Oyster Creek Lost Grid Power, Spent Fuel Pool Cooling At Risk
We have full confirmation that Oyster Creek nuclear station has lost grid power via Yahoo news.
“The plant’s owner, Exelon Corp., said power was also disrupted in the station’s switchyard, but backup diesel generators were providing stable power, with more than two weeks of fuel on hand.”
The loss of grid power puts Oyster Creek in a tense situation where the diesel generators are the only source of AC power needed for many critical systems. The reactor itself is shut off as the plant was in an outage but still requires some cooling. As was seen at Fukushima Daiichi Units 5 and 6 were shut down yet still had their own issues with hydrogen and heat build up as they lost cooling from the ocean. Flooding is still a problem at Oyster Creek causing yet another problem and risk at the plant.
The rising waters at the Oyster Creek Nuclear station could cause problems with the spent fuel pool cooling system. If water rises too high they will no longer be able to cool the spent fuel and will only be able to put in evaporation make up water via fire hoses. Oyster Creek went into a refueling outage on October 22nd. It is unclear if they have offloaded fresh fuel to the pool yet or not. If they have this is now a considerable concern at Oyster Creek, a Fukushima Clone.
From NY Times:
“Rising water threatened the cooling system at the Oyster Creek nuclear plant, in Toms River, N.J., on Monday night. The plant declared an alert at 8:45 PM, which is the second-lowest level of the four-tier emergency scale established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The water level was more than six feet above normal. At seven feet, the plant would lose the ability to cool its spent fuel pool in the normal fashion, according to Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant would probably have to switch to using fire hoses to pump in extra water to make up for evaporation, Mr. Sheehan said, because it could no longer pull water out of Barnegat Bay and circulate it through a heat exchanger, to cool the water in the pool. If ordinary cooling ceased, the pool would take 25 hours to reach the boiling point, he said, giving the operators ample time to take corrective steps. The reactor itself has been shut since Oct. 22 for refueling, so it is relatively cool.” http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/28/nyregion/hurricane-sandy.html
Other reports cite 20 fires in Ocean County NJ and a senior high rise apartment building is partially collapsed.
NYU Hospital in NYC has lost power and patients are being evacuated
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