Duke Power shut down one of its two reactors at the McGuire Nuclear Station on Wednesday due to a steam leak.
The leak was first discovered in the morning in a two-inch line which helps turn the plantâ€™s turbines. It did not become a problem until the afternoon.
Officials decided to take the unit offline to repair the problem since a scheduled shutdown of the reactor to refuel it was coming up at the end of the week, a regular maintenance task.
Tom Shiel, spokesman for Duke Power, said the situation was handled as best it could be.
â€œIt was caught early and controlled. Now we will do our regular maintenance and get the unit ready to provide electricity for the summer,â€ Shiel said.
The units are refueled every 18 months. The current unit that had to be shut down had been running online for 512 days, a unit record, officials said.
The piece of the pipe has been taken to the lab for research to determine the cause of the leak.
Shiel said there was no plant damage or injuries while taking care of the situation.
â€œThe system worked as it should have,â€ he said.
Refueling a unit usually takes a month to complete.
Officials usually plan to refuel a unit during lower demand electricity periods such as fall and spring.
â€œThis allows us time to get ready for the peak demand period so we can be ready for the warmer weather,â€ Shiel said.
by Amy Wadsworth