NRC: metal piece wedged in Palisades reactor poses no safety risk
Caroline MacGregor March 17, 2014 | WGVU The plant
was returned to service early Sunday morning after being offline for work that
included 64 fuel assemblies and a piece of loose metal in the reactor. Crews
were also carrying out routine tests and inspections during Palisade’s 23rd
refueling and maintenance outage.
conducted an independent review to understand the impact the piece of metal may
have had on the reactor vessel and fuel safety.
“The piece of metal broke off an impeller that pumps water into the reactor.”
Viktoria Mitlyng, who says the metal or impeller piece is like a cork screw
which speeds up the flow of water from the pump into the reactor.
“In 2007, there were two pieces missing from the impeller and they think one of those pieces got stuck between the reactor wall and what is called a flow skirt.”
skirt is basically a blade with holes on the bottom where water flows through
the fuel to cool it before exiting through another pipe and turning to steam.
concluded the impeller metal piece will not impact the reactor vessel or the
fuel within the vessel, nor impede flow to the fuel during normal operation or
says in the unlikely event of any impact to the fuel or the vessel, the plant
has instrumentation to warn of the existence of foreign material within the
concluded in its review that plant operators are trained in immediate actions
necessary to mitigate an event before it poses a significant safety concern
either to the plant or to the public.
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