Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

FirstEnergy's Perry Nuclear Power Plant had an Emergency Shutdown Saturday, Still Not in Operation

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2019 at 1:17 PM

Towers of power: In addition to nuclear energy, Perry's plant fuels the local economy. - WALTER  NOVAK
  • Walter Novak
  • Towers of power: In addition to nuclear energy, Perry's plant fuels the local economy.

The nuclear power plant in Perry, Ohio, operated by the FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company (FENOC), had an emergency shutdown Saturday evening.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) event log shows that at 7:29 p.m. on July 27, the reactor automatically shut down after a "main turbine trip." 

Via the event log's summary, the trip was "not complex," but its cause is still unknown and is being investigated by FENOC.

The PR firm handling FirstEnergy's media inquiries told Scene Tuesday that that plant was still shut down. FENOC was "making preparations" for restarting the reactor after the outage, which they say occurred during routine weekly testing.

"FirstEnergy Solutions will continue to make the safety of our communities and employees our top priority," read a prepared statement.

When Scene inquired how long it would be before the reactor was up and running — hours? days? — a spokeswoman said that because the Perry plant operates in the "competitive market," they do not disclose expected outage lengths.

Prema Chandrathil, a spokeswoman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told Scene that the turbine which automatically triggered the shutdown was located outside the nuclear containment structure, and that there was no nuclear threat.

click to enlarge COURTESY: NRC
  • Courtesy: NRC

"Our resident inspectors have determined that there is no nuclear safety concern," she said, "and we will be following the license-holder as they investigate the cause of the trip."

(The "license-holder" refers to FENOC. All commercial nuclear plants in the United States must be licensed by the NRC and have at least two NRC inspectors on site.)

Chandrathil said she was unable to speculate on the length of the outage or on the cause of the equipment malfunction, but said that in general, American nuclear facilities are designed to protect themselves so that if there is any minor issue, they automatically shut down. Plants are also required to do periodic testing, which was when the Perry facility's turbine issue emerged.

"From our perspective, the reactor responded as designed," she said.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More on Scene & Heard

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation