Harris Plant operating at reduced capacity following equipment m - WSPA.com

Harris Plant operating at reduced capacity following equipment malfunction

Posted: Updated:
NEW HILL, N.C. -

The Harris Nuclear Plant is operating at a reduced output after an early morning malfunction on the non-nuclear side of the facility Thursday.

Officials issued the alert around 3 a.m. after an equipment malfunction cut power to electrical distribution equipment.

After an inspection of plant equipment revealed no threat, the alert was canceled shortly after 5:30 a.m. The unit is stable at a reduced power level of 91 percent while recovery actions continue.

The situation never got to the point where officials had to sound sirens even though Duke's report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it declared an emergency because the problem affected what's known as the safe shutdown gear following an electrical explosion in a transformer.

There was never a threat of radioactive materials being released.

"I've got that little radio and it came on last night, but it said low level emergency and I just ignored it and went back to bed," said New Hill resident Mike Mitchel

Resident Paul Barth added, "There are things that happen at the plant periodically and most are not of any significance. And we know if there's real major problem, they'll set off the alarms."

But the incident set off alarms with the head of watchdog ground NC WARN. In reviewing the report filed with the NRC, Jim Warren of NC Warn points out that the transformer failure affected one of the plant's emergency diesel generators.

"I'm a little curious that it took them a while to realize the importance of that bus," Warren said. "If there were to be other problems within the plant, those generators would have to be put into use. They are the backups to keep all the safety equipment running in case of a larger failure at the plant."

Duke Energy Progress said there is more than one emergency generator that can be used if needed.

As he continues to live in the figurative backyard of the power plant, Barth believes regulators will keep a tight watch on things.

"I'm sure there's enough oversight from the NRC that the appropriate changes and fixes will be put into place."

This isn't the first time the nuclear plant has been in the news this summer. In May, officials had to shut down the plant for weeks because of a flaw inside the nuclear reactor.

A final report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission showed that the operators of the plant violated a reporting requirement, causing them to miss a quarter-inch crack last year.

If left unchecked, the crack could have led to radioactive exposure.

RELATED STORIES

RELATED LINKS

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Man Fined $525 For Drink Refill At SC Hospital

    Man Fined $525 For Drink Refill At SC Hospital

    Thursday, April 17 2014 1:45 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:45:44 GMT
    Christopher Lewis, of North Charleston, helped himself to a refill despite the signs stating refills are not free, according to reports.
    Christopher Lewis, of North Charleston, helped himself to a refill despite the signs stating refills are not free, according to reports.
  • Man Accused Of Choking Wife After "Fed Up" With Shopping

    Man Accused Of Choking Wife After "Fed Up" With Shopping

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:51 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:51:58 GMT
    An 81-year-old West Virginia man is accused of choking his wife.An 81-year-old West Virginia man is accused of choking his wife.
    State police say Ralph Ross told them he "lost it" and was "fed up" with shopping at a Wal-Mart with his wife Mary. Police say Ross pushed a shopping cart into the electric cart his wife was using, then choked and shook her.
    State police say Ralph Ross told them he "lost it" and was "fed up" with shopping at a Wal-Mart with his wife Mary. Police say Ross pushed a shopping cart into the electric cart his wife was using, then choked and shook her.
  • Clerk, Customers Thwart Robbery at Spartanburg Co. Dollar General

    Clerk, Customers Thwart Robbery at Spartanburg Co. Dollar General

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:38:54 GMT
    Tony Ray HeltonTony Ray Helton
    Customers at an Upstate store helped the clerk stop a robber in his tracks.It happened Wednesday at the Dollar General at 5098 Chesnee Highway in Spartanburg County.
    Customers at an Upstate store helped the clerk stop a robber in his tracks.It happened Wednesday at the Dollar General at 5098 Chesnee Highway in Spartanburg County.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.