Nuclear Plant Shutdown During Another Power Crisis in Texas

by on July 6, 2021 · 0 comments

in Energy

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free future.

Nuclear Plant Shutdown During Another Power Crisis in Texas

Previously Nuclear Shutdown News reported on a nuclear plant shutdown in Texas last winter while arctic air descended on the Lone Star state, leaving millions without electricity, heat or water for weeks, and causing 200 deaths. Other state sources of electrical power, also overwhelmed by the frigid weather, also failed, but the shutdown of a 1000+ Megawatt reactor at the South Texas nuclear plant aggravated the crisis.

The catastrophe was worsened because, unlike other states, Texas does not have agreements to obtain electricity from other regions in such situations.

Now, only four months later, the situation has repeated itself. This time triple digit heat across the state overwhelmed multiple electrical generating sources, taking some down. This included nuclear, natural gas, and coal.  The state government ordered people to avoid using large appliances such as washers and ovens, and to raise thermostats for air conditioners to 78 degrees or more.

Contributing to the problem was the shutdown of one reactor at the unfortunately named Commanche Peak nuclear plant, which draws water from the also ill-named Squaw Creek Reservoir.

On June 7, the Dallas Morning News reported, a fire at the plant forced one 1150-Megawatt reactor to shut down,  and “worsened the power grid-capacity crunch.” It took almost two weeks to get the reactor restarted.

This nuclear power plant is located 60 miles from Dallas and 40 miles from Ft. Worth. The population within 50 miles of the plant was reported at 1.7 million in the 2010 Census.

Plant construction began in 1974, but its two reactors didn’t start up until the early 1990s. In 2008 the plant’s owners applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to start building two new “Advanced” reactors on site at an estimated cost of $8.5 billion.  But in 2013 that move was suspended.

As of this writing, the cause of the fire at the nuclear plant has not been determined.

Sources: Dallas Morning News,; Wikipedia,

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