Switchgear explosion has Harris nuclear power plant running at reduced power

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The Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant in North Carolina is running at reduced power after switchgear was thought to have exploded on August 8.

Plant operator Duke Energy Carolinas sent out an alert to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) about an explosion in a non-safety related electrical bus. The bus affects safe shutdown equipment. It was de-energized due to the explosion, but there was no fire, so workers terminated the alert.

The plant is running at 92 percent power while workers investigate what loads were coming off that bus, according to Power Engineering. One of the backup diesel generators is out of service due to loss of power to two air compressors, but workers were not sure if it was related to the explosion.

The Harris plant is a single-unit plant that uses a Westinghouse pressurized water nuclear reactor. The plant generates about 900 MW and came under Duke Energy's control following its merger with Progress Energy.

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April 2014
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