An electric motor failure prompted Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. to shut down its Nine Mile 1 nuclear power plant Saturday, utility officials said.
The faulty motor activates one of four valves used to contain steam from the nuclear reactor at the plant, on the shore of Lake Ontario about 30 miles north of Syracuse. The motor failure occurred while operators were doing a weekly test on the valves, said Niagara Mohawk spokesman Robert Burtch.
The motor failure posed no safety threat, Burtch said.
"Everything performed fine. There's no safety significance as far as the plant is concerned," Burtch said.
Niagara Mohawk began shutting down the plant about 12 hours after the motor failed, Burtch said.
Utility officials hope to have the 610-megawatt plant running at full power again in five to seven days, Burtch said.
Nine Mile 1 was restarted last July after a 31-month shutdown caused by mechanical troubles and management problems at Niagara Mohawk.
The 21-year-old plant has suffered several brief shutdowns since July but utility officials have been satisfied with its performance, Burtch said.
Critics say the plant should be scrapped because of its age and poor safety record.