Contractor sued over nuclear power plant shutdown

Wolf Creek nuclear power plant Kansas City Power & Light sues ABB offsite power loss

Kansas City Power & Light Co. and co-owners of the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant in Kansas are suing a vendor for more than $25 million in damages, according to the Kansas City Business Journal.

The co-owners claim that ABB Inc. (NYSE: ABB) did not perform proper repairs on a startup transformer that led to a 10-week shutdown at the plant in 2012. According to the article, the repairs involved electrical pathways for redundant offsite power sources that keep safety systems running without interruption. An inspection from April 2011 showed that the replacements were not properly insulated, the article said.

In January 2012, a main generator output breaker failed, and the startup transformer short-circuited because of the missing insulation, causing a loss of offsite power. The NRC conducted an Augmented Inspection the following September that said plant owners did not provide adequate oversight of contractors while they performed the work, and that they missed improperly connected wires that allowed the electrical short.

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