Skip to comments.Leak of reactor coolant (Michigan Power Plant)
Posted on 01/24/2005 9:35:25 PM PST by ConservativeMan55
FLASH: Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Michigan is shut down... 'We have a leak of reactor coolant into the containment structure... leak rate was about 75 gallons a minute but is reducing,' John Austerberry, spokesman... 'there is no indication of a radioactive release'... MORE...
The last thing we need is another disaster.
WE'RE DOOMED! DOOMED I TELL YA!
Coolant Leak at Fermi II Plant
By Action News Team
Web produced by Jenny Clark
January 24, 2005
State and county safety officials were called to the Fermi II nuclear plant in Monroe early Monday evening to investigate a coolant leak situation.
Michigan, Wayne and Monroe County authorities responded to what they called a "situation" within the plant around 6:00 p.m.
Minutes later, DTE officials confirmed that there were indications that there had been a leak of reactor coolant into the containment area. There were no evacuations at the plant, and there were no signs of any release of radiation.
Stay tuned to Action News for more on this developing story as it becomes available.
Someone break it down for this layperson. Is the coolant itself dangerous?
Leak at Fermi 2 Nuclear Plant Was From Non-Radioactive Source
Monday January 24, 11:33 pm ET
-- Company officials confirm there was no release of radioactive material
NEWPORT, Mich., Jan. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Detroit Edison officials confirmed this evening that a water leak which shut down the Fermi 2 nuclear plant Monday afternoon came from a non-radioactive cooling system, and said there was no release of radioactive water at the plant. The leak was stopped at 8:54 p.m. Monday.
Plant operators shut down the Fermi 2 reactor about 4:20 p.m. Monday after discovering that cooling water was leaking into the containment structure -- a steel and concrete structure that surrounds the steel reactor vessel. Plant personnel were able to pinpoint the source of the leak to non-radioactive water in a support cooling water system.
While there was never any indication of a radioactive release, the plant was shut down as a precautionary measure. Reactor coolant water was maintained at normal levels and plant safety systems functioned normally at all times.
There was no evacuation of plant personnel at any time. Plant personnel are investigating the cause of the leak and will develop a plan for repairing the system and returning the plant to operation.
The Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant is a 1,140-megawatt boiling water reactor owned and operated by Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving more than 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan.
Fermi 2 began commercial operation in 1988. Since that time, the plant has produced more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity for Detroit Edison customers. The plant employs about 900 workers and produces about 15 percent of the power generated by Detroit Edison power plants.
Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE - News), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at http://www.dteenergy.com.
What part of Michigan and is Homer Simpson involved?
It's Dubya's fault !!!
If it is reactor coolant, yes.
The timing is suspicious.
Nothing to see here folks. The backups and failsafes funtioned as designed. Clean up will be expensive and lengthy, but no harm to the environment.
I'm wearing led underoos!
If the leak was non-radioactive water (as written in the article), then it is likely to be neither expensive nor lengthy.
"Hey Homer, what's this alarm signal mean"
The simple fact that there is any type of leak at a facility like that should have folks worried.
The simple fact that there is any type of leak at a facility like that should have folks worried.Alarmist.
Like you've never had a pipe break - or a pump shaft seal rupture ...
If you have HBO... don't miss out on the movie "Dirty War" - British authorities track the terrorists who detonated a dirty bomb in London. - It is on several times this week and it is on right now. If you like "24" then you will like this, but it is not as fast paced as "24" but it has been pretty good so far. It sure makes terrorist muslims look like the crap they are, no PC in this one.
Not since the surgery, no.
Thanks for the reply!
look at the eyes they all have that stary eyed look except for the middle one.. He's like oh crap! I didn't sign on for this!
I trust that the loss of coolant isn't an issue in itself?
Any nuclear savvy persons out there that could shed some light on this?
That's just sick! ROFL!
If it isn't radioactive, it's probably the secondary loop, which is used to cool and condense the primary loop after it exits the turbines. Fermi #2 is a Boiling Water Reactor; Pressurized Water Reactors often have three or more loops, but the turbine loop is generally non-radioactive, which has definite benefits.
