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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick Nuclear Plant declared an “Unusual Event” early this morning as a result of a reactor coolant system leak, according to a Progress Energy spokesman. It happened around 3:01 a.m. The event ended around 8:15 a.m.

Plant spokesman Ryan Mosier says the problem was a coolant system leakage of greater than 10 gallons per minute on Unit 2.

Mosier says an “Unusual Event” is the lowest emergency classification used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Plant operators made the declaration as part of the plant’s conservative approach to maintaining plant safety.

Because the event had low safety significance, there were no threats to public health and safety and no protective actions were needed for the public.

According to Mosier, Unit 2 has been offline since Nov. 5 for scheduled maintenance, which was finished earlier this week. He says operators were beginning the process of re-starting the unit when the leakage was identified. Once the leakage was identified, the plant immediately began an investigation into the cause. Operators safely shut down the unit and placed it in a stable condition to determine the source and make the necessary repairs. The leak rate has been stabilized as a result of reduced pressure.

Mosier says the plant reported the incident to the NRC as an Unusual Event based on regulatory requirements within the mandated timeframe.

Reactor coolant is water used to remove heat from the reactor in order to create the steam that drives the turbines, which generate electricity.

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11 Comments on "Brunswick Nuclear Plant reports “Unusual Event”"

2015 years 10 months ago

Not sure how they’re an expert, but they are 100% correct. A “LOCA” or a “DBA-LOCA” is NOT what happened here. A “Design Based Accident – Loss Of Coolant Accident” would be a shear in a Recirc Line. What happened here is probably a gasket or O-Ring failure. That’s something totally different. Either way, its a simple fix, and no danger to the public. In fact, it’s only water – you can touch it with your hands! It you have to know, I’m a long time Reactor Mechanic. Seen this before.

talon grey
2015 years 10 months ago

and you are an expert about this incedent because?

2015 years 10 months ago

LOL. This was not a “LOCA”, and it will not keep the plant down for a year. LOCA’s are based on line breaks, this was likely a valve leak issue. It’s not uncommon to have drywell inleakage, but within limits. NRC Technical specifications limit this to a certain amount, they just happened to exceed it.

2015 years 10 months ago

Don’t you just love the politically correct-sounding terminology used to downplay what could be a serious mistake?

2015 years 10 months ago

You and your anti-nuke friends should be happy because this LOCA (loss of coolant accident) will most likely keep the plant out for at least a year. Some radioactive water is spilled on the concrete floor inside a building whose walls are 4 feet thick and people flip their lids. This is politically-correct sounding because the operators technically didn’t even have to declare anything since removing pressure alleviated the problem. Just chill out

2015 years 10 months ago

Progress Energy identified and reported EXACTLY what happened. Nothing more, nothing less. This is considered an unusual incident and is at the lowest level of a reportable condition. The nuclear industry is very highly regulated. The regulators such as the NRC have defined protocol on reportable conditions from nuclear businesses and their resolution. In the nuclear business, the safety of plant operations, personnel and the public are always the top priority. There is nothing “politically correct” about it in any shape, form or fashion.

2015 years 10 months ago

This event is nothing to be worried about. This was a small leak and adequately caught. This is why nuclear continues to be the safest form of power generation. I’m glad the correct actions were taken and that everything is safe and sound.

John DeBrita
2015 years 10 months ago

Actually this public announcement is not for the local public as much as it is for event info sharing
Yes it was preventable
Yes it couldve been more serious. But being forthcoming with the event in detail allows other plants the opportunity to prevent and avoid such future events by sharing in a non restricted forum.
So this has nothing to do with politics or being politically correct.

Rick Wilson
2015 years 10 months ago

Having worked shutdowns @ the Brunswick Plant I know a little more than the average person. What I know beyond a shawdow of a doubt is that safety (for the people that work there and the public) is always the plants first consideration. The plant is very large, and with anything mechanical, there will always be problems. This situation proves that the safe guards work, and the plant does not try to hide problems. So in this world of lies and cover-ups, I think it is nice that you hear the truth to start with, and there is no need to try and remember a bunch of lies and half truths. Safety is their primary consideration.

2015 years 10 months ago

True, but remember, it’s kind of hard to hide the fact that the pressure vessel head was not tightened down properly. What actually happened was not any real concern. The plant was safed and the problem was found and rectified. However, the fact that it happened at all is the real problem. Forgetting to tighten down a bolt here or there should never happen, but it does. Forgetting to tighten to actual vessel head??

2015 years 10 months ago

No use crying over spilt reactor coolant. Who needs lights at night, when you glow in the dark. Time to joust at a few more megawatt windmills.


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