A number of items appeared on the NRC Event Reports today following the long holiday weekend:
1. On December 6, the Turkey Point nuclear power plant in Florida began work on modifications to the plant’s Technical Support System (TSC.) The system changes are designed to support planned uprates for Turkey Point’s two existing reactors, and two additional reactors that are currently in the NRC license application process. Changes to the TSC were expected to cause isolated outages to the center when its emergency ventilation system was out of service. According to the initial Event Report: “The duration for each of these TSC outages is expected to be less than 24 hours.”
The first two outages lasted slightly more than 24 hours. Yesterday, however, Turkey Point notified the NRC that the TSC was out of service, “and will be out of service for several weeks.” Despite the complications, both reactors continue to chug along at 100 per cent output.
2. On the Friday before Christmas, the River Bend nuclear power plant suffered an automatic shutdown of the Unit 2 reactor and an activation of the Reactor Protection System due to a turbine trip. Following the scram, water level in the reactor fell below system specifications, forcing operators to manually activate the unit’s Reactor Core Isolation Cooling system. Cause of the turbine trip is under investigation.
3. Also on Friday, the Robinson nuclear power plant in South Carolina declared an alert condition after an incident that took place during maintenance testing. Robinson reported a Halon gas discharge in the Emergency Bus Room. Robinson reported that the gas discharge was the result of human error: “The test/inhibit switch was placed in the incorrect position.”
4. And the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts notified the NRC yesterday that the station’s reactor was entering a Technical Specification shutdown due to a suspected leak in a safety relief valve. The valve was declared inoperable, and a 24-hour controlled shutdown was ordered. That means that by just before 1 pm today, the reactor was anticipated to be at 0 per cent output. However, this morning’s Reactor Status Report still shows Pilgrim’s reactor at 100 per cent power.