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Michigan Nuke Plant Shut Down "again" due to cooling tank malfunction

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02/16/2013 05:13 PM
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Michigan Nuke Plant Shut Down "again" due to cooling tank malfunction
[link to www.mlive.com]

COVERT, MI – Palisades nuclear power plant was shut down Friday at 4:49 p.m. after workers tried several days of trouble shooting the cooling water heat exchangers system, according to the company that runs the plant.

“We’ll return the plant to service when the work is complete,” Palisades spokesman Mark Savage said Friday night. “We want to make sure we’re operating safely.”

Savage would not give a timetable for how long repairs are expected to take but did say repairs would be done over the weekend. He also said that they would use the outage to make several other repairs to the plant.

“It will allow us to be reliable during the summer months when electricity is more in demand,” Savage said. “We took proactive action.”

In a press release issued Friday night, the company said a "pro-active and conservative decision was made ... to remove Palisades from service for repair work activities, following several days of troubleshooting the plant’s component cooling water heat exchanger system."

Last summer, the nuclear power plant was shut down several times due to separate repair issues. In November, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission upgraded Palisades after it had been downgraded earlier in 2012. Although its status was upgraded, the NRC kept the plant under a heightened level of inspection to keep a close eye on the operation.

Savage said that the electrical issues that caused the shutdown Friday were not on the generator itself, but instead on switch room and that it had been monitored closely for several days.

“It got to the point where we had make repairs,” Savage said.