Friday, May 10, 2013

Calvert Cliffs nuclear reactor shuts down

One of two reactors at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant in Southern Maryland shut down suddenly Wednesday night after an as-yet-unexplained malfunction, a Constellation spokesman said.

Unit 2 went offline at 9:47 p.m. after a shutdown of the turbine that generates electricity from the nuclear reactor, according to Kory Raftery, spokesman for the Constellation Energy Nuclear Group. Some valves feeding steam to the turbine closed unexpectedly, triggering its shutdown, Raftery explained, and that led to the reactor itself shutting down to prevent a buildup of steam pressure in its cooling system.

The reactor's automatic safety system functioned as designed, the company spokesman said, averting any danger to plant workers or the public. The unit is in "stable condition," he said, while plant personnel and federal nuclear safety regulators investigate what caused the shutdown.,0,6098339.story