Farley Plant Auto Shut Down

By: Patrick Claybon Email
By: Patrick Claybon Email

Unit two at Farley Nuclear Power Plant in Houston County automatically shut down Wednesday. Officials say there's no need for alarm.

There was a circuit breaker issue at Farley last month, but the most recent news from the plant is all systems are a go and that is what caused the shutdown this week.

At the Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting back in September, the NRC announced its findings on the status of the Farley Plant after two faulty circuit breakers made headlines.

Performance levels are indicated with column one being the best and column five the worst.

In the second quarter report, Farley's units one and two were in columns one and two, but a commission spokesman told us last month that could change.

Michael Ernestes said, "Unit one is currently in column one; unit two is in column two, but there are some issues coming up next quarter that might move unit two into column three."

Wednesday's shutdown had nothing to do with issues addressed last month.

Instead, unit two's shutdown was the result of "working” equipment, when a transformer that powers coolant delivery shut down during testing.

That in turn triggered a safety mechanism, which took unit two off line.

Mike Doherty, with Farley Public Affairs said, "It tripped because of some testing that was taking place in the switchyard above the plant. The plant’s systems and equipment responded as they were supposed to."

The NRC did not hesitate to point out that the home crew of investigators at Farley correctly identified the breaker problem from last month.

And, this issue is no different, as the NRC will not investigate this shutdown.

Randy Johnson, Farley vice president, said, "As part of their inspection, they came in and validated that the actions that we had taken were prompt and on track and just re-affirmed that what we were doing was the right thing for Farley."

Once again, it's important that people know that this is no major issue that caused the plant to go offline. While doing relay testing on the switchyard one of the units many safety systems kicked in and unit two automatically shut down as a precaution.

Wednesday’s automatic shutdown makes it the first time, in three years that both units at Farley are inactive.


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