First Energy patches Beaver Valley nuclear reactor
FirstEnergy is repairing a “flaw” on one of its Beaver Valley nuclear reactors that inspectors discovered last week.
Welding material around a tube at the top of the 904-megawatt Unit No. 2 reactor appeared to be weakened, prompting FirstEnergy to patch it with a “weld overlay,” according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan.
The flaw was not a safety threat by itself, Sheehan said. But if left alone, it could have cracked and allowed water to leak from the reactor.
“It's not a crack,” Sheehan said. “It's a flaw that had to be addressed or it could turn into a crack.”
At no time was the safety of the public or plant workers threatened, said Sheehan and FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young.
FirstEnergy reported the problem to the NRC on Thursday.
The “microscopic” flaw, Young said, was discovered during a routine refueling outage that began April 19. During these outages, plant operators examine the facility for potential problems. The flaw was the only concern inspectors had, Young said.
The reactor's vessel head dates to the year it was built in 1977 and is scheduled to be replaced in 2017, Young said.
Refueling outages happen every 18 months and the inspections last several weeks to a month, Young said. She would not say when Unit No. 2 would run again, because of competitive reasons.
Chris Fleisher is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7854 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Smartphones expected to overtake desktops for holiday shopping
- Signs of steady U.S. economy: Pay, home sales up, unemployment applications down
- Nutritional supplement makers, led by GNC, want to create voluntary safety standards
- Many Black Friday deals not worth the hassle
- Stocks finish flat before Thanksgiving holiday; energy firms give back some gains
- Take steps to make it harder for holiday hackers
- Hedge fund Elliott Management grabs 6.4 percent stake in Alcoa
- Stocks shake off Middle East tensions, drop in consumer confidence
- Covestro leader MacCleary finds stability amid change
- Union leaders warn Post-Gazette newsroom of possible layoffs
- Stock markets finish with minor losses