Fire Shuts Down PA Reactor

Friday, November 8, 2013 @ 01:11 PM gHale

There was “a small fire” late Tuesday afternoon at the nuclear power plant on the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, PA, said FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. officials.

While there was no danger to the public during the event, operators of the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, PA, shut down the Unit 1 reactor because of an electrical fault that started shortly before 6 p.m. outside the turbine that produces electricity, said Jennifer Young, a spokeswoman for FirstEnergy Nuclear, which owns the plant.

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“There was no danger to public health and safety,” Young said. “The fire was not in the reactor or the reactor building. The plant is now stable, and we are in the assessment stage. There were no injuries.”

Operators noticed indications of a problem in a breaker, and, when they inspected, they saw an electrical short and a small fire, Young said. They quickly extinguished the fire, she said.

Although emergency officials received notification, and firefighters ended up called to the plant, they did not enter the plant, said Young and Beaver County emergency dispatchers.

There was no immediate word on the extent of damage or how long the unit would be down, Young said. She said customers would not suffer as a result of the incident.

Unit 1 shut down Sept. 30 for scheduled refueling and maintenance and had just started producing enough power to be “online” again Monday night, Young said.



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