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Published: Sunday, 9/5/2004

Fermi II nuclear plant idled by faulty regulator

NEWPORT, Mich. A voltage regulator at the Fermi II nuclear power plant failed about 11:45 p.m. Friday, causing the main generator to go off line and the nuclear reactor to shut down automatically.

The problem was not with the reactor or even on the nuclear side of the plant, but on the generator side of the plant, said John Austerberry, a DTE Energy spokesman.

The reactor is being maintained at operating temperatures while the utility investigates the cause of the voltage regulator problem and makes repairs.

The shutdown should not be more than a few days, Mr. Austerberry said.

Demand for power over the holiday weekend will be low, with factories and office buildings closed, and the utility s other power plants will be able to compensate for the Fermi shutdown, Mr. Austerberry said.

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