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April 01. 2014 12:34PM

Unexpected shutdown at Seabrook nuclear plant

SEABROOK - The Seabrook reactor unexpectedly shut down early Tuesday morning as it was in the midst of a planned shutdown for refueling, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

NRC Senior Public Affairs Officer Diane Screnci said an electrical problem — an "under voltage to a pump" — knocked out the reactor's coolant pumps, causing the reactor to shut down.

Backup systems kicked in, cooling and shutting down the reactor.

"The plant responded as designed," Screnci said. "The plant is stable and there was no impact on public health or safety."

No radiation was released, she said.

An NRC senior resident inspector was in the control room observing the planned shutdown when the reactor unexpectedly shut down at 12:26 a.m.

The plant, as planned, will be shut down for the next 4 to 6 weeks for refueling, which Screnci explained happens every 18 to 24 months.

Given the unexpected shutdown, Screnci said everything will be looked at to ensure something else did not cause the shutdown.


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