Reactor shutdown at Three Mile Island: Release “sounded like a jet engine” — Official admits steam may be radioactive — NRC inspector inside control room

Published: September 20th, 2012 at 7:21 pm ET
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CNN: The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly Thursday when a reactor coolant pump failed, federal regulators said. [... An NRC spokesman] said one of the four reactor coolant pumps appears to have stopped working. Though three others remain, the system shuts down when an anomaly is detected, he said.

WCAU: An NRC inspector is on site and in the plant’s control room, according to officials.

Daily Record: Immediately after the shut down, an inspector with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission responded to the plant’s control room to ensure safety systems were functioning as designed, said Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman. “(The inspector) did not identify any immediate concerns with operator or equipment performance,” he said.

York Daily Record: “The steam discharge is a normal part of the shut down process,” [David Tillman, a spokesman for the plant] said. “If there is any trace of radiation in the steam discharge, it is below detectable levels.”

NBC: Plant spokesman Ralph DeSantis told WGAL-TV that there is no health risk and the public is not in danger. DeSantis said radiation levels in the steam were “below detectable levels,” according to WHTM-TV. A spokewoman from the NRC echoed that there is no impact on public health and safety, and said there was no evacuation at the plant. [...] People in the area, which is just outside of Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pa., reported hearing a loud noise just after 2 p.m. Officials say that was caused from steam being released during the shutdown.

Patriot News: A Middletown woman living about four miles from Three Mile Island said the plant’s steam release Thursday afternoon sounded like a jet engine. She didn’t want to give her name. Her neighbor, Brenda Klockow didn’t hear a thing. [...] Middletown resident Scott Fagan looked out his window facing the plant. “I don’t see any flaming skies or birds dropping or rivers rising up to the heavens. I don’t see any of that.”

h/t Anonymous tips

UPDATE: Watch video of steam release here

Published: September 20th, 2012 at 7:21 pm ET
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