Saturday, Sept 4, 2021 Breaking News:
Entergy says Waterford Nuke, hardest hit by Ida, will open “eventually,” and there is “no firm timetable.”
When Hurricane Ida approached New Orleans on August 29, 2021, Entergy’s Waterford Nuclear Plant deliberately reduced its power level to zero, as required by its plant Technical Specifications. However, even when a nuclear reactor produces zero power, it still relies upon electricity from the power grid to operate its cooling water pumps and plant electrical systems.
When Ida hit Louisiana on August 29th, high winds broke numerous transmission lines, which caused the electric grid to fail. As a result, Waterford lost its electric grid connection. Entergy Corporation, Waterford’s owner, notified its regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), that it had switched to emergency power. Entergy filed a Notice of Unusual Occurrence with the NRC that its two emergency diesel engines were the only electrical systems available to cool the Waterford reactor.
Waterford remained without power and relied on its diesels from August 29th to September 2nd. On September 2nd, Entergy restored off-site power, so the emergency diesel engines were no longer required.
However, as of September 3rd, Waterford remains shut down and produces zero power while the electric grid supports its safety systems. Entergy issued a tweet saying it had no idea of how long Waterford would not be producing electricity (see image below):
Waterford 3 and fleet teams are working around the clock to bring the plant back online after #HurricaneIda. The team is assessing the damage, making repairs and cleaning areas around the facility. pic.twitter.com/RY4SmRTuh6— EntergyNuclear (@EntergyNuclear) September 3, 2021
The entire #nuclear fleet is working 24-7 to support Waterford 3 and the eventual restart of the unit. The team is focused on safety and preparing the plant to begin producing electricity again after shutting down due to #HurricaneIda. pic.twitter.com/xYXnBAwM4g— EntergyNuclear (@EntergyNuclear) September 4, 2021
Fairewinds believes something strange is happening at Entergy’s Waterford nuke, and it appears that Entergy and the NRC are colluding by not disclosing the extent of damage at Waterford.
Ida hit Louisiana on Sunday, August 29th. Four days later, Libbe HaLevy of Nuclear Hotseat asked Maggie and Arnie to discuss the problems encountered at the Waterford nuke. In a prescient interview, Maggie and Arnie hit the nail on the head, explaining why Waterford shutdown and remains closed today! You can listen below!
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