WASHINGTON, D.C. – During the historic winter storms that struck Texas last week, one of the four nuclear reactors in the state went offline, which contributed to the blackouts that affected millions of Texans. In the wake of this devastation, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today released the following statement after receiving a briefing from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the current state of the plant affected, the South Texas Project Electric Generating Station located in Bay City, Texas:
“As I continue to meet with constituents and officials from across the great state of Texas, their number one worry following the events of last week’s storms was the failure of our power grid. Four million Texans lost their power over the course of those two winter storms, and it is critical that this never happens again in the Lone Star State.
“I am thankful for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s briefing today and for its commitment to ensuring the safe delivery of nuclear power to Texans and Americans. Like many other power generation sources in Texas, one of the nuclear reactors at the South Texas Project went offline last week during the winter storm, which resulted in a loss of around 1,300 MW to the grid. According to the NRC, ‘Unit 1 automatically tripped due to low steam generator levels . . . due to loss of Feedwater pumps.’ The loss of this generation contributed to the loss of power in the homes of many Texans. NRC assured me that its team responded quickly to the outage and despite the shutdown of the reactor there was never a nuclear safety risk at the plant.
“While the South Texas Project continues its root cause evaluation, I am committed to working with the NRC and other stakeholders to ensure that all the nuclear plants in Texas are sufficiently weatherized following these storms. We must continue to conduct a careful examination of all the evidence to determine what caused these power sources to fail so we can ensure energy in Texas is reliable and affordable. I look forward to working with state and local officials to increase the reliability of Texas energy and ensure our power grid is hardened for future emergencies.”