Unrelated mechanical problems shut down three U.S. reactors over the past weekend.Late on Friday, workers at Florida Power and Light's St. Lucie plant isolated a small leak in a safety injection tank outlet vent valve at unit 2, according to a report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. With the tank out of service, the unit was powered down per the plant's technical specifications shortly after midnight on Saturday.That afternoon, operators at Dominion's Millstone plant in Connecticut shut down its no. 2 unit because of an issue with a turbine-driven auxiliary feedwater pump. The plant reported to the NRC that the reactor's technical specifications required the outage when troubleshooting could not determine the cause of low pump recirculation flow.Then, on Sunday, operators manually tripped unit 1 at Southern Co.'s Plant Vogtle in Georgia. The plant reported to the NRC that operators noted a drop in steam generator water levels and the speed of a main feed pump during testing of the pump's trip mechanism. All three shutdowns proceeded normally, and the units remained offline as of Monday morning, according to the NRC.
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In each case a backup system which had no effect on current operation caused the operators to initiate a shutdown, in what other industry is safety such a priority that this would occur? This is one of the reasons the nuclear industry is among the safest in the world.
That is a great point that should be elevated to Public awareness.
We must inform the NRC if we spill a quart of oil on the ground, even though we have the best, most expensive tools to clean it up like it never happened.