Nuclear, O&M, Reactors

Nuclear power plant remains under alert as NRC returns to normal inspection levels

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it is returning to normal inspection coverage for nuclear power plants in the Northeast U.S.

However, heightened coverage will continue at Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in Lacey Township, N.J., which is still in an alert status due to high water levels in its water intake structure. The alert remains in effect as plant operators wait for water intake levels to drop to pre-designated thresholds. Oyster Creek was shut down before the storm for a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage and the reactor remains out of service.

Three other reactors experienced shutdowns during the storm, including Indian Point 3 in Buchanan, NY; Salem Unit 1 in Hancocks Bridge, N.J. and Nine Mile Point 1 in Scriba, N.Y. All safety systems responded as designed.

Three other plants reduced power in advance of or in response to the storm. Millstone 3 in Connecticut reduced power to 70 percent in advance of the storm to minimize potential impacts on its circulating water system due to the storm. Vermont Yankee reduced power to 89 percent in response to a request from the grid operator due to the loss of a transmission line in New Hampshire. Limerick Unit 1’s power was reduced to about 50 percent and Limerick Unit 2’s to 25 percent in response to low electrical demands because of storm-related power outages.

NRC inspectors were onsite at all of the nuclear power plants expected to feel the brunt of the storm. NRC will coordinate with other federal and state agencies prior to the restart of the affected plants.

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