Nuclear Reactors Shut Down for Sandy

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 31, 2012

Three nuclear reactors in New York and New Jersey have been shut down due to Hurricane Sandy, while a fourth, Oyster Creek, was in “alert” mode Tuesday due to high water levels in its water intake structure.

Although the three shutdowns – Nine Mile Point 1, Indian Point 3, and Salem Unit 1 – were executed safely, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has said it will monitor such situations closely in light of last year’s Fukushima Daiichi incident in Japan.

From the Washington Post:

“Sandy should be a wake-up call for the NRC and the industry to accelerate efforts launched after Fukushima to strengthen protection against natural disasters so that they will be better prepared to cope with the unexpected,” Edwin Lyman, senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in an e-mail.

Salem Unit 1, in Hancocks Bridge, NJ, was manually shut down around 1:10 AM on Tuesday due to four of six circulating water-pumps rendered inactive from high water levels and debris in the river.

Nine Mile Point 1, located in Scriba, NY, shut down on its own due to an electrical disruption on power lines connecting it to the grid. Nine Mile Point 2 stayed operational at full power, running on emergency diesel generators, despite the disruption of one of its two incoming off-site power lines.

Indian Point 3 in Buchanan, NY also shut down automatically late Monday due to electrical disturbances.

Rising water levels caused an alert to be issued at Oyster Creek in New Jersey. That plant had already been shut down earlier for routine maintenance, and it remains closed.

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