Officials: Fire/Explosion Reported at US Nuclear Plant — Emergency Alert Declared — Fire/Explosion occurred after “unexpected power decrease” in reactor — “Emergency response facilities staffed” — “Abnormal event with potential to impact plant equipment or public health and safety” (VIDEO)
Published: February 9th, 2016 at 11:03 am ET
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Feb 8, 2016 (emphasis added): Facility: BRUNSWICK [Nuclear Plant in N.C.]… Emergency Class: ALERT… EMERGENCY DECLARED… RPS [Reactor Protection System] ACTUATION – CRITICAL… MANUAL SCRAM AND ALERT DECLARATION DUE TO ELECTRICAL FAULT RESULTING IN FIRE/EXPLOSION… Unit 1 declared an Alert… due to an explosion/fire in the Balance of Plant 4 kV switchgear bus area. Prior to the Alert declaration, the operators initiated a manual SCRAM due to an unexpected power decrease from 88% to 40%. The licensee has visually verified that there is no ongoing fire and is investigating the initial cause of the event… [T]he licensee reported the following… “a manual reactor scram was initiated due to loss of both recirculation system variable speed drives as a result of an electrical fault. At this time, a Startup Auxiliary Transformer (SAT) experienced a lockout fault; interrupting offsite power to emergency buses 1 and 2. Emergency Diesel Generators (EDGs) 1, 2, 3, and 4 automatically started”… The licensee has notified… DHS, FEMA, USDA, HHS, DOE, DHS NICC, EPA… FDA… and Nuclear SSA…
WWAY, Feb 7, 2016: Electrical damage sets off alert at Brunswick Nuclear Plant… An Alert is the second in increasing significance of four nuclear emergency classifications.
WECT, Feb 8, 2016: [Unit 1] remains in shutdown mode, while officials work through “detailed process/procedures to fully understand this event and make the needed repairs”… An alert… is used when abnormal events have the potential to impact plant equipment or public health and safety… No estimated timeline has been given for getting Unit 1 back into service.
North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Feb 7, 2016: Duke Energy notified the emergency management agencies… of damaged electrical equipment at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant…
Duke Energy, Feb 7, 2016: Alert declared and exited at Brunswick… federal, state and local officials were notified, and Brunswick plant emergency response facilities were staffed…
Watch WWAY’s broadcast here: