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Exelon Has Pump Failure During Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant Start

Exelon Corp. said a recirculation pump at its Oyster Creek generation station in New Jersey had a malfunction during the start up of the nuclear reactor.

“The pump had a glitch and it exceeded a level that we were comfortable with,” David Benson, a spokesman at the company, said in a telephone interview today. “Start up procedures are going on and there’s more than one recirculation pump in operation at the plant.”

Recirculation pumps move water through the reactor during power operations, Exelon said in a statement. After the malfunction, the equipment was secured and 42 minutes later the event was over, Benson said.

The malfunction was declared an “unusual event” by Exelon at 2:55 p.m. New York time. An unusual event is the lowest emergency level in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s classification system. There were no injuries to plant workers and no threat to the public, Exelon said.

“We’ll be investigating what happened to the pump and it won’t be restarted until we are confident that we can proceed safely,” Benson said.

The 619-megawatt Oyster Creek reactor is located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) east of Philadelphia.

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