Millstone reactor back at full power

Waterford - The Unit 2 reactor at Millstone Power Station returned to full power Wednesday after its owner Dominion repaired leaking tubes in a feedwater heater.

The reactor went completely back online at 10 a.m., said Dominion spokesman Ken Holt. The Unit 3 reactor continued to operate at full power.

Over the weekend, two tubes were found leaking in one of a series of feedwater heaters. The heaters heat water that is fed into a steam generator to create steam; the steam is piped to a turbine that's turned to generate electricity. The water circulates through the tubes as it is being heated.

Plant operators brought the reactor down to half power Saturday night and early Tuesday finished plugging the two tubes and strengthening eight adjacent tubes, Holt said.

The high pressure of water coming through the tubes because of the leaks required the fixes on the adjacent tubes, he said.

The water passing through the tubes is not on the radioactive side of reactor and never comes into contact with the reactor, according to Dominion and Neil Sheehan, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman.

- Patricia Daddona


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