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Clinton plant emergency-ready

Clinton plant emergency-ready

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CLINTON - Although the situation that caused the shutdown of the LaSalle Generating Station on Monday has never occurred at the Clinton Power Station, training and procedures are in place to handle such an emergency, plant officials said Monday.

A "site area emergency" was declared at the LaSalle plant at 12:28 a.m. during shutdown of the Unit 1 reactor for a scheduled refueling outage. The plant ended its emergency condition four hours later, according to Exelon Corp., owners of the plant near Seneca.

No injuries, radiological releases or equipment damage was reported during the incident.

"A similar situation could happen here, but one hasn't since the plant has been in operation," Clinton Power Station spokesman Bruce Paulsen said Monday. The single unit plant east of Clinton has been in operation since 1987.

Clinton and other plants have emergency response plans and procedures to handle a wide range of site emergencies, said Paulsen, including one similar to the LaSalle plant situation.

"Operators go through constant training," said Paulsen, including training about every five weeks in a replica of the plant's control room.

The Clinton plant started its scheduled refueling outage Jan. 30. The process of refueling the reactor is done every two years, said Paulsen.

At LaSalle, the problem was reported after one of 185 control rods was reported out of position by plant operators. Plant design calls for the facility to shut down during this condition.

Exelon Nuclear officials said "personnel are working to determine why the control rod indications showed that rods were not inserted properly."

The site area emergency is the second highest level of federal emergency classification established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that oversees nuclear power plants.

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