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Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is at significantly reduced power so plant workers can check on a low-level alarm regarding the oil level in a recirculation pump motor, federal officials said.

The plant was at 29 percent power earlier Tuesday morning, but had reduced power further, said Neil Sheehan, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) spokesman.

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He said Entergy Nuclear personnel will enter the containment building and check the oil level for a reactor recirculation pump motor.

He said the control room had received “a low-level alarm” for the oil level for the upper bearing in the motor.

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“The containment building entry will provide an eyes-on verification of the oil level,” he said.

Robert Williams, Entergy spokesman, said the reduced power level would allow technicians to access the containment of the reactor to check on the bearing oil level. “The remote motor instrumentation is indicating low oil level,” he said.

The pump, one of two, allows the operator to vary the power output of the reactor. “This does not represent a threat to public health and safety and recirc pumps are not safety equipment,” Williams said.

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