Millstone Unit 2 reactor shut down after malfunction

Waterford - Dominion was investigating the cause Friday of a cooling equipment malfunction at the Unit 2 reactor at Millstone Power Station that forced a shut down.

The incident occurred about 11 a.m., as work was being done on one of the reactor's four water-circulating pump bays. A second pump went off-line as another one was being worked on, reducing cooling flow to the plant's condenser, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Control room operators safely shut the reactor down, he said, and the NRC is monitoring the situation. Unit 3 remained in operation online.

Water is drawn from Niantic Bay and circulated through the condenser to cool down and condense steam generated by nuclear fission. It is eventually returned to the waterway.

Dominion spokesman Richard Zuercher said the company would continue to investigate exactly how and why the malfunction occurred.

Unit 2 is one of two operating reactors owned by Dominion. A third reactor is permanently shut down.

p.daddona@theday.com

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