Generation, Nuclear

NEI: East Coast nuclear plants performed safely throughout Sandy’s strike

October 30, 2012 — The 34 nuclear power plants in the path of Hurricane Sandy responded well and safely to storm conditions, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI).

As Superstorm Sandy moves beyond the mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states after knocking out electricity to seven million customers in 13 states, nuclear plant operators are conducting thorough inspections to ensure that all systems and equipment are ready to maintain the facilities in a safe condition, said the NEI.

Of the 34 nuclear facilities from South Carolina to Vermont in Hurricane Sandy’s path, 24 continued to operate safely and generate electricity throughout the event. Seven were already shut down for refueling or inspection, and three in New Jersey or New York safely shut down, as designed, because of storm conditions or grid disturbances. Inspectors from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have been stationed at each nuclear energy facility to oversee preparation for and recovery from the storm.

As a precaution, a reactor will be shut down at least two hours before the onset of hurricane-force winds at a site, typically between 70 and 75 miles per hour, according to the NEI.

If there is a loss of off-site power during or following a hurricane, reactors automatically shut down as a precaution and the emergency backup diesel generators will begin operating to provide electrical power to plant safety systems.

The NEI has released the following summary of U.S. nuclear power plant performance during Hurricane Sandy (as of 11 a.m. October 30).

North Carolina:
Brunswick 1 and 2—continued operating at 100 percent power.
 
Virginia:
Surry 1 and 2—continued operating at 100 percent power
North Anna 1 and 2—continued operating at 100 percent power.
 

Maryland:

Calvert Cliffs 1 and 2—continued operating at 100 percent power.

New Jersey:

Oyster Creek—shut down for refueling outage; alert declared Oct. 29 due to high water level at water intake structure

Hope Creek 1—continued operating at 100 percent power

Salem 1—manual safe shut down from 100 percent power on Oct. 30 due to high water level at water intake structure

Salem 2—shut down for refueling outage.
 
Pennsylvania:

Peach Bottom 2 and 3—continued operating at 100 percent power

Three Mile Island 1—continued operating at 100 percent power

Limerick 1 and 2—safely reduced power from 100 percent to 50 percent and 22 percent respectively on Oct. 30 due to storm effects and at the request of the regional electric grid operator

Beaver Valley 1—continued operating at 100 percent power
Beaver Valley 2—shut down for refueling outage
Susquehanna 1—shut down for turbine inspection
Susquehanna 2—continued operating at 75 percent power.
 
Ohio:

Perry 1—safely reduced power from 100 percent to 91 percent on Oct. 30 at the request of the regional electric grid operator

Davis-Besse—continued operating at 100 percent power.
 
New York:
Indian Point 2—continued operating at 100 percent power

Indian Point 3—manual safe shut down from 100 percent power on Oct. 30 due to an electric grid disruption

Ginna—shut down for refueling outage
Fitzpatrick—continued operating at 100 percent power

Nine Mile Point 1—manual safe shut down from 100 percent power on Oct. 29 due to an electric grid disruption

Nine Mile Point 2—continued operating at 100 percent power.
 
Connecticut:
Millstone 2—shut down for refueling outage

Millstone 3—safely reduced power from 100 percent to 75 percent on Oct. 29 at the request of the electric grid operator.

 
Massachusetts:
Pilgrim 1—continued operating at 100 percent power.
 
New Hampshire:

Seabrook 1—shut down for refueling outage, but safely restarted Oct. 30 and is at 20 percent power.

Vermont:

Vermont Yankee—safely reduced power from 100 percent to 90 percent on Oct. 30 at the request of the regional electric grid operator.