Explosion and blaze inside protected area at U.S. nuclear plant in Arkansas — Transformer blows in Unit Two, causes fire that was not contained for 1.5 hours — “Loud, ground shaking explosion” reported — Reactor remains shut down, extent of damage unknown.
River Valley Leader, Dec. 9, 2013, 9:25a ET updated at 4:26p ET: BREAKING: Pope County 911 receives reports of explosion at Arkansas Nuclear One […] Just before 8 a.m., Monday morning, December 9, reports of an explosion at Arkansas Nuclear One were made to Pope County 911 operators. At this time details have not been released in the explosion, but fire officials are reportedly responding to the nuclear facility and a fire is being fought. A resident in the vicinity of the Arkansas Nuclear One plant reported a “loud, ground shaking explosion and then saw smoke.”
Wall St. Journal, Dec. 9, 2013 at 2:31p ET: The fire started in the electrical switchyard after a transformer exploded and ignited [NRC spokesman Victor Dricks] said […] The blaze started at 7:50 a.m. and was contained by 9:17 a.m., according to Entergy.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Dec. 9, 2013 at 11:45a ET: Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Tommy Jackson said that the fire had not extinguished within the 15 minutes of detection. “The auxiliary transformer exploded in Unit Two, and there was fire within the protected area,” he said.
River Valley Leader, Dec. 9, 2013 at 3:31p ET: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has activated its incident response center in Arlington, Texas, following the declaration of an Unusual Event at the Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear power plant. […] The Unusual Event was declared by operators at 8 a.m. CST after Unit 2 experienced a transformer explosion in an electrical switchyard. The interruption of electrical power to Unit 2 caused protective systems to shut down the reactor.
River Valley Leader, Dec. 9, 2013 at 3:28p ET: […] reports of an explosion at Arkansas Nuclear One were received by Pope County 911 dispatchers. The explosion that was later determined to be a transformer blowing, caused a fire to erupt in the nuclear facility.
KUAR, Dec. 9, 2013 at 1:29p ET: “The issue was that the transformer itself contains oil. […] the responders made the decision to let the oil fire burn off,” says [Entergy spokesman Mike Bowling].
Russelville Courier, Dec. 9, 2013 at 10:17a ET: Operators will keep the Unit 2 reactor offline while the cause of the explosion is investigated and a determination is made on what repairs are necessary. [ANO spokesperson Donna Gregory] said it has not yet been determined how long the unit will remain offline. Currently there is an investigation into the cause of the fire and extent of damage.
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