(UPDATED) Alert at U.S. nuclear plant after ‘equipment malfunction’ — Official: There was “a little bit of smoke, so we had to declare this alert”

Published: August 8th, 2013 at 6:24 am ET
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WTVD, 5:49a ET (h/t Anonymous tip): Wake County [North Carolina]– Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant declared an alert early Thursday when an equipment malfunction caused the plant to lose power around 3 a.m. to “non-safety related electrical distribution equipment.” Officials