Valve causes nuclear reactor’s hot shutdown

The southeastern Pennsylvania nuclear reactor, which unexpectedly shut down on February 23, 2015 was returned to full power on February 27, 2015, stated owner Exelon Corp.
Repairs were made to a valve that closed automatically on one of the Limerick Generating Station Unit 1 reactor’s main steam lines, according to a news release from the company. The valve closed due to a broken fitting, Exelon spokeswoman Dana Melia had said. The Unit 2 reactor at Limerick, in Montgomery County about 30 miles south of Allentown, was unaffected by the incident.
The incident forced the automatic shutdown of the reactor. It remained in what is known as hot shutdown, with control rods inserted in the reactor core, until Friday when Exelon restarted it. The valve closure caused reactor pressure to rise beyond a pre-determined point that forced the automatic shutdown, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced.
The outage did not impact electrical service to regional customers, Exelon said. Limerick’s twin, 1,200-megawatt reactors produce enough carbon-free electricity to power approximately two million homes.

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