Nine Mile Point

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Hundreds of people came to Oswego's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Learning Center to get a better understanding of how the power plants work and what employees do each day to keep the plant working properly.

The event allowed visitors, including nine-year-old Ethann Browne, to see first hand how employees are trained in its two reactor simulators.

"I already like researching nuclear power and learning much about it, but I'm here today to learn more about nuclear power from the professionals."
 

Constellation Energy Group

For the second time in less than a week, the Nine Mile Point Unit 2 nuclear power plant in Oswego County experienced an automatic shutdown, due to a problem at the plant. 

The shutdown happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday. According to a spokesperson from Constellation Energy, which owns the plant, a worker "inadvertently contacted a highly sensitive plant component." As a result, safety systems shut down the plant automatically. 

Constellation Energy Group

Nine Mile Point 2 was shut down early this morning after losing power from a supply unit in the plant.

Neil Sheehan, a public affairs officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the loss of power effected cooling flow to both of the plant's reactor recirculation pumps.

"The operators at the plant, in turn, manually scrammed or shut down the reactor," Sheehan said. "And that means they inserted all the control rods, halted the fissioning process and, therefore, the plant was no longer heating up water and generating electricity."

The plummeting cost of natural gas is affecting energy companies' decisions on whether to start new production facilities, and that goes for nuclear energy, too.

Earlier this month, UniStar Nuclear Energy pulled its application to build its third nuclear power plant at Nine Mile Point in Scriba, citing a lack of federal funding as the main problem.