Condenser Vacuum Problem Forces Oyster Creek Offline

Jul 04, 2017

The Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township is offline after a degraded condenser vacuum forced operators to manually shut the plant down at about 10:15 a.m. Monday, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The condenser cools down and condenses water steam that is generated by the reactor after it passes through a turbine to spin it and produce electricity, said Neil Sheehan, NRC public affairs officer for Region 1. The condenser is operated under vacuum conditions to maximize efficiency.

“The shutdown was carried out without complications,” he said. “Plant operators are conducting troubleshooting to determine what caused the degrading condenser vacuum.”

Sheehan said the NRC resident inspectors responded to the control room as soon as they were notified, and directly observed operator actions during the shutdown.

“The inspectors are continuing to follow up on the forced outage but do not have any safety concerns at this time,” he said, adding they will review any plans to restart the aging nuke, and the restart process itself.  —G.G.S.

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