Skip to comments.Storm knocks out power to 400K in Massachusetts, Plymouth nuclear power plant
Posted on 02/09/2013 5:39:50 AM PST by matt04
A massive snowstorm packing hurricane-force winds has knocked out power to 400,000 customers in Massachusetts and has shuttered a nuclear power plant.
By early Saturday, NStar had reported more than 240,000 customers without power and National Grid had 165,000. Most of the outages are in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, where wet heavy snow and winds gusting over 75 mph have been reported.
One of the outages was the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, which shut down after losing off-site power. Authorities say there's no threat to public safety.
State officials have said about 2,000 utility crews are prepared to respond to storm outages but won't be able to do so until conditions are safe for them.
The nuclear power plant IS the power. Why would they shut it down after losing off site power? Sounds like a leftist plot.
I could be understanding this wrong. Someone enlighten me please
I feel for these people, I know exactly how it feels. Was out for 8 days with the ice storm in 2008. God speed, folks. We here in red central MA faired okay power wise. 27 inches out there. Plow run #4 and more coming as soon as this final band moves past.
So, if there is loss of power from the outside, the protocol is to make a graceful shut down.
Nuclear plans nee power to keep the reactor cool. Even when it is shut down tremendous amounts of heat are still produced. They rely on power from the grid to run the cooling systems, in the absence of said power they SCRAM the reactor and switch over to diesel generators to run the cooling system.
In Japan, they lost grid power and the tidal wave took out the generators.
The core of a conventional nuclear reactor continues to generate a lot of heat even after it is shut down by inserting the control rods. It takes many weeks for the heat generation to decrease to the point where the cooling system can be shut off. The plant has to have backup power to keep the cooling system going, or the core will heat up and eventually melt. How fast it heats up depends on how much cooling capacity remains and how long the reactor has been shut down. The first few hours are the most critical.
After the tsunami, the problems at the Japanese reactors began when the flood water wrecked the backup power systems and they lost the ability to sufficiently cool the (shut down) reactors.
Then the plymouth reactors don’t have backup diesel/ natural gas generators on site? They get auxiliary power only from off site? Sounds odd.
The diesel generators are for emergency use. The idea is to not get in a situation where you need them, in case THEY fail or you run out of fuel, etc. If you have no grid power and then your diesel generators quit for whatever reason you are screwed.
Look at what happened in Japan when they lost the generators.
The safety protocol says if you lose grid power you shut down in an orderly and safe fashion.
It is sort of like having a UPS for your computer: if the power goes out you use the power from the UPS to shut down your computer in an orderly fashion so as not to lose data. You don’t continue merrily along until the battery dies.
Same idea with a nuke.
Not everything is a conspiracy.
“The nuclear power plant IS the power”
It’s just one source of the grid’s power, we get a lot of power here in Mass from as far away as Canada on a regular basis.
Sounds like it was every bit as bad as predicted.
I think few of us wanted to believe it but they actually called this one fairly accurately. Eastern MA and the coast is a mess.
Are you SURE about that?
In the US, containment buildings are designed to withstand a complete meltdown, i.e., to contain the hot gas. I was shocked that this wasn't the case in Japan.
Even if it was a conventional plant, what would they do with all the power they generate if they were disconnected from the grid? Even “shut down” they can probably generate enough steam to keep the turbines spinning until they are connected again.
a nuclear power plant that goes offline due to no offsite power? uhhh.. maybe stephen king can write a nuclear winter horror story..
My visit there was snowy too.. Them Pilgrims were tough hombres as there was o power .. period.. back then...
Our power company is town owned, and it buys hydro power from Canada, among other sources. we get a lot of power here in Mass from as far away as Canada on a regular basis. Our town power company very reliable; we didn't lose power in this storm, though the lights blinked several times last night, during the really high winds. That was probably from lines somewhere bumping against each other briefly. Our street has underground connections, but the power is dependent on the lines feeding them.
We haven't lost power for any extended period since we moved here 25 years ago; even during the big ice storm in 2009, or the Halloween storm that dumped 18" of snow on us in 2011. There were some folks in town that were out of power for almost a week after the ice storm, but we never lost it.
Pretty much the same here in Norwood, town owned, have lost power less than 8 hours total in 28 years including hurricanes, in fact the two times I recall have been from transformers just blowing from old age.
Always have a wood burning stove in your house no mater where you live.
How are y’all holding up yer way?
Or a safe/functional fireplace.
We use that more than anything else in the house for heat.