There is a hairline fault in the reactor head of the Shearon Harris nuclear plant near Raleigh, NC, Duke Energy Progress officials said.
“The unit is in a safe and stable condition,” the utility says in its report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Tuesday. “The flaw and repair have no impact to the health or safety of the public.”
The plant was already shut down for refueling and workers found the fault during a regular inspection of the reactor.
A spokesman for Charlotte-based Duke Energy said the fault will end up repaired while the plant is out of service for refueling.
Utilities must report incidents such as the fault to the NRC when they discover them during inspections.
The quarter-inch fault at a nozzle that goes through the head is similar to one that caused the plant to shut down in May 2013. In that case, the issue was Duke Progress missed the fault during a refueling and inspection in 2012.
The company discovered the problem almost a year later when it was reviewing data gathered during the inspection in the spring of 2012.
The NRC investigated and required steps to make sure Duke Progress did not in the future miss something like that during regular inspections.
The plant returned to service in June 2013.
The spokesman would not say when the plant will return to service after the current scheduled outage. The utility does not disclose when its nuclear plants are returning to service until they are actually operating again.