was it extreme heat or malfunction today at limerick nuclear plant?

UPDATE – my friends at PECO connected me to the Limerick Generating Station  because apparently since deregulation PECO has not owned generating facilities – including Limerick.  The facilities are owned and operated by Exelon
Nuclear.  Here is the press release from their media person:

This morning I learned via Phoenixville Patch (they really do try to keep abreast of news and having dealt with interim editor Tom Sunnergren I know he has a nose for news) that Limerick Patch was reporting a shut down at the nuclear plant in Limerick. (and yes that is my photo from a friend’s deck outside Pottstown.) The cause, as per Patch and other Philadelphia media like 6 ABC is an electrical fault.

The very ODD thing is that the Morning Call via Reuters  seemed as if they were implying the shut down was part of a multi state shut down at other nuclear plants due to heat.

Seriously check it out:

Limerick among four nuclear power reactors shut down Wednesday

By Scott DiSavino, Reuters11:35 a.m. EDT, July 18, 2012

Several nuclear plants on the U.S. East Coast, including Exelon’s Limerick nuclear plant, were shut down early Wednesday and New York’s Consolidated Edison power company reduced the voltage in parts of Manhattan as the obsessive heat wave stressed the region’s power system.

Despite the shutdown of four giant nuclear reactors in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and South Carolina, the power systems delivered the juice needed by the regions’ homes and businesses to keep air conditioners humming on the projected last day of a brutal heat wave.

Temperatures in New York City — the biggest metropolitan region in the United States — hit 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) on Monday, 96 F on Tuesday, and were expected to reach 96 F again on Wednesday before thunderstorms Wednesday night were likely to drive temperatures back to near-normal levels in the 80s F on Thursday, according to AccuWeather.com.

In New York, Wednesday’s voltage reduction was the second for Con Edison during this week’s heat wave, aimed at easing the load on the grid to allow workers to fix heat-stressed equipment in the affected neighborhoods….


A unit at Exelon’s Limerick nuclear plant in Pennsylvania shut early Wednesday, according to power traders. Officials at the company and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission could not confirm the Limerick shutdown.

Constellation Nuclear Energy Group’s 630-megawatt Nine Mile Point 1 nuclear reactor in New York automatically shut on Tuesday due to high neutron flux — meaning neutrons are not equally spread around the reactor core. Power traders guessed it could have been a faulty sensor and the unit could be back soon.

Constellation Nuclear is a venture between French power company Electricite de France SA (EDF) and Chicago power company Exelon Corp.

Constellation Nuclear 855-MW took the Unit 1 at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Maryland offline by early Wednesday due to a small leak in an instrument line. The company said it had already fixed the plant and was ramping up the unit.

North Carolina-based Duke Energy‘s 846-MW Unit 1 at the Oconee nuclear plant in South Carolina also shut by early Wednesday. Details about the Oconee shutdown were not immediately available to comment

So which is it? Or is it both?

Here is Limerick Patch, and unfortunately if you live in PA, you hear about this and no matter what the reason, you think about Three Mile Island.  I was in high school when Three Mile Island news broke.  As a matter of fact I was outside of PA in  Washington, DC visiting friends and researching a term paper at The Library of Congress (it was an obscure topic and as good excuse as any to explore The Library of Congress which is really, REALLY cool! )  I remember when the news cut in and they flashed up shots of the reactors at Three Mile Island and reported the accident at first – it was very scary to hear about at the time.

Government, Business

Unscheduled Shutdown at Limerick Nuclear Plant

NRC: Electrical fault in transformer was impetus for manual shutdown.

By David Powell Email the author 10:37 am

The Unit 1 nuclear reactor at Exelon’s Limerick Generating Station was shut down at 8:15 Wednesday morning following an electrical fault in a transformer, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement sent to area media outlets.

The reactor was manually shut down from the power station’s control room following the fault, according to the NRC.

“The NRC is closely monitoring the shutdown, with our Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant gathering information from the control room and sharing it with NRC staff. There do not appear to be any complications at this point. We will want to know more about Exelon’s root cause evaluation ….” NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan said.

….Exelon company spokespersons did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday morning.

Hmmm, I have a couple PECO contacts, so I wonder what is going on?  Maybe in the end it is nothing, but being perceived as secretive or furtive is not the card to play I think.