Event Report: Michigan nuke shuts down after both feedpumps fail

Yesterday afternoon, operators of the Palisades nuclear power plant in Michigan shut down the plant’s reactor after both main feedpumps failed. The incident involved “an apparent unplanned opening of the ‘A’ main feedpump recirculation valve.” The event startled some members of the community: “The Van Buren County Sherriff was notified [per other plant requirements] concerning use of the atmospheric steam dump causing excessive noise in the vicinity of the plant [immediately following the plant trip].” Cause of the valve failure is under investigation.

The nuclear industry claims that redundant systems lessen the likelihood of a serious accident. How come the failure of a single valve took out both feedpumps, and why did Palisades have to be manually shut down, rather than tripping the reactor automatically?

About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
This entry was posted in Event Reports, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Palisades, Plant shutdowns, Reactor problems and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Event Report: Michigan nuke shuts down after both feedpumps fail

  1. enoughalready45 says:

    Thank you for posting this story about the Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan, USA. Although I live in the suburbs of Chicago I own land just outside what would be the 10 mile evacuation zone for this nuclear plant. The plant sits on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. I and many others from this region own land and/or vacation in Michigan. Every time I vacation in Michigan I have to drive by Palisades Nuclear Plant.

    Adjacent to the nuclear plant is a golf course community. It does not surprise me that members of the community were startled by the noise from the nuclear plant. That is because in order to live so close to a nuclear plant you have to be able to suspend logic and reality so that you can believe nothing will ever go wrong next door. If that sounds a little mean it is because I think it is exactly that kind of denial that allows the nuclear industry to do things like…build and store nuclear waste next to one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world.

    This plant has had a few “issues” lately although you would not know it by looking at their website, their press releases have not been updated since 2007, http://www.palisadespowerplant.com/press-releases.html. The parent company Entergy last posted a press release on 11/7/2011. http://www.entergy-nuclear.com/News_Room/newsroom.aspx. The front page of their website does offer tours of the nuclear plant, sounds fun doesn’t it? I wonder if they do birthday parties.

    This plant and others that sit on the shores of the Great Lakes should never have been allowed to have been built. The Great Lakes are too valuable as a natural resource to risk their contamination by radiation. Palisades nuclear plant and others that are on the shores of the Great Lakes should be decommissioned and their nuclear waste should moved to a more interior location within the states they are located in to protect the wonderful natural resource that is the Great Lakes.

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