Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown

November 3, 2006

Authorities are investigating the cause of the nuclear reactor shutdown at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa., although no radiation leaked in the incident.

Plant officials said the reactor automatically shut down after an instrument monitoring plant conditions transmitted wrong information to the reactor control room, The Patriot-News in Harrisburg reported Friday.

One worker was injured during shutdown when he was apparently startled by the venting steam and fell, the newspaper said.

A U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspector said the plant was safe. Plant officials said they were concentrating their investigation on the faulty transmission.

Ralph DeSantis, spokesman for AmerGen Energy, which operates TMI, told the Patriot-News the incident happened on the non-nuclear side of the plant and did not endanger employees or the public.

Plant officials could not say how long the plant will remain shut down, the Patriot-News said. Thursday's shutdown was the first unscheduled shutdown at the facility since July 1997, when the plant was down for eight days.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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