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Oyster Creek Shut Down Again For Second Time This Week

Oyster Creek operators were restarting the plant at 3:12 a.m. this morning when problem with "vacuum conditions" in plant's condenser were discovered, NRC says

by Patricia A. Miller

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.

Mac July 12, 2014 at 11:44 AM
maybe we should ask Governor Christie to helicopter in and give the nuke plant one of his patented big hugs for comfort in this sad time of great distress
grace July 12, 2014 at 11:50 AM
only a matter of time before we are all dead! accident waiting to happen..the shore will be destroyed again!
Mac July 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM
perhaps a 50-state all points bulletin for our Governor will do the trick - when Christie's stand-in, Kimmie somebody, tried to give the nuke plant a big hug, the plant started snorting and was immediately administered a dose of Narcan to recover - so, for the time being, Kimmie ordered that orange cones to be placed around the nuke plant to protect the public until our Governor can be located - wasn't that the Governor attached to that big thick billfold that just flew by?
Winston Smith July 13, 2014 at 12:22 PM
It could be replaced with a Thorium reactor. They are much much safer then that relic on Rt 9. However, they are more expensive to build and there is no weapons grade by-products. So, in other words it will never be built as long as money junkie scumbags are running things
Michele Donato July 14, 2014 at 09:14 PM
If only the NRC protected the people and shut this leaking, dangerous dinosaur down for good. It is incredibly irresponsible to allow the oldest commercial reactor, with a design identical to Fukishima, continue to operate.


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