Pilgrim nuclear plant shuts down after valve malfunction
PLYMOUTH — The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s reactor automatically shut down late Saturday, avoiding a potentially dangerous situation when a valve that regulates the steam transfer from the reactor to the turbine closed when it should have remained open.
It marks the third time this calendar year that the plant has been forced to shut down due to mechanical failures.
“When the valve closes, it causes reactor pressure and the reactor power to rise,” said Diane Screnci, spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “There are systems in place to shut the reactor down, and the operators can also do it manually.”
On Sunday morning, Entergy’s licensing manager, Chip Perkins, said plant operators spent the overnight scrutinizing engineering plans “to put together what we believed happened.”
“We now have teams inside the primary containment looking at that valve and the seven others,” Perkins said.