A special team from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting an inspection at the River Bend nuclear plant in St. Francisville following a May 24 problem with a main pump.
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the four-member Augmented Inspection Team will be at the plant until Friday to investigate an electrical fault that occurred in a main pump.
At about 2 p.m. on the day of the electrical problem, protective relays should have isolated the electrical fault, but other pieces of equipment were affected. The result was a loss of main feedwater to the reactor core, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
That’s when the plant’s Reactor Core Cooling Isolation System started up and performed as designed to provide cooling to the reactor core, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“Workers reported seeing some smoke around the reactor feed pump and the plant’s fire brigade was dispatched, but no fire was reported,” according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission news release.
There were no radiological releases and no emergency action declaration needed because the plant is in safe shutdown, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Augmented Inspection Team is put together when the commission wants to look more closely at a particular incident, said Lara Uselding, spokeswoman with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
After the inspection is complete, the commission will hold a public meeting to talk about preliminary findings of the inspection.
“River Bend and Entergy welcome the assistance of the NRC’s Augmented Inspection Team, which will help review the circumstances around our recent safe shutdown to ensure we understand the issue fully,” Katie Damratoski, communications specialist at River Bend, said in an email.
“We take seriously our commitment to safety and continuous improvement, which are largely driven by the power of our people.
“The operators here at River Bend responded appropriately to the situation last Thursday and placed the station in a safe shutdown condition.”
The plant is still shut down and Damratoski said plant officials don’t comment on when the plant will restart operations.