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Published: Tuesday, 3/25/2003

Pump malfunction trims Fermi II output

MONROE — A malfunctioning pump controller prompted DTE Energy staff to reduce output at the Fermi II nuclear power plant near here during the weekend, a utility spokesman said.

Power supply to DTE customers was not affected, nor did any safety risk ever develop, spokesman John Austerberry said.

Plant personnel observed Saturday afternoon that one of the plant's two water re-circulation pumps slowed down and that the second pump then slowed to remain in synchronization with its counterpart, Mr. Austerberry said. As a precaution, the staff reduced power output to 30 percent of normal, the spokesman said.

The problem was traced to the first pump's electronic controller, Mr. Austerberry said. After repairs were finished on Sunday, power production was increased slowly, reaching 92 percent by 3:30 p.m. yesterday, he said, with full output likely to be reached by this morning.

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