Nuclear 'alert' over US storm

Tue, Oct 30, 2012, 00:00

Exelon Corp declared an "alert" at its New Jersey Oyster Creek nuclear power plant due to a record storm surge, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, warning that a further water rise could force the country's oldest working plant to use emergency water supplies to cool spent uranium fuel rods.

The alert - the second lowest of four NRC action levels - came after water levels at the plant rose by more than two metres potentially affecting the pumps that circulate water through the plant, an NRC spokesman said late yesterday.

Those pumps are not essential since the 43-year-old plant was shut for planned refueling since October 22nd. However, a further rise to 7 feet could submerge the service water pump motor that is used to cool the water in the spent fuel pool.

Exelon said in a statement that there was no danger to equipment and no threat to public health or safety.

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