Yesterday morning, operators at the Fermi nuclear power plant manually shut down the Unit 2 reactor after discovering “hydrogen gas in-leakage into the stator water cooling system from the main turbine generator.” Fermi officials desribed the incident as “uncomplicated” while noting that “all control rods, except one, fully inserted into the core.” Seems to me as if that’s a little like saying: “The brake system worked, except for one wheel, and we were able to use the parking brake to compensate for that one.”
Unit 2 at Fermi was the plant’s only working reactor, a General Electric boiling water model. Unit 1 at the plant suffered a partial meltdown in 1966 and was decommissioned in 1972. You can read about this incident in John Fuller’s We Almost Lost Detroit. Fermi has an application pending for a third reactor.