05:46 GMT +310 December 2019
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     VC Summer nuclear station in Fairfield County

    US Nuclear Station Shut Down Due to ‘Small Leak’ in Reactor System

    Screenshot/Courtesy of The State
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    Dominion Energy’s VC Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County, South Carolina, was shut down last Wednesday after what plant officials described as a “small leak” was found in the reactor coolant system several weeks ago.

    According to Dominion Energy spokesperson Ken Holt, the leak is being monitored by operators and has been confined to the containment building so as not to impact the surrounding environment.

    “There is no danger to the public,” Holt said, the Post and Courier reported. “Although the small leak is not at a level that would require a plant shutdown, operators made the conservative decision to shut down the reactor to address the leak.” 

    Operators are actively working to “find and address any other impacted components,” Holt noted.

    However, Holt did not provide any details on when the plant will be back in service, because that is “considered market-sensitive information.”

    Nuclear safety watchdog Tom Clements expressed concern to The State that the Virginia-based power utility did not inform the public about the leak in an official statement; instead, Dominion Energy only confirmed the leak to the outlet after being questioned about it.

    “They should have notified the public. With nuclear plants, it is essential that there be full openness about safety related issues,” Clements said.

    However, Holt said that the company informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about the leak and is not required to make any other public statements.

    The VC Summer Nuclear Station began operating in 1982. A project to add two new nuclear reactors to the plant was dropped in July 2017 due to cost and management issues.


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