South Texas Nuclear Project Failure Described

February 17, 2021

Image result for south texas nuclear plant offline

Atomic Insights:

On Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, at 0537, an automatic reactor trip occurred at South Texas Project in Unit 1. The trip resulted from a loss of feedwater attributed to a cold weather-related failure of a pressure sensing lines to the feedwater pumps, causing a false signal, which in turn, caused the feedwater pump to trip. This event occurred in the secondary side of the plant (non-nuclear part of the unit). The reactor trip was a result of the feedwater pump trips. The primary side of the plant (nuclear side) is safe and secured.  

Wall St. Journal:

At the peak, about 45 gigawatts of power were offline due to the cold. Two-thirds of this generation was from gas- and coal-burning power plants and one nuclear power plant. The other third came from wind turbines that iced up and were taken out of service.

2 Responses to “South Texas Nuclear Project Failure Described”

  1. Mark Mev Says:

    I’m really confused. ERCOT says: In Texas, where 25 gigawatts of wind capacity feeds into the state’s main power grid, wind can sometimes produce as much as 60% of total electricity. But because wind power tends to ebb in the winter, the grid operator typically assumes that the turbines will generate only about 19% to 43% of their maximum output.
    19% to 43% would be around 5GW to 11GW total wind capacity, but the post above and others that I’ve read said 1/3 loss of wind generation is 15GW. That is more than the total winter production ERCOT plans for.
    The most reasonable loss that I’ve found was that EROT planned to have 8GW of wind, 1/2 of the turbines froze up, but the remaining turbines over produced delivering 6GW. That is a loss of 2GW of wind not 15GW!

    • John Oneill Says:

      ERCOT is not currently displaying it’s power generation on the site I check, but earlier in the day it was only showing 3.27 GW, dropping to 2.89. From over 30 GW of capacity, thats only 9% capacity factor. The Southwest Power Pool, just north of ERCOT ( Electric ‘Reliablity’ Council of Texas ! ) has been getting 2.39 GW of windpower, from 25 GW installed. https://www.electricitymap.org/zone/US-TEX-ERCO?wind=false&solar=false
      All Texas’ four nuclear reactors were running at 100%, until one got a false reading from a frozen water feed sensor, and automatically scrammed. The turbines are not in a turbine hall, but out in the open, and could clearly use a bit more insulation.


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