3 Mile Island nuke plant automatically shuts down

AP News
Posted: Sep 20, 2012 7:46 PM
3 Mile Island nuke plant automatically shuts down

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (AP) — A malfunctioning pump at the site of the worst nuclear power plant accident in U.S. history has triggered an automatic shutdown.

Thursday's shutdown at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island was the second in as many months. Government regulators and plant officials say it poses no threat to public health or safety. Operator Exelon Generation Co. says no detectable levels of radiation escaped.

The failure of a coolant pump tripped a computerized system that shuts downs the reactor. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says once the reactor has cooled, plant workers can access the containment building and troubleshoot.

The plant also automatically shut down Aug. 22 while operators were manually shutting it down for repairs.

The plant is named after the island where it's located in the Susquehanna (suhs-kwuh-HAN'-uh) River in Middletown. It had a partial meltdown of a reactor in 1979.