Federal agency inspects generator at nuke plant near Phoenix

By The Associated Press

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission began a special inspection Monday at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix after an emergency diesel generator failed during testing two months ago.

 

WINTERSBURG, Ariz. (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission began a special inspection Monday at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix after an emergency diesel generator failed during testing two months ago.

The failure is not a serious offense, and Palo Verde "has been a good-performing plant," NRC spokesman Victor Dricks said.

The inspection will last about a week to determine if any corrective actions are needed at the plant with three nuclear reactors.

Emergency diesel generators are used to supply power to safety-related systems in case there's a loss of off-site power.

Arizona Public Service, which operates the power plant about 45 miles west of downtown Phoenix for a consortium of utility companies, said in statement that "Palo Verde Unit 3 continues to operate safely with NRC approval, and we are working closely with the NRC as they review implementation of our corrective actions."

The NRC requires that each of Palo Verde's reactors have two of the generators that must be tested monthly to ensure operability.

During a scheduled test on Dec. 15, a piston failed on one of the generators, officials said. The plant declared an alert — the second-lowest of four levels of nuclear emergency.

APS officials said at the time that the alert was brief, didn't involve the reactors and there was no danger to public safety or health.

The Palo Verde plant, which began operating in 1986, supplies electricity to about 4 million customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.

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