Unit 2 at Millstone goes offline for routine refueling and maintenance

Apr. 10—WATERFORD — Unit 2 at Millstone Power Station is currently undergoing its 28th refueling outage, a planned outage that occurs about every 18 months.

Unit 3 continues to operate at 100% power.

Scott Miller, manager of nuclear fleet communications with Dominion Energy, the company which owns the power station, said the outage will allow approximately one-third of the uranium fuel in the reactor core to be removed, placed into storage and replaced by new fuel. Planned maintenance operations, which cannot happen while the unit is fully operational, will also be conducted during this time.

Miller said operators removed the main generators from Unit 2 from the power grid on April 6 at 9 pm.

Miller said Dominion does not provide information about the outage's duration as that is considered proprietary, which is a practice enforced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

First Selectman Rob Brule posted on Facebook when the generators went offline and said Dominion will follow up with him when it starts the reactor up and synchronizes the main generators back onto the electrical grid. He said Dean Rowe, the manager of nuclear emergency preparedness and station licensing at Millstone, was providing him with updates on the situation.

Miller said residents won't see a drop off in service during this period, with the only by-product of the shutdown being a non-radioactive steam that is released as the unit cools.

Miller said during the outage, staff and contracted workers will perform maintenance work and equipment evaluations that can only be performed while the unit is offline.

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Sr. Public Affairs Officer Diane Screnci said the commission will use the time to conduct inspections of the power plant, with a focus on the maintenance work conducted while the unit is offline, to make sure proper procedures and precautions are followed.

Screnci said inspectors are assigned to the plant year long and specifically during the planned outage. She said specialists, such as security and radiation specialists, make sure adequate measures to protect workers and the public are being taken.