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Cold possible cause of Pa. nuke reactor shutdown

January 7, 2014
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — FirstEnergy Corp. is trying to determine whether rapidly falling temperatures led to a shutdown of a nuclear reactor at a western Pennsylvania power plant.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( ) reports the incident occurred about 5 p.m. Monday at its Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, about 25 miles northwest of the city.

A company spokeswoman says rapidly falling temperatures are one possible cause being considered. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan says the shutdown was "uneventful" and safe — though a fire suppression system doused an electrical transformer with water that remained frozen Tuesday in record-low temperatures.

The transformer converts power created by the reactors to electrical voltage. When it failed, it prompted the reactor to shut down. The ice on the transformer must melt before it can be inspected, so the reactor remained shut down Tuesday.



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