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Probe into Dothan plant's reactor shutdown continues

DOTHAN (AP) — Officials at Farley Nuclear Plant are still trying to figure out how testing on one of the plant's reactors last week caused another to shut down, a company spokesman said.

Jeremy Pate, spokesman for Southern Company, which operates the plant, said an investigation is continuing into an automatic shutdown of the Unit 2 reactor last Wednesday afternoon.

The shutdown happened when a routine test on Unit 1 in the plant's switch yard caused a Unit 2 coolant system to go offline, which automatically caused the second unit to shut down, Pate said. He said it was unclear why that happened.

Farley has 60 days from the date of the incident to file a report with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The report must detail the cause, and corrective steps taken or planned to make sure the same thing doesn't happen again.

Pate said Unit 2 is again fully operational after reaching 100 percent power early Sunday afternoon. Unit 1 remained shut down Tuesday for a planned outage.

The NRC investigated the Farley plant last month after two separate electrical breaker failures.

A faulty valve related to a heat removal system was also found during testing in April 2006 and January 2007.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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