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La Salle Station units back in service

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013 7:09 p.m. CDT

MARSEILLES, Ill. — La Salle County Generating Station Units 1 and 2 were back operating at full power by Thursday evening.

Unit 1 was placed back in service on Tuesday, April 30, and Unit 2 was back in service on Wednesday, May 1. While the units were offline, La Salle Station did a thorough inspection of the units and performed numerous maintenance activities and safety walk downs.

Both units automatically shut down on Wednesday, April 17, when power from the switchyard into the site was interrupted due to a lightning strike during a severe thunderstorm.

Nuclear power facilities are designed to automatically shut down when there is a disruption of electricity coming into the facility. They have layers upon layers of safety backup systems that are designed to keep the plant protected even with the loss of power.

Because of the unique nature of the double shut down, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission undertook a Special Inspection to review the circumstances around the loss of off-site power to the units.

“There was no threat to the safety of the reactors associated with this event, but having two units shut down after an event is not typical and raises questions,” said NRC Region III Administrator Charles Casto in an earlier press release announcing the special inspection. “Our inspectors will look closely at the event and help us get a better picture of what happened and why.”

La Salle Generating Station is located near Marseilles. At full power, the facility’s two generating units produce more than 2,200 megawatts around the clock, enough electricity for 2.3 million typical homes.

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