 6:19 p.m. Wednesday and power was reduced for Unit 1 at 9 p.m.

Point Beach, near Two Rivers, Wis., is one of six Upper Midwest nuclear plants operated by Nuclear Management Company, based in Hudson, Wis. The plant is owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Co. based in Milwaukee, Wis.