A safety warning issued to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last fall still has some people worried about the Limerick Generating Station should a powerful earthquake hit the area.
GE Hitachi’s warning says a combination of sticky control rods, low pressure and a severe earthquake could compromise the nuclear plant’s safe operations.
“The control rods are inserted into the reactor between the rods of nuclear fuel in order to shut it down quickly. . . and are meant to be used in an emergency and more slowly during scheduled downtime. The control rods work by absorbing neutrons, shutting down the nuclear fission reaction that creates the heat that boils the water and drives the turbine to create electricity.”
The NRC has acknowledged the potential risk, but says there is no cause for extreme concern. Limerick Generating Station’s officials spokespeople haven’t commented.