Acts of Kindness Occur Before, During and After Hurricane Irene
Baltimore, August 31, 2011 — Unit 1 at the Calvert Cliffs (Maryland) nuclear power plant, operated by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group LLC (CENG), is on its way back to 100 percent power after being down due to the effects of Hurricane Irene. Calvert’s Unit 2 continues to be safely at full power.
Unit 1 had been off-line because wind gusts dislodged a large and heavy piece of steel siding from a nearby building that struck a main transformer causing the unit to automatically go off-line. Unit 1 shut down safely as it is designed to do.
“Over the past few days, CENG employees have done an outstanding job spending hours inspecting, troubleshooting and testing the main transformer to ensure we were ready to safely return Unit 1 to service,” said Brew Barron, President and CEO, CENG. “We carefully worked through our detailed procedures and protocols to ensure our equipment is reliable in producing electricity for millions of homes and businesses. Through our stringent verification, no damage was found in any of our equipment or systems. Safety is our number one priority, goal and value as a company and site.
“Our thoughts remain with the people of Calvert, St. Mary’s and Dorchester counties as they rebound from the storm,” Barron added. “Many of our own employees and contractors – as well as our neighbors — are still being challenged by the storm with no power, limited cell phone usage, downed power lines, trees on homes, and closed schools. They are doing an excellent job working through the issues. I also want to thank the men and women of Baltimore Gas & Electric for helping us during this event.”
U.S. nuclear energy facilities are designed and built to safely withstand a wide variety of extreme natural and man-made events. Nuclear power plants are the most robust facilities in the U.S. infrastructure with reactor containment structures composed of steel-reinforced concrete. Experienced operators are trained and tested regularly in a plant-specific control room simulator to manage extreme events. CENG has invested many millions of dollars into its safety and security systems over the past few years.
“I want to thank every member of the Calvert Cliffs team for their incredible efforts during these trying times,” said George Gellrich, Site Vice President, Calvert Cliffs. “The team has been taking care of each other and their families during the storm’s aftermath. Our site, with support and coordination from Baltimore, has demonstrated acts of kindness by providing hotel rooms and mobile stations where employees and their families can take hot showers since many still do not have power, and providing access to laundry facilities.
“We called more than 700 employees to check on their safety, and in a couple of instances, our team offered tree cutting services,” Gellrich added. “Five hundred cases of bottled water were delivered to the facility. I am extremely proud of our people as they prepared the site for the storm, worked around-the-clock to keep Calvert safe, stable and secure, and focused on testing and inspecting the equipment and system so we could get back the unit on-line. We have talked a lot with employees about safety as they are cleaning up debris at their homes and returning Unit 1 to service. Our number one value has been and must continue to be safety first — at home and at work.”
CENG continues to partner with local, state and federal officials in the storm’s aftermath. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has two representatives on-site. The CENG facilities in New York – R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point – continue to operate safely, efficiently and reliably.