VY powers down for smoke in reactor building

by JOSH STILTS, Reformer Staff
Posted:   06/18/2012 05:46:33 PM EDT
Updated:   06/18/2012 05:47:06 PM EDT

BRATTLEBORO – The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has been reduced to 36 percent power since 1 p.m., after smoke was detected in the reactor building.

According to Vermont Yankee spokesman Rob Williams, there was an electrical failure in one of the two motor generator sets, which controls the reactor’s power by varying the flow of reactor cooling water.

Williams said the malfunction is not safety related and that the public is not in any danger.

“This is not related to plant safety,” Williams told the Reformer. “The plant will remain online at the reduced power output until the investigation of what happened is complete and proper repairs are made.”

On Sept. 30, 2011, the plant was forced to reduce its power output after one of its recirculation pumps had an electrical problem.

Williams said it’s unclear at this time if it’s the same pump or not.