Intermittent Nuclear Plant Back on Line
July 14, 2016
As the video above points out, arguments that wind and solar are “intermittent” and therefore unreliable are erroneous – as they fail to understand that ALL forms of energy are intermittent, and can fail at any moment. Utilities, therefore, are required to have sufficient back up resources available to pick up in a moment’s notice when a large power plant might go offline.
In the case of wind, for instance, the flow of energy is quite predictable days in advance, and although occasionally an individual turbine goes off line for a few days or weeks, it is almost unheard of for an entire multi-hundred megawatt array to go down at once.
Not so with coal or nuclear plants, which can trip offline in a microsecond.
Case in point.
BRIDGMAN — Donald C. Cook’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor is back in operation, about a week after it was shut down due to a steam line rupture.
The reactor was returned to power at 6 p.m. Tuesday, spokesman Bill Schalk said.
On July 6, workers manually took the reactor off-line after the steam line rupture was discovered.
Preliminary findings indicate the steam line ruptured due to “vibration-induced metal fatigue” of a steam expansion joint bellows, Schalk said.
Staff will redesign the equipment and make changes when the unit is shut down for a planned maintenance and refueling outage in the fall, he said.
“We’re working on that already,” he said. “We’ll either do something to reduce vibrations or strengthen the equipment.”
Metal parts had to be fabricated for the plant by its vendor before the repairs could be completed, Schalk said.
The steam line leads to low-pressure turbines and released pressurized, high-temperature steam. The rupture damaged the wall of the turbine building.
Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors assigned to the plant, and from the NRC’s regional office in Lisle, Ill, will be independently evaluating the company’s response to the incident.