BYRON — Operators at Byron Generating Station terminated the Unusual Event at 8 p.m. today, after the return of power to Unit 2.
“Our diesel generators performed as expected in providing continuous electricity to the unit during the Unusual Event. Plant teams will now focus on a safe and measured approach to returning Unit 2 to the electrical grid,” said Byron Station Site Vice President Tim Tulon.
Station personnel are in communication with local, state and federal officials, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the facility’s status.
The Unusual Event, which was declared Monday, is the lowest of the four emergency classifications as established by the NRC.
Byron’s Unit 1 continues to safely supply electricity to customers.
Exelon Nuclear officials say an equipment failure in a switchyard near the plant triggered the automatic shutdown of Unit 2.
The company, which continues to investigate the shutdown, said the plant is “in a safe and stable condition with no impact to public safety.” The plant is about 20 miles southwest of Rockford.
Meanwhile, officials from the state and federal governments were planning special inspections in and around the plant.
Officials from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency were at the plant today collecting water and vegetation to confirm that steam released during the event posed no hazards to people. The release of steam relieved pressure within the reactor.
IEMA wants to ensure that radioactive tritium that was in steam released after the reactor shutdown is at safe levels.
Results should be available in a few days.
“While we don’t expect to find harmful levels of tritium from the steam release at Byron, I believe it’s prudent to verify what levels are present,” said Jonathon Monken, IEMA director.
The NRC said it would investigate how the plant’s employees and systems responded to the loss of power, and for any corrective actions the plant is planning.
The NRC expects to have a report within 45 days of completing its inspection.
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