Storms trigger shutdown at US plant

07 June 2010

The Fermi 2 nuclear power reactor in Michigan automatically shut down in the early morning of 6 June after one of two offsite power feeds to the plant was affected by strong thunderstorms in the area. Plant owner DTE Energy said that the 1139 MWe boiling water reactor (BWR) is designed to automatically shut down as a precaution when one of those power feeds is interrupted. These events led plant operators to declare an unusual event, the lowest of four emergency classifications, at 2.53 am local time. In a statement, the company noted, "The plant operated exactly as designed during the shutdown and is in a safe, stable condition ... All safety systems are functioning at the plant." At 4.17 am plant operators declared an alert, the second lowest emergency classification, following potential physical damage to a building within the plant's protected area. DTE said that the siding on an exterior wall of the building appeared to have blown off during the storm. According to a CNN report, authorities said that seven people were killed in Ohio as severe thunderstorms and tornados hit the Midwest on Saturday and early Sunday.

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