North Anna nuclear reactor shut down

Dominion Virginia Power has shut down its North Anna 2 reactor in Louisa County because of what the utility described as a faulty transformer.

Unit 2 was taken offline Sept. 13 for what was called a routine refueling, and the reactor was being brought back up to full power this week — a process that takes several days — when the problem was discovered, Virginia Power spokesman Richard Zuercher said this morning.

“We’re going to have to replace that main transformer,” Zuercher said. “There are three, and one of them went bad.”

Unit 2 was operating at between 6 percent and 7 percent of capacity, well short of the 18-20 percent required to generate power, when the problem was discovered at 4:40 p.m. yesterday, Zuercher said.

Virginia Power, which has a spare transformer on site, should have the part replaced soon, said Zuercher, who declined to specify a targeted date to attempt to restart Unit 2.

“It will be soon,” he said.

North Anna’s other reactor, Unit 1, was operating at full power today.

The plant is about 45 miles northwest of Richmond.

Each of the two units at North Anna is refueled about every 18 months on an alternating schedule. Refueling typically takes between four and six weeks.

— Joe Macenka

http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/news.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-10-30-0177.html

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