Atomic-speak An "Unusual Event " means something went wrong
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'Unusual event' declared at Salem 2 nuclear reactor after radioactive water leaks during testing of emergency cooling system

Published: Friday, July 15, 2011, 2:04 PM Updated: Friday, July 15, 2011, 4:52 PM
Bill Gallo Jr./Today's Sunbeam
LOWER ALLOWAYS CREEK TWP. — An “unusual event” was declared by operators of the Salem 2 nuclear reactor here overnight after a leak of low-level radioactive water developed during the testing of an emergency cooling system.

The unusual event was declared at 8:53 p.m. Thursday and ended at 3:39 a.m. today, according to Joe Delmar, spokesman for the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear.

The water that leaked is low-level radioactive, but none of the workers were contaminated. The water was collected through the floor drain system and will be processed through the radioactive waste system at the plant.

Workers were performing a routine monthly venting of the emergency core cooling system’s high head safety injection piping when a leak was discovered on a valve that had been opened. It is believed a crack on a weld on the motorized valve was the cause of the leak.
A crack on a weld....Material becomes brittle over time, but Salem just received a 20 year license extension

The leak also caused the pressure in the system to drop.

Operators declared the system temporarily inoperable and began to power down the plant, eventually taking it offline at 1:55 a.m. today. Off gain !!!

Since an unusual event was declared, municipal and county officials along with emergency management officials from New Jersey and Delaware — parts of which are within the 10-mile radius of the Artificial Island nuclear generating site — were notified.