NRC investigating nuclear reactor water pumps

CHICAGO – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is launching a special inspection into how some equipment responded to a power failure at a northern Illinois nuclear reactor.

NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said some water pumps at the Byron Generating Station switched off when the Unit 2 reactor lost power Monday, then came back on without being manually reset.

She said the pumps are designed to switch off after a set amount of time if there is an undervoltage, but normally must be reset.

She said there was no danger because the plant has multiple backup pumps, but the NRC wants all pumps to perform properly.

Exelon Energy officials said they've replaced a faulty electricity insulator at the plant that was responsible for the outage.