c Environment News Service: AmeriScan: April 18, 2001 - Nuclear Power Plant Missing Two Fuel Rods
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Environment News Service

AmeriScan: April 18, 2001

NUCLEAR POWER PLANT MISSING TWO FUEL RODS

WATERFORD, Connecticut, April 18, 2001 (ENS) - Two spent fuel rods are missing from storage pools at the Millstone 1 nuclear power plant in Waterford.

The rods were reported missing late last year, after Dominion Nuclear Connecticut took over ownership of the Millstone facility from Northeast Utilities. A review of records revealed that two spent fuel rods believed to have been stored in the spent fuel pool at the permanently shutdown Millstone 1 plant could not be located.

Nuclear power plants use slender metal rods filled with enriched uranium pellets to generate heat in the reactor, which creates steam used to produce power. There are thousands of these rods in use in the reactor when it is in operation.

After its use in the reactor, the fuel is considered "highly radioactive." Once removed from the reactor, the rods are placed in a spent fuel pool for storage, where they are kept cool to prevent an uncontrolled nuclear reaction.

The missing rods at Millstone 1 are about a half-inch in diameter and 158 inches long.

Northeast Utilities launched a search for the fuel rods, including visual inspections of storage racks in the circulating water spent fuel pool using remote controlled cameras, personnel interviews and a further review of records. The company also formed an Independent Review Team to augment its investigation.

So far, all of these efforts have been unsuccessful in locating the rods.

Staff from the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission will meet with Dominion Nuclear Connecticut representatives on Monday to discuss the status of an investigation into, and search for, two spent nuclear fuel rods reported missing from the spent fuel pool at the Millstone 1 plant late last year.

The meeting, which will be open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 1 pm in the Public Meeting Room at the NRC Region I office, 475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.


 

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