Palisades nuclear still fixing power problem

COVERT TOWNSHIP, MICHIGAN - Getting the Palisades Nuclear Plant back to full power “should not take long,” a plant spokesman said.

But Mark Savage said he couldnÂ’t offer a more specific timeline for finishing repairs to electrical components that supply power to a cooling-tower water pump that went down January 8 at the plant near South Haven.

The plant continues to operate at reduced power — 55 percent of normal — but is no longer under an emergency state, Savage said.

Plant operators issued a Notification of Unusual Event, the lowest of four emergency states for U.S. nuclear plants.

By the end of January 8, the emergency state was lifted, said Viktoria Mitlyng, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“They remain there at 55 percent power until they make sure all electrical components are operable and there are no issues,” Mitlyng said.

Savage said plant officials donÂ’t know what caused the problem, in which a 4,160-volt electrical bus failed. The electrical failure caused one of two pumps that supply water to the plantÂ’s cooling towers to stop running.

Palisades officials and the NRC said that the failure was not a concern for public health and safety.

Electricity customers are not affected, Savage said. The reduction of electricity on the power grid is made up for with power from other suppliers, he said.

The Covert Township plant is owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. and has been in operation since 1971.


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