Exelon Nuclear officials believe a failed piece of equipment at a switchyard at the plant about 95 miles northwest of Chicago caused the shutdown, but they were still investigating an exact cause. The switchyard is similar to a large substation that delivers power to the plant from the electrical grid and from the plant to the electrical grid.
The reported fires were out by the time firefighters arrived –
“We responded out to the plant and we were stuck held up in security for a while until they could release us and let us through,” says Byron Fire Chief Galen Bennett.
It was not immediately clear what caused the insulator to fail, but the part will be sent to a lab for analysis, and officials hope to replace it by Tuesday evening, Dempsey said.
The company would then begin preparing to re-start the Unit 2 reactor at the Byron Generating Station about 95 miles northwest of Chicago, though it remained unclear how soon it could return to service, spokesman Paul Dempsey said. After TMI, regulations were passed that prevent the restart until after the root cause is determined and mitigated.
The insulator, a piece of protective equipment that helps regulate the flow of electricity in the plant’s switchyard, failed Monday morning and fell off of the metal structure to which it was attached. That interrupted power and caused the reactor to shut down automatically.
Source: Chicago Tribune