NU shuts down Millstone 2 after malfunction (nuclear reactor) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

NU shuts down Millstone 2 after malfunction

By Associated Press, 1/27/2000 16:40

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) Northeast Utilities on Thursday shut down the Millstone 2 nuclear power plant after a malfunction in the system that supplies water to generate electricity.

Spokesman Joe Pillittere said workers monitoring the feedwater system which funnels nonradioactive water to the steam engines that create electricity shut down the plant manually at about 2:30 p.m.

The workers noticed a change in the pressure or temperature in the system, he said. There was enough of a discrepancy that the plant would have automatically shut down if the workers had not pulled the plug.

Pillittere said there was no danger of a meltdown or leak and the reactor remained at normal operating pressure and temperature.

Pillittere said officials would review the incident to determine the cause of the malfunction. He could not say when the plant would be brought back online, but said safety is the top priority.

''We've raised our standards to a higher level and we want to do things right,'' he said.

All three Millstone reactors were shut down in 1996 due to safety concerns. In the past year, Millstone 2 and 3 gained federal approval to restart. Millstone 1 is being decommissioned.

-- Homer Beanfang (, January 27, 2000


So, this makes what, 11 Reactors down in only 27 days? And this is normal for this time of year, right? I'm getting sleeeepy.....

-- Electman (, January 27, 2000.



This looks EXACTLY like the reason for the shutdown of Hatch One yesterday. Please go to the link. I personally called to talk to people at the facility there, and was given info on the cause. Please, someone, answer my questions at the end.

And by my count, that should make 12, plus two more on 12/31!!

Hatch Nuclear

-- Duke1983 (, January 27, 2000.

The pollies are quite certain this is due to a drunk hitting a pole down the road. In fact one drunk and one pole = at least one nuke plant, one oil refinery, one drivers license bureau and one exploding natural gas pipeline.

Now if that pole gets knocked down and knocks another pole AND the drunk gets out of the car and falls on his ass, WATCH OUT, armageddeon!

-- Guy Daley (, January 27, 2000.

Here's my count to date for Jan 2000:

1) 1/3/2000 Oconee 3: Hot Standby, Reactor Trip 0% power

2) 1/5/2000 Duane Arnold 1: Hot Shutdown, Reactor Scram 0% power

3) 1/5/2000 Paulo Verde 2: Hot Standby, Maintenance Outage 0% power

4) 1/6/2000 Salem 1: Hot Standby, Manual Reactor Trip 0% power

5) 1/7/2000 Arkansas Nuclear 1: Hot Shutdown, Maintenance Outage 0% power

6) 1/8/2000 Cooper 1: Cold Shutdown, Aux cooling system leak, 0% power

7) 1/8/2000 Limerick 2: Hot Shutdown, Automatic Reactor Scram, 0% power

8) 1/9/2000 Seabrook 1: Hot Standby, reason not listed, 0% power

9) 1/13/2000 Byron 2: Hot Standby, Reactor trip, 0% power

10) 1/14/2000 Calvert Cliffs 1: Hot Standby, Reactor Trip, 0% power

11) 1/18/2000 Sequoyah 2: Hot Standby, Reactor Trip, 0% power.

12) 1/20/2000 Point Beach 1: Hot Standby, Manual Reactor Trip, 0% power.

13) 1/21/2000 Oyster Creek 1: Hot Standby, Manual Reactor Trip, 0% power

14) 1/24/2000 Turkey Point 4: Hot Standby, Manual Reactor Trip, 0% power

15) 1/26/2000 Hatch 1: Hot Shutdown, Automatic Reactor Scram, 0% power

16) 1/27/2000 Millstone 3: Hot Shutdown, Manual Reactor Trip, 0% power


-- Spindoc' (, January 28, 2000.

Caveat: please note, the above is not intended to imply that all of the plants listed are currently at 0% power; most have returned to power-generation status, after repair. The listed "0% power" indicates that the plant went into full shutdown (no power generation) at the time of the event.

It is the frequency of shutdowns that I am addressing here; total power generation is another story.


-- Spindoc' (, January 28, 2000.

Your list is probably accurate but not *exceptional* except in that nuclear units typically have a very poor availability. (Availability meaning the percentage of time they are "on line" and "producing power" in any way, shape or form.)

One of the conundrums of the nuclear industry is finding a way to boost availability of nuclear units to equal those of non-nuclear generators.

The industry average for nuclear units is that they are only available perhaps 60-63 percent of the time. (this means they are "off line" perhaps 40 percent of the time.) Obviously to pay full price for a machine that is out of service almost half the time results in "deteriorating economics" and this is what the nuclear economists (and plant owners) are battling against.

By comparison, a fossil generator has a "typical" availability of over 80 percent and some *exceptional* fossil generators are over 90 percent, some considerably over.

What is the difference? Part of it is the "increased complexity" of nuclear units with their backup systems and operating guidelines. Part of it is the deserved "caution" that most owner-operators have with a very expensive and tempermental machine. Part of it certainly is driven by "regulations."

Scheduled shutdowns for refueling or turbine work are a major impact on availability. A typical fossil plant shutdown is only 6 to 8 weeks while a 12 week nuclear shutdown is "usual." Some "aggressive" plant owners have been able to reduce the 12 week shutdown to as little as 7 weeks, and extend refueling outages to over 450 days but this is unusual and frequently leads to other problems.

Don't look at your list as evidence of Y2K problems without comparing it to the previous year, or the equivalent 1999 time period.

Best regards,

-- Joe (, January 28, 2000.


Check out this earlier thead:

I have not completed the count of non-refuel related shutdowns for the past year, but here is what I have counted:

Dec98: 9 shutdowns

Jan99: 7 shutdowns

Feb99: 4 shutdowns

Mar99: 6 shutdowns

The count for shutdowns unrelated to refueling for this month is currently 16 (or 17).

Something to think about?


-- Spindoc' (, January 28, 2000.

My first attempt at making hotlinks. Hope it works...

Daily Events Report

Plant Status Report

Report Archive


-- Spindoc' (, January 30, 2000.

Oops, sorry, I failed. I should've read the tutorial thread.

Try cutting and pasting:

Daily Events Report

Plant Status Report

Report Archive

-- Spindoc' (, January 30, 2000.

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