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The Salem Unit 2 nuclear plant remained shut down this afternoon following a problem with a reactor coolant pump, according to a spokesman for the plant’s operator.
Salem 2 automatically went offline Sunday at 6:01 p.m. when the coolant pump tripped, said Joe Delmar, spokesman for PSEG Nuclear.
When the pump shut down, the auxiliary pump system automatically started to provide water to cool the reactor.
The cause of the pump failure is still being investigated, according to Delmar. The plant functioned as designed, he said.
The plant remained in “hot shutdown” mode this afternoon.
Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission resident inspectors assigned to the Salem site responded to Salem 2 and verified that the plant was stable and operator actions were consistent with procedures and that appropriate troubleshooting was being performed by PSEG Nuclear, according to NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan.
Event Number: 47052
Region: 1 State: NJ
Event Date: 07/14/2011
Event Time: 20:53 [EDT]
Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT
10 CFR Section: 50.72(a) (1) (i) – EMERGENCY DECLARED [...]
UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED BASED ON REACTOR COOLANT LEAK GREATER THAN 10 GPM
“At 2053 on July 14, 2011 Salem unit 2 declared an Unusual Event due to reactor coolant system leakage greater than 10 gallons per minute. While performing a monthly Emergency Core Cooling System vent of the high head safety injection piping a motor operated valve was opened and a leak developed on the high head piping greater than 10 gallons per minute. The leak rate was approximately 11-15 gallon per minute. The leak was terminated when the motor operated valve was closed. The time of the leak was about 6 minutes.”
At this time the leak is believed to be from a crack on the Boron Injection Tank (BIT) relief valve line which is connected to the high head piping. A total of approximately 90 gallon of reactor coolant leaked into the BIT room. The licensee has declared the high head safety injection inoperable and is proceeding to shutdown under Tech Spec 3.0.3. [...]