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Palo Verde Shuts 1 Reactor after Short Circuit

As published in Arizona Republic pvpowerplant

Pinnacle West Capital Corp. shut the Palo Verde 1 reactor at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station after an electrical fault yesterday caused an  explosion related to an auxiliary transformer, according to a report from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The fault resulted in a minor explosion and damage to the bus work, according to the filing. The unit is in hot standby mode and Pinnacle West declared an unusual event as a result of the incident.


The fault occurred on buses associated with an auxiliary transformer, which resulted in the loss of two of the units four reactor coolant pumps, the filing showed. No fire was detected as a result of the incident and the reactor was at normal temperature and pressure before tripping.

The fault occurred on an outdoor electrical bus, Victor Dricks, a spokesman for the Nuclear Commission, said in a telephone interview. No other systems or components were affected or damaged, he said, citing the company.

Inclement weather may have contributed to the event and all the systems worked as designed to protect the reactor, he said.

Palo Verde units 2 and 3 were not affected by the incident according to the report, and are operating at full capacity. Each of the three units at the plant can generate more than 1,300 megawatts.

The power station is 50 miles west of Phoenix, where Pinnacle West is based.