UPDATE 2-Entergy mulls using spare transformer at NY reactor

Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:46pm EST

* FitzPatrick nuclear reactor shut after transformer fire
    * Entergy unsure when reactor will return to service


    Nov 13 (Reuters) - Power company Entergy Corp must
determine whether it can use a spare transformer at the
FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in New York to replace one
damaged in a fire two days ago, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) said on Tuesday.
    Entergy spokeswoman Tammy Holden said the spare would
require some modifications if the company decides to use it but
"no decision has been made yet."
    Electricity traders familiar with nuclear power plants said
it was possible to operate a reactor such as FitzPatrick on only
one transformer but it would have run at less than full power.
    The transformer that failed in a fire on Sunday is one of
two main transformers that take electrical power produced by the
855-megawatt plant's generator, step up the voltage and send it
out to the grid.
    The NRC said the reactor shutdown was uncomplicated. The
company said there was no radiological release.
    As for the 1,773-MW Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant, 
located on the same site as FitzPatrick but operated by
Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, both of its units were at 86
percent power earlier Tuesday, the NRC said.
    A spokeswoman from Constellation, which is jointly owned by
units of French power company EDF SA and Chicago-based
power company Exelon Corp, said on Monday that the
company started to shut the 1,143-MW Nine Mile 2 on Nov. 10 for
planned maintenance. 
    But on Sunday, the New York power grid operator asked
Constellation to keep Nine Mile 2 online due to transmission
system issues. The Constellation spokeswoman did not say if
those issues related to the shutdown on Sunday of FitzPatrick.
    Constellation said it kept Nine Mile 2 on line. It did not
say when it would shut it for the maintenance work.
     
----------------------------------------------------------
PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE   
STATE:      New York    
COUNTY:     Oswego    
TOWN:       Scriba, about 175 miles (280 km) west of Albany,    
            the state capital    
OPERATOR:   Entergy Nuclear   
OWNER(S):   Entergy Corp   
CAPACITY:   855 MW    
UNIT(S):    855 MW General Electric boiling water reactor   
FUEL:       Nuclear    
DISPATCH:   Baseload    

TIMELINE:    
1976 -      Reactor enters service    
2008 -      NRC renews original 40 year operating license for   
            an additional 20 years    
2034 -      Reactor operating license expires
FILED UNDER:
A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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