Icy conditions on the Delaware River have shut down one nuclear generator and prompted reduced power in a second generator.

Salem Unit 2 was shut down at around 8 a.m. on Sunday morning after ice started accumulating on a series of rotating screens. The screens are used to take in water from the Delaware River to cool the non-radioactive part of the plant while also keeping debris from the river out of the plant.

"There has to be a steady flow of cooling water from the river in order to operate," said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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In addition to Unit 2 shutting down, Salem Unit 1 is operating on reduced power. Two of the six screens at Unit 1 have the ice problem, while four of the six screens at Unit 2 are problematic, requiring the entire generator to shut down.

While the Salem nuclear plants have not encountered this before, the plant does encounter similar issues in the spring when eel grass clogs up the screen in the spring, according to Joe Delmar, a spokesman for PSEG, the company that owns and operates the Salem nuclear complex.

The Hope Creek generator is still operating at full capacity.

Delmar could not say when Salem Units 1 and 2 would both be running at full capacity again.

 

 

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