Additional Delamination in Outer Containment Further Delays Crystal River Nuclear Plant Reopening

After more than two years of work to re-tension cables within the walls of the Crystal River power plant, the facility’s owner announced Tuesday that work has been temporarily suspended.

Progress EnergyIn a statement, Progress Energy indicated that the final tensioning of tendons within the reactor building was stopped because of additional delamination resulting from the repairs, and that the plant will not restart in April as planned.

In what started as a three-month project, Progress shut down the reactor for refueling and replacement of its steam generator in 2009. While crews were making a hole in the reactor building to remove the steam generator, they noticed a gap in the 42-inch thick walls. Progress determined that the process of loosening the structural cables that reinforce the plant’s walls had caused the gap.Crystal River power plant, Photo: NRC

Since then, the company has embarked on what a spokesman once described as a “highly orchestrated,” multi-step effort to retighten about 200 cables within the walls. In Tuesday’s statement on the discovery of further delamination, Progress Energy Florida CEO Vincent Dolan said, “Our engineers will thoroughly evaluate all potential repair options. This has been a first-of-a-kind repair and we will continue to move forward cautiously and deliberately. Our first priority remains protecting public health and safety. The plant remains shut down and is in a safe condition."

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