Two nuclear power plants automatically shut down

Two nuclear power plants automatically tripped within hours of each other January 6.

Unit 1 at the Beaver Valley nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania automatically tripped around 5 p.m. EST, according to an event report with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Workers with FirstEnergy said a main transformer differential trip caused the reactor to shut down.

The cause of the trip is under investigation according to Power Engineering. Backup systems worked as designed and the plant is stable. Unit 2 was unaffected by the trip and continues to run at full power.

About four hours later, Unit 3 at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York automatically tripped due to “33 Steam Generator Steam flow/Feed flow Mismatch,” the NRC said.

Plant operator Entergy said in a release that a controller device failed to regulate the flow of water into one of the plant’s four steam generators, which led to lowered water levels. Backup systems at the plant deployed as designed and the unit was safely shut down. Unit 2 continued to run at full power.

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