Operators at the Oyster Creek Generating Station shut down the plant early this morning because of problem with the facility's condenser, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.
Plant operators manually scrammed (shut down) the plant at 3:12 a.m. after they discovered a reduction in vacuum conditions inside the condenser, said NRC spokesman Neil A. Sheehan.
"There were no complications during the shutdown and the NRC has not identified any immediate safety concerns," he said.
The condenser - which
cools down and condenses steam produced by the reactor after it has
passed through the turbine - is operated in a vacuum condition to
maximize efficiency, Sheehan said.
It was the second time this week the 45-year-old plant had to be shut down.
Oyster Creek operators took the plant off line on July 7, due to "degradation" of five solenoid electromatic relief valves used in the plant's cooling system.
Operators were attempting to start the plant up again early this morning and had reached 55 percent of power when the problems with the condenser were discovered, Sheehan said.
"However, it appears the shutdown will change the plant's Performance
Indicator for Unplanned Scrams per 7,000 Hours of Operation from "Green"
to "White" and result in additional NRC oversight," he said.
Exelon spokesman Suzanne D'Ambrosio said plant operators and technicians closely monitor pressures, temperatures and plant equipment for safe, reliable operation.
"It is crucial that during start up, every system operates
flawlessly," she said. "If anything is not as expected, operators stop the start-up
process and address the issue.
This comprehensive process and attention to detail has helped Oyster Creek reach industry leading levels of reliability."
Oyster Creek is the oldest nuclear plant in the United States. It went online on Dec. 23, 1969.