Monday, January 30, 2012

Byron Nuclear Plant Reactor Is Shut Down After Loss of Offsite Power

Byron Nuclear Generating Station uses Westinghouse (owned by Japan's Toshiba)'s pressurized water reactors.

From citing AP (1/30/2012):

Exelon shuts Byron nuclear plant unit after power loss

(AP) — A nuclear reactor at a northern Illinois plant shut down Monday after losing power, and steam was being vented to reduce pressure, according to officials from Exelon Nuclear and federal regulators.

Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station shut down around 10:18 a.m., after losing power from an off-site source, Exelon officials said. Diesel generators began supplying power to the plant equipment and operators began releasing steam from the non-nuclear side of the plant to help cool the reactor, officials said.

Even though the turbine is not turning to produce electricity, "you still need to cool the equipment." said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng. Releasing steam helps "take away some of that energy still being produced by nuclear reaction but that doesn't have anywhere to go now."

The steam contains low levels of radioactive tritium, but the levels are safe for workers and the public, federal and plant officials said.

Unit 1 was operating normally while engineers investigate why Unit 2 lost power, which comes into the plant from the outside power grid, Mitlyng said. Smoke was seen from an onsite station transformer, she said, but no evidence of a fire was found when the plant's fire brigade responded.

Exelon spokesman Paul Dempsey said there is "no reason we can pinpoint right now" for the power loss.

Mitlyng said Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors were in the control room at Byron and in constant contact with the agency's incident response center in Lisle, Ill.

Byron Generating Station is in Ogle County, about 95 miles northwest of Chicago.

In March 2008, federal officials said they were investigating a problem with electrical transformers at the plant after outside power to a unit was interrupted.

In an unrelated issue last April, the commission said it was conducting special inspections of backup water pumps at the Byron and Braidwood generating stations after the agency's inspectors raised concerns about whether the pumps would be able to cool the reactors if the normal system wasn't working. The plants' operator, Exelon Corp., initially said the pumps would work but later concluded they wouldn't.


Chibaguy said...

This is a bad movie! Seriously, when have they ever said outright that there is a risk for the public? Any other industry would have to recall the BWM1 generation after Fukushima. I forgot, there isn't any threat to anyone as they are not regulated.

Anonymous said...

No worries
Byron and Braidwood are the sites of the 4"newer" PWR reactors. It's the other 7 dinosaurs that are BWR Mark 1.
It's just tritium...

Plenty more where that came from.
The conversation seems the same in any language.
Information? Trust?

Anonymous said...

The good news is that, according to these "experts" ionising Tritium to safe for us to be exposed to and absorb internally.
It is amazing that such highly advanced, and safe technology, can go terribly wrong, with the "experts" saying they have no idea what or why. At least Fukushima's experts knew that it was a possibility for the disaster to happen, even though they had no plan or idea how to fix it.

Anonymous said...

"The steam contains low levels of radioactive tritium, but the levels are safe for workers and the public, federal and plant officials said."

Yes, and we ignorant bastards are just supposed to accept the "safe" levels chosen by "the officials" without question like sheep going to the slaughter. The safe level for tritium is ZERO.

Anonymous said...

Exactly how much "safe" radioactive tritium is spewing out?

farfromhome said...

Like I have been saying for awhile now.

What happened in Fukushima is coming to a neighborhood near you if you live anywhere near a NPP. Human error, mechanical malfunction, it will happen. There are likely to be many more Fukushima's and Chernobyl's. :(

Anonymous said...

It's a Westinghouse PWR. Venting steam is normal procedure in a loss of offsite power accident. Don't like it? Don't let nuke plants be built in your back yard.

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