During maintenance testing yesterday, operators at the Hope Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey discovered that the turbine governor valve for the Unit 1 reactor would not close, “rendering the speed and flow control system for the turbine inoperable.” As a result, the reactor’s High Pressure Coolant Injection (HPCI) was declared inoperable. The reactor continues to operate at 100 per cent power, and will rely on the Emergency Core Cooling System and the Reactor Core Isolation System should there be an emergency. Hope Creek has initiated an Event Response Team to attempt to correct the valve problem and reactivate the HPCI.
The single reactor at Hope Creek is a General Electric model with the same containment structure as the ones that failed at Fukushima last March. It went into service in 1986 and is licensed through 2046.