tagged w/ Vermont Yankee
Technicians at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will begin work Monday morning to fix a pipe that leaked radioactive water and forced the plant to shut down.
The nuclear reactor was taken out of service at 7 p.m. Sunday. Plant spokesman Larry Smith estimated it would take 13 hours to cool down enough for workers to enter the area and make repairs.
Smith said the leak of about 60 drops a minute was spotted earlier Sunday during routine surveillance. It was coming from a 2-foot-wide pipe that was part of the circulation system involving the reactor, he said. The water was being collected by a sump pump and cycled back through the system, he said.
The cause of the leak was not immediately known. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the public was not in any danger.
It was the second shutdown within an hour at a plant owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp.
A transformer exploded at a nuclear power plant north of New York City, forcing an emergency shutdown of one of its reactors. No one was injured and no radioactive materials leaked.
Entergy spokesman Jim Steets said the affected reactor, Indian Point 2, would remain offline until investigators could determine the cause of the explosion.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan called the two shutdowns "complete coincidence."
Sheehan said agency inspectors were overseeing the shutdown at the Vermont Yankee plant in Vernon. He said the water would have low levels of radioactivity, such as tritium and other isotopes, as part of the usual plant operation.
"The levels are so low, they really wouldn't be harmful to anybody," Sheehan said Sunday. "There is no immediate health or safety concern as far as this leakage. Any leakage would be captured by the plant system so there's no exposure to the public."
The outage at the 38-year-old Vermont plant was not expected to cause any shortage of power in New England, which has a surplus of electricity. The plant provides electricity to the region's power grid.
It was the first unplanned shutdown at the plant since May, when a problem developed in the electrical switchyard where the plant connects to the grid. The leak also came three days after Entergy announced it hopes to sell Vermont Yankee, which it bought from a group of New England utilities in 2002.
Vermont Yankee has been hampered by problems this year.
In January, officials announced that tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that has been linked to cancer when ingested in large amounts, had turned up in a test well on Vermont Yankee's property on the banks of the Connecticut River in Vernon. Later, other radioactive substances were found to have leaked into groundwater and soil surrounding the plant.
cont,Technicians at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will begin work Monday morning to fix... more
MONTPELIER, Vt. — In an unusual state foray into nuclear regulation, the Vermont Senate voted 26 to 4 Wednesday to block operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant after 2012, citing radioactive leaks, misstatements in testimony by plant officials and other problems.
The last time a reactor in the United States was closed by a vote of the public or its representatives was in June 1989, when the voters of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District decided to shut the Rancho Seco reactor. The issues in that case were mostly economic; the plant kept breaking down, forcing the district to buy electricity from neighbors, and it had been shut from late 1985 to early 1988 for repairs.
Commissioned in August 1966 and given its operating license in March 1972, Vermont Yankee is one of the older plants in the American inventory of 104 power reactors. The oldest still running is Oyster Creek, near Toms River, N.J., which is of a similar design and opened in December 1969.
Oyster Creek recently won a 20-year extension of its initial 40-year license, although, to the anger of its opponents, plant owners announced a few days later that it, too, was leaking tritium.
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/02/25/us/25nuke01/25nuke01-popup.jpgMONTPELIER, Vt. — In an unusual state foray into nuclear regulation, the Vermont... more
Yesterday for the first time in U.S. history a state legislature voted to shut down a nuclear power plant. This is a huge victory for Vermonters and our clean energy future. The Vermont State Senate voted 24-6 to close Entergy's Vermont Yankee, rejecting the Obama administration's plans for "nuclear renaissance."
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen discovered late last year that then Vice President of Operations Jay Thayer had lied about the existence of underground pipes containing dangerous, radioactive tritium beneath the plant. Tritium up to 37 times the acceptable federal limit has been found in nearby wells and radioactive water may be leaking into the Connecticut River.
Despite President Obama’s announcement last week of 8.3 billion dollars in loan guarantees to build the first new nuclear plant in thirty years, Vermont has taken a bold stand on nixing nuclear power. Vermont knows that nuclear energy can’t be a part of our energy future. We need investment in renewable sources of energy to power our future and put people back to work.
“When Americans have the choice about the kind of energy they want in their communities, they don’t want nuclear. Vermont has shut down the myth of the so-called nuclear renaissance," said Greenpeace’s Nuclear Policy Analyst Jim Riccio.
But the fight isn’t over. Entergy is a powerful corporation and its executives are not above telling outright lies about its plants and practices to hide the dirty truth about nuclear power from us. Just look at Entergy's website for the Vermont Yankee: SafeCleanReliable.com. Neither safe. Nor clean. Nor reliable. Discuss.
In a 26-4 vote, the Vermont legislature voted yesterday to deny the relicensing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant when it expires in 2012. A clear victory for our environment and the people of Vermont against this toxic energy source only a week after Obama made loan guarantees to build more of them in Georgia.In a 26-4 vote, the Vermont legislature voted yesterday to deny the relicensing of the... more