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After generator failure, special inspection begins at Palo Verde nuclear plant

This Nov. 2, 2007, image shows the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Wintersburg, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

WINTERSBURG, Ariz. — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has started a special inspection at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix after an emergency diesel generator failed during testing in December.

An NRC spokesman says the inspection began Monday and will last about a week to determine if any corrective actions are needed at the triple-reactor plant.

Emergency diesel generators are used to supply power to safety-related systems in case there’s a loss of off-site power.

NRC requires that each of Palo Verde’s three reactors have two emergency diesel generators that must be tested monthly to ensure operability.

During a scheduled test last Dec. 15, a piston failed on one of the emergency diesel generators at Unit 3.

The plant declared an alert, the second lowest of four levels of nuclear emergency.

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