Nuclear Reactor Shut Down Because Sea Water Can't Cool?

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Why isn’t this front page news! Are people really still questioning Climate Change’s impacts? I’m in shock! The sea water . . . the ocean is too warm to cool the reactors, it’s not even believable. I only believe it because the huge energy corporations would never shut a reactor down unless they had too. Waterford, CT is not alone, a number of reactors across the country have been temporarily shut down in the past few days for safety reasons.

In Waterford, Conn., a reactor at the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant was shut down because the water in Long Island Sound was too warm to cool it. According to the reactor’s safety rules, the cooling water can be no higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant has three reactors. The first began operation in 1970 and is now retired. The third was still running yesterday, but engineers have been monitoring the temperature in case that one also needs to be shut down. Temperatures this summer are the warmest we’ve had since operations began here at Millstone,” Dominion spokesman Ken Holt said (Matthew Wald, New York Times, Aug. 13).

At the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in southern Maryland, operators shut down one of the site’s two reactors because a control rod unexpectedly dropped into the reactor core on Sunday.

The plant’s staff is fixing the malfunction, said Kory Raftery, spokesman for operator Constellation Energy Nuclear Group.

Control rods are used to limit the fission taking place among a reactor’s fuel rods. An unplanned insertion of a control rod into a reactor core can “create an imbalance in the fissioning and pose challenges for reactor operators,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan said. It happens infrequently at U.S. nuclear plants, he said (Timothy Wheeler, Baltimore Sun, Aug. 13).

The Palisades Nuclear Generating Station in Covert Township, Mich., was taken offline after officials discovered a “very small, very minor” cooling water leak. The leak, which has been monitored by officials for a month, is being repaired inside a containment building at the plant. No radioactive materials were released, spokesman Mark Savage said Sunday. “Palisades is taking this conservative measure at this time because of our unrelenting commitment and focus on nuclear safety,” he said in a release. “Palisades will be returned to service when repairs are completed.”

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