Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant On Alert Early Thu.

Photo courtesy of Nimur

NEW HILL – Equipment malfunction at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in New Hill—just more than 25 miles southeast of Chapel Hill—set off alarms at around 3:00 a.m. Thursday; the plant’s owner, Duke Energy, reports no radioactive material has leaked.

The alert was cancelled at around 5:00 a.m.

The reported equipment failure resulted in the loss of power to non-safety related equipment. As a precaution, emergency response facilities were being put in place early Thursday morning. There are also sirens set up in a ten-mile planning zone around the plant. Duke Energy officials said crews were standing by to activate those if needed and that they do not expect the situation to get any worse.

This is the second incident since May at the Shearon Harris plant when a microscopic crack was found in one of the plant’s reactors forcing it to be shut down and repaired in early June.

NRC: Minor Violation for Missed NC Nuke Plant Flaw

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal regulators say the shutdown of a North Carolina nuclear plant in May is leading Duke Energy to change some procedures after missing a tiny crack near the reactor core last year.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s final report released Thursday found the operators of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant near Raleigh violated a reporting requirement, but it had very low safety significance.

The NRC said last month an outside contractor hired to search inside the nuclear reactor missed the quarter-inch spot last year, when four smaller flaws were found and fixed.

The report says Duke Energy now plans to keep multiple teams of analysts separated as they review data.

A spokeswoman for the nuclear plant said Duke Energy is reviewing the report and looking for ways to improve inspections.