Transformer Explodes on Grounds of Arkansas Nuclear Plant

Plant and local firefighters extinguished a fire at Arkansas Nuclear One Monday that triggered an unusual event declaration and shut down the unit 2 reactor.

Arkansas Nuclear One. Source: NRCAn explosion in a switchyard interrupted the unit's offsite electrical supply at about 8 a.m., according to a release from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Safety systems shut the reactor down automatically, and unit 1 continued to operate at about 95 percent power. The NRC reported Monday that conditions at unit 2 were stable, with an emergency diesel generator and the reactor's second offsite electrical line providing it with power.

A plant spokeswoman told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette a fault in a transformer caused the fire. No injuries were reported, and the incident did not require any part of the plant to be evacuated. The reactor remains offline while an investigation and repairs are underway.

Located outside Russellville, Ark., the Entergy plant generates 1,823 megawatts from two reactors. According to the NRC, unit 2 is a Combustion Engineering pressurized water reactor first licensed in 1978.

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