Nuclear event – Catawba Nuclear Station near York, South Carolina lost offsite power


The Catawba Nuclear Station near York, South Carolina, is being monitored closely by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission after it lost offsite power Wednesday evening (April 4, 2012), the agency said in a news release.

The plant is operated by Duke Energy which declared an “unusual event,” just after 8 p.m. local time on Wednesday. Plant operators and other plant staff were monitoring the situation during night and officials say crews are attempting to restore the power. Duke notified the NRC about the outage and the agency’s senior resident inspector was sent to the plant.

The inspector is monitoring all activities and providing status updates to the NRC in Atlanta.

One of the two units at the plant was already shut down for an  outage, and the other unit automatically shut down after losing offsite  power, the release said. The plant’s diesel generators started to power  the units’ emergency loads.

Duke declared an unusual event, the lowest of four emergency classification levels, just after 8 p.m.

According to the press statement, there was no radiation released or impact to plant workers or the public.

On Monday morning a fire in the vital battery room area on Unit 2 was discovered and extinguished. An electrical fire that affects Control  and Instrument Power to many plant systems is not trivial.

The Catawba Nuclear Station is a nuclear power plant located on a 391-acre (1.58 km2) peninsula, called “Concord Peninsula”, that reaches out into Lake Wylie, in York, South Carolina. Catawba utilizes a pair of Westinghouse four-loop pressurized water reactors.

The Catawba plant is the largest in the State (although, with three reactors, the Oconee plant has the most nuclear capacity in the southeastern United States).

As a part of the Megatons to Megawatts Program Catawba was one of the plants that received and tested 4 fuel assemblies containing MOX fuel with the plutonium supplied from old weapons programs. Because concerns of nuclear proliferation are greater with fuel containing plutonium, special precautions and added security were used around the new fuel. The 4 test assemblies did not perform as expected and at least at present those plans are shelved.

Sources: LiveLeak.com, RSOE-EDIS
Featured image:  Civilengtiger

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  1. I wonder weather the dolphins, which come close to shores, have been affected by Fukishama. Do oceancurrents go south from Japan towards the area where the dead dolphins arrived? If so, doesn’t that speak louder than all the “soothsaying” people who so immediately after nuclear shutdowns assure us “not to worry”. These people are more concerned with “not worrying us ” for fear that worry could be worse than actual dying from nuclear contamination. It seems to me, that anytime one of these nuclear facilities has a ” turn off” problem , that these events have something to do with the age of these facilities. Somehow the events speak louder than words, and their message is to encourage us to look for ways to live beyond this perceived paradise of “everlasting electricity”. It is not the paradise, and it will get lost with. Time to become a “Retro-peasant”, which is what I like to call myself: Live simply, basic and enjoy the Creation of God rather than all these temporary creations of man. ( I am still a violinist though, even though a retro-peasant). Juliane

  2. These things must be really great? When they lose offsite power they have to use generators to keep them cool? Wonder what happens when they run out of fuel? Maybe they switch to solar or maybe use buckets to cool the reactors? To me, it just does not make any sense that they cannot run them selves………
    Shut them all down before we destroy ourselves like Japan has done!

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