TVA reports ‘unusual event’ at nuclear plant

by Associated Press

Published: September 24,2010

Tags: accident, energy, nuclear power, utilities

SODDY-DAISY, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority reports it has declared an unusual event at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant when a fire involving a 500,000-volt transformer in a switchyard at the plant lasted more than 15 minutes before being extinguished.

The plant is located on the Tennessee River near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, about 18 miles northeast of Chattanooga.

An unusual event is lowest of the four levels of nuclear plant emergency classifications established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. According to the TVA, an unusual event poses no threat to the public or to plant employees.

Appropriate federal, state and local emergency management agencies have been notified of the event.

The fire began shortly after 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and was extinguished about 20 minutes later, TVA reports. At the time of the fire, the transformer was being placed in service following maintenance.

The investigation into the cause of the fire began Wednesday night.

TVA said the unusual event was terminated at 10:48 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Sequoyah Nuclear Plant consists of two pressurized water reactors rated at about 2,300 megawatts.

At the time the event was declared, Unit 1 was operating at about 85 percent power and Unit 2 was at 100 percent power, TVA said. Both units continue to operate safely at these power levels.

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