Worker Killed; 8 Hurt at AR Nuke

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 @ 07:04 PM gHale

One worker is dead and three others injured after an accident Sunday at an Arkansas nuclear power plant that did not cause a radiation escape and it is not a public health risk, officials said.

Wade Walters, 25, an employee at the Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) plant and a resident of Russellville, died from unknown injuries sustained during the accident. Eight other employees at the facility sustained non-fatal injuries and underwent treatment at a local hospital.

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“There was no nuclear release of any kind,” said Ed Barham, a spokesman for the Arkansas Health Department.

The accident took place in Russellville, a city with 28,000 residents, about 81 miles from Little Rock.

“There is no danger to the public,” said Entergy Operations, Inc, owner of the plant, Arkansas Nuclear One.

A Little Rock television station, KTHV, reported residents heard a large boom at the time of the incident.

According to Entergy, part of the generator fell as workers were moving it and the plant automatically shut down.

“Our greatest sympathy is with the family and friends of the employee who lost his life, and with those who sustained injuries,” said Jeff Forbes, executive vice president and chief nuclear officer.

The accident is an “unusual event,” the lowest of four emergency classifications by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Entergy said.

The company delivers electricity to 2.8 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and has approximately 15,000 employees.

Arkansas Nuclear One provides 30 percent of the state’s energy, according to the plant’s website.

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