Both units at the Arkansas Nuclear One power plant are back in operation, four months after a fatal industrial accident during refurbishment work.
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission recorded 1% output from unit 1 yesterday as that reactor began its comeback to full power operation. It was taken offline early this year for refuelling and refurbishment work which required the removal of the generator stator. On 31 March the gantry used to remove this from the turbine hall collapsed, sending the 500-tonne component crashing through a hole in the floor to a heavy transport vehicle below. One man was killed and two seriously injured.
Certain electrical systems shared by both reactors were damaged in the incident with the immediate knock-on effect that unit 2 shut down, waiting around ten hours before normal grid power supply was restored. This unit is currently operating at 100% power.
Entergy said in July that the costs of tackling the repairs and replacing damaged equipment was in the range of $95-120 million, not including replacement energy to meet its customers’ needs while generation was suspended.
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