SCRIBA, N.Y. – Operators were forced to shut down FitzPatrick nuclear plant Saturday night because of a drop in cooling water levels. The plant remains offline pending some maintenance work and an inspection, said Tammy Holden, speaking for plant owner Entergy Corp.
The culprit for the shutdown: frazil ice. Think of a Slurpee. Frazil ice is slushy, chunky ice water, which can block the Lake Ontario intake structure that provides water to cool down the nuclear reactor.
While the plant is down, technicians will perform some unrelated maintenance that can’t be performed while the plant is operating, Holden said. Entergy did not say when the plant is expected to resume operation.
The 850-megawatt FitzPatrick plant is scheduled to close permanently by early 2017 because it loses money.