The reactor was shut down at 2:44 p.m. Tuesday, according to Joe Delmar, a spokesman for the plant’s operator, PSEG Nuclear.
Delmar said that the condensation collected from the steam was initially measured at a stable .17 gallons per minute. That increased, though, to .30 gallons per minute.
The reactor’s cooling system contains more than 90,000 gallons of radioactive water, Delmar said Wednesday. In order to find the source of the leak, operators cut the plant’s power down to 28 percent, but later determined the reactor needed to be totally shut down to correct the problem.
The steam leak was found on a valve used to draw samples of cooling system water for testing.
With the plant offline, it will make it safe for workers to enter the reactor containment building where the leak is located and fix the problem, Delmar said.
Delmar said there is not estimate when Salem 1 will return to service producing electricity.
He said on Wednesday that PSEG Nuclear’s other two plants at the Island, Salem 2 and Hope Creek, were operating at full power.