Reactor coolant is not dangerous. I will drink some. It is dangerous when there is fuel failure and the fission products get in the water. There is no fuel failure involved in this accident. Just let the N-16 gammas die down first.
A reactor will stay on line with less than 1 GPM unidentified RCS leakage and up to 6 GPM identified. Most power plants can figure out their leak rates immediately and track the leakage rate down to a gnat's ass.
The 75 GPM leakage would clearly be seen immediately if it was instantaneous. It would be identified by radiation monitors (pretty sensitive stuff) if in containment. The reactor was shutdown immediately and started to be cooled down / depressurized. The nice thing about this is that the charging pumps and High Pressure Safety Injection pumps would be able to handle a leak rate of 75 GPM quite handily.
It is not going to take months to recover from this maintenance opportunity (a cute little nuclear euphemism that means since this broke we can fix this other stuff).
It would take months or if ever to recover from a major loop blowout with fuel failure. This little accident is far from the design basis scenario.
I trust then that this is a coolant breach which wouldn't create a situation that over temp could cause a more serious situation?
Or is it a situation that could, but isn't an issue if taken care of in a timely fashion?
Thanks for the info my FRiend.
Sounds reasonable, Mike.
But I recall a 6 GPM leak at Clinton (Illinois) in 96 that kept them down for more than 2 years. The NRC also saw the opportunity and went in and discovered all kinds of procedural, purchasing, inventory and record keeping problems.
PECO ended up buying the $3 Billion plant for $200 Million and Illinois Power customers got stuck with paying off the old bonds.
Southeast Michigan, near the town of Monroe below Detroit on Lake Erie.
And, no, Homer Simpson is not the Safety Officer at this plant. I believe he's the Shift Supervisor at Monticello NGS.
< But I recall a 6 GPM leak at Clinton (Illinois) in 96 that kept them down for more than 2 years. The NRC also saw the opportunity and went in and discovered all kinds of procedural, purchasing, inventory and record keeping problems. >
Very often simple leaks at any type plant will initiate a long shutdown for maintenance that is needed, but not an ememrgency, to be done. It's called "opportunistic". Put maintenance on a punch list for when a "have to" shutdown occurs. Often times the reason for the shutdown is fixed within hours, but "opportunistic" maintainance will cause a shutdown to last much longer.
Send in the bureaucrats! They'll know what to do.
Cooling water is NOT Reactor Coolant. One more example of the idiots in the press knowing absolutely nothing.
This happens all the time on the Simpsons, I wouldn't worry about it.
Fermi II is on the Lake Erie coastline, north of Monroe, near the mouth of the Detroit River.
It's Islam's fault! /sarcasm
Just put some kitty litter around it. It'll be ok.
Actually, reactor coolant is cooling water. It circulates through the reactor carrying away the heat. It is driven by real kick ass pumps through the reactor and forced through the inside of 12,000 steam generator tubes in a steam generator and back to the pump suction.
The secondary cooling water is on the outside of these tubes in a lower pressure system and carries away the reactor heat by flashing to steam which is usually used to run steam turbines which generate electricity by turning a generator.
The used steam from the turbine is condensed by flowing onto the outside of tubes in a condenser and turns into water which is pumped back into the steam generator, again by kick ass pumps.
The third cooling water system is the water sucked from the ocean, a river, a spray pond, a cooling tower system by really, really kick ass pumps in some cases. It goes through the inside of the tubes in the condenser and then back to the source.
What is this one-note-Samba you keep playing trying to make it appear as though those who are concerned about Islamic terrorism, AND THERE IS NO OTHER KIND that is a danger, are crazy or deluded?
Anyone who even casually examines the history of that religion can not escape the conclusion that it is violent and primative to the point that it threatens those of EVERY other religion and is on a collision course of its own making with the entire world.
The evidence is overwhelming yet you keep trying to hide it. WHY?
Nuke plant accident? It's Islam's fault!
NYC subway fire? It's Islam's fault!
Man beheads himself in suicide? It's Islam's fault!
