Palisades fixes latest leak, plant now returning to service

Nov 7, 2012

The Palisades nuclear power plant is gradually returning to service after a brief shutdown this week.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission estimates between 5 and 50 gallons of water leaked in the form of steam from a broken valve at Palisades. The slightly radioactive leak was contained and regulators say there was no risk to public safety.

On Sunday the plant shut down when workers discovered steam leaking from the valve. In a written statement, Palisades spokesman Mark Savage says the valve has been replaced.

"During the outage, workers removed the leaking component and the associated drain valve and replaced them with new components. In addition, a pinhole water leak in a service water system valve that was discovered in September was resolved by replacing and bolting in a new valve.  Other inspections and maintenance activities were conducted in parallel while the plant was out of service."

This is not the first leak this year involving radioactive water at Palisades. The plant had to shut down twice this summer to repair water leaks in other areas of the plant.

This is at least the second “unplanned” shutdown at Palisades this year. Last year the plant had four unplanned shutdowns; that resulted in the plant having its safety rating downgraded to one of the worst in the country.