Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Emergency at US nuclear power plant

ALERT: Emergency at US nuclear plant after “massive” fire and multiple explosions

  • All of a sudden we heard this loud boom and the whole ground started shaking”
  • Intense Flames… Heavy Black Smoke… Chaos” — Hundreds of fire personnel called in
  • We ask that the public stay away from the area” (VIDEOS)

8 March, 2016

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mar 7, 2016 (emphasis added): [Oconee Nuclaer Power Station, South Carolina] EMERGENCY DECLARATION DUE TO FIRE/EXPLOSION IN THE MAIN TRANSFORMER… At 1520 EST, the licensee declared a Notification of Unusual Event. Offsite assistance was requested… Fire brigade personnel were applying additional foam to prevent a re-flash… Offsite assistance was requested with three local fire departments responding… The licensee has notified state and local authorities… At 1658 EST, the licenseedeclared an Alert [when] the fire damaged an overhead power line that supplies emergency power to all three units at Oconee.

WHNS transcript, Mar 7, 2016: People fishing on the lake this afternoon reported hearing a loud boom and seeing black smoke, and then steamin the air… Witnesses say there were two explosions… This afternoon [was] chaos… Fire crews and officials [were] all on scene at the Oconee nuclear plant after a massive electrical fire broke out… Fire Official: “It’s also in very close proximity to the buildings here… one of the things that I know they worked on initially was preventing the transformer from impinging on any of the other structure”… People in the area were very concerned when they saw heavy black smoke rising in the air… Witness: “All of a sudden we heard this loud boom and the whole ground started shaking — we were kind of worried.”… It’s a scary situation there today… [An official] said it was a very rare problem.

Loudspeaker at Oconee Nuclear Plant: “Attention all site personnel. This is Brian [??] I am the emergency coordinator. This is an emergency message. As of 1520, an unusual event has been declared for Unit 1… TSC – OSC [Technical Support Center - Onsite Operational Support Center] activation is necessary and the TSC – OSC has not yet been activated. Activate the TSC – OSC, I repeat activate the TSC – OSC.”

WYFF, Mar 7, 2016: Fire inside transformer at Oconee Nuclear Station under investigation… Scott Batson, site vice president for the Oconee Nuclear Station, said… the intense flames and smoke came from oil burning… Batson said because a cable burned in the fire fell and caused other equipment to be affected, which led to the “unusual event” to be upgraded to an alert classification… Fire and emergency management units at the power plant are investigating the exact cause of the fire…

FOX Carolina, Mar 7, 2016: Hundreds of fire personnel sprang into action after a fire started at the Oconee Nuclear Pant.

Greenville News, Mar 6, 2016: The alert was necessary because the problem could have affected operations of the plant itself… The transformer is 25 to 30 feet from the turbine building that serves Unit 1 and about 100 yards from the reactor building

WLOS, Mar 6, 2016: A transformer burst into flames at an Upstate nuclear power station…. Officials did ask the public to stay away from the area… The fire chief also said crews are continuing to work with on-site personnel to ensure the transformer remains cool and that there is no further extension.

WSPA transcript, Mar 7, 2016: Nearby Resident: “I freaked out – you see a fire, smoke at a a power plant”… Fire Chief: “When you’re responding to a call, and you can see it when you leave the station like that, it really kind of gets your adrenaline going.”

Watch broadcasts: WHNS | WSPA | Loudspeaker Announcement

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