Clearly, some people need to get themselves a life.
Well... I hate to correct you, Chemist_Geek, but really, it's all FUNDAMENTALISM's fault!!!
Why do you refuse to accept the MSM's insistence that planet Earth's problems with mankind is the fungus of fundamentalism amongus! If religious, objectivist and constitutional fundamentalists were stamped out of existance, the the Beatles trite tune "Imagine" could come true and we would all become as ONE!!! (/sourchasm)
Kumbuyah, baby!!! Bwaaaaaaaaaha ha ha ha... moderation will save ya... Yeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaa
"A mind is like a parachute. It must be open to function." (It doesn't matter that the only thing in there... IS AIR!!!)
There's alot of bad information floating around here. Fermi 2 is a BWR; it doesn't have steam generators. But that's irrelevant in this case. Read the following - basically an auxillary system sprang a leak (sort of like the air conditioning system for the reactor building)
Best source of info is the NRC reading room (http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/en.html). Here are the events that were reported to the NRC in chronological order (RCS=Reactor Coolant System):
UNUSUAL EVENT DUE TO UNIDENTIFIED LEAKAGE GREATER THAN 10 GPM
The licensee reported that it had indications of unidentified reactor coolant leakage greater than 10 gpm which placed the licensee into an unusual event emergency action level (EAL). Indication of drywell sump level increase and pump out rate gave an approximate leak rate of 30 gpm. The licensee also indicated that drywell pressure was above the normal range. The unusual event declaration was made at 1610 EST.
At 1619 EST, the licensee manually scrammed the reactor. The scram was uncomplicated with all rods fully inserting and all systems functioning as required. Decay heat is being rejected to the main condenser. There has been no ECCS injection actuation and reactor water level is being maintained by feed pumps. The licensee has no significant safety related equipment out of service.
The licensee stated that there is no indication of further degradation of the leak rate and the source of the leak is still under investigation
The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector along with State, Local, and other government agencies.
* * * UPDATE FROM LICENSEE (SKORBEK) TO NRC (HUFFMAN) AT 1640 EST ON 1/24/05 * * *
At 1640 EST, the licensee upgraded to an ALERT following additional leak rate calculations that indicated the leak rate was approximately 75 - 80 gpm based on drywell sump pump out rate. The licensee's EAL for an alert is RCS leakage greater than 50 gpm. The NRC entered the monitoring mode at 1653 EST. The licensee stated that there has been no increase in drywell radiation levels and that sump water chemistry analysis is in progress.
In addition to the normal government agencies notified, the NRC also notified the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Duty Officer (R. Chamberlaine).
* * * UPDATE FROM LICENSEE (VIA MANAGEMENT BRIEFING) AT 1930 EST ON 1/24/05 * * *
The licensee has indications that the leakage may not be reactor coolant leakage. Chemistry results show that the sump water radiation levels are at a level less than would be expected for RCS leakage. In addition, a secondary cooling system was found in a lineup configuration that could have masked leakage from the system. The licensee is waiting to get additional chemistry results on the presence of corrosion inhibitors in the sump water to provide additional confirmation that the leakage is not from the RCS.
* * * UPDATE FROM LICENSEE (VIA MANAGEMENT BRIEFING) AT 2200 EST ON 1/24/05 * * *
The licensee confirmed the presence of corrosion inhibitors in the drywell sump. In addition, based on manipulations of the Reactor Building Closed Cooling Water system and the Emergency Equipment Cooling Water system the licensee believes that the leakage is from the Reactor Building Closed Cooling Water system and not RCS leakage. The plant is stable and the licensee is continuing to cool down with pressure now at 180 psi and decreasing.
* * * UPDATE FROM THE LICENSEE (STROBEL) TO NRC (VIA R3 IRC BRIEFING) AT 22:30 EST ON 1/24/05 * * *
The licensee terminated its Alert and Unusual Event at 22:28 EST based on sump water chemistry, activity, and Reactor Building Closed Cooling Water System manipulations that indicate the leakage is secondary cooling water and not from the RCS. The NRC secured from the monitoring mode at 22:36 EST.