FT. PIERCE, FLA. -- Florida Power & Light Company’s St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant made an Unusual Event notification to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on January 23 at 10:15 p.m. when operators discovered a small gas leak from a pipe flange on a gas storage trailer. The event was exited approximately 13 minutes later when the gas leak was contained.
An Unusual Event is the lowest of four emergency action levels in the NRC-required emergency response plan for nuclear power plants. It means there is a minor problem or potential problem at the plant, but there is no impact to public health and safety.
The Unusual Event notification was made due to the immediate discovery of a small hydrogen gas leak from a pipe flange connected to the gas storage trailer. A plant operator making routine equipment surveys in the area at the perimeter of the plant heard and observed the pipe flange leak when it occurred and immediately closed a valve on the pipe to stop the leak. The plant exited the Unusual Event when the leak was stopped. Hydrogen gas is used as a coolant for the turbine/generators on both nuclear and non-nuclear power plants.
The operation of St. Lucie nuclear units 1 and 2 was unaffected by the event and both units remain at 100 percent power.
A detailed inspection of all piping, flanges and fittings in the gas storage area was made following the event and no gas leaks or deficiencies were found. Repairs to the leaking flange will be completed today.
In accordance with federal regulations and plant procedures, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state and county officials were notified of the Unusual Event.
Florida Power & Light Company is the principal subsidiary of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL), nationally known as a high quality, efficient and customer-driven organization focused on energy-related products and services. With annual revenues of nearly $16 billion and a growing presence in 27 states, FPL Group is widely recognized as one of the country's premier power companies. Florida Power & Light Company serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida. FPL Energy, LLC, FPL Group's competitive energy subsidiary is a leader in producing electricity from clean and renewable fuels. Additional information is available on the Internet at www.FPL.com, www.FPLGroup.com and www.FPLEnergy.com