Since I have some new readers, I am going to include some non-big brother details here. On September 20th, Unit 1 of our facility experienced a failure, and the power plant will be off for an undetermined period of time.
The real reason for this repeat entry today is that this forced outage has "Dragged me In." Starting Thursday, I will be in the Outage Control Center, in a four 12-hour day on, four 12-hour day off schedule. This sounds good, except that during the four off days, I get to make sure my regular job continues. Luckily, my counterpart (who does the other four days) and his organizational support ensured that my early November business trip, Thanksgiving trip to visit my Mom, and our early January Vegas trip are all unaffected. So, over the next several months, I will need to be selective in my comments and entries. It is not because I do not care Spotters, it is because I do not have time [apology provided in advance :o)]
Some of the Original Text Starts Below:
Due to the serious nature of this event, and the fact that the low pressure turbines were replaced in 2006, and legal and insurance issues, I can not give any details beyond the below press release. The picture is of a typical turbine steam path for a power plant. This is a huge impact to our plant and our company, as a single unit power replacement cost is in the neighborhood of $500K to $1M per day.
Damage occurred to our plant on September 20th. Damage to the turbines and generator from the fire is minimal, but vibrations did damage the low pressure turbines, bearing supports and some steam piping.
The cause of the vibrations is believed to be an imbalance from the loss of turbine rotor blades.
Hydrogen is used in a closed system to keep the generator cool during operation and the seals that contain the hydrogen were likely damaged by the vibrations.
“We know how to fix and operate equipment, but we are most gratified that there were no personal injuries as a result of the incident.” Our plant operations crews, fire brigade, security officers and other emergency responders all performed well. We are also very appreciative of the excellent response and support of local fire fighters and law enforcement.
An estimate for returning the unit to service will be made after the turbine casings are removed and the turbines fully inspected. It is expected to take about one to three weeks to complete turbine inspections.
The generator is in the Turbine Building and is separate from the nuclear reactor that is located in the Containment Building. The nuclear systems were unaffected by the generator fire.