Vermont Yankee still at 25 percent power as repairs continue

07/14/08 6:34AM

Vermont Yankee nuclear plant remains at only 25 percent power today in the wake of discovery of problems in cooling towers and continued low flow of its water source --- the Connecticut River.

On Friday, the plant's operators reported a leak in a pipe in one of its cooling towers. Plant officials later said that investigation revealed problems in the other tower. Those problems included broken or degraded pipe brackets on five so-called saddles that support the main pipe that brings river water to the top of the tower.

Both towers remained out of service today.

As a result, spokesman Rob Williams says, power - which had been reduced to 47 percent after Friday night's incident - had to be reduced further Saturday because of low river flow. The reduction in power allows Vermont Yankee to stay within the limits of its river water temperature discharge permit.

Last August, a cooling tower cell collapsed in a shower of wood, water and debris.

Williams says it's unknown how long it'll be before repairs are done and the plant restored to full power.

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