The Chicago Tribune reported this afternoon:
U.S. power company Exelon’s 1,136-megawatt Unit 2 at the Byron nuclear power plant in Illinois shut Monday morning, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said.
Exelon declared an unusual event due to the loss of offsite power, Viktoria Mitlyng, NRC Region 3 spokeswoman said. An unusual event indicates a potential degradation of the safety level of the plant.
She said Exelon was looking into what caused the unit trip and noted there was a transformer issue and reports of smoke.
WIFR in Rockford, Illinois, ran what looked like a rewrite of an Exelon press release. However, it contained a scary paragraph:
Steam from the unit is released through safety relief valves that are specifically designed for this purpose. The steam, which will evaporate quickly, contained expected levels of tritium. Local residents may see or hear the steam release in progress, which will continue throughout the day until the unit cools down.
Here’s a link to the Chicago Tribune story: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-offsite-power-loss-closes-unit-2-at-exelons-byron-plant-20120130,0,7041106.story
And here’s a link to the WIFR report: http://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/Byron_Station_Declares_Unusual_Event_138339274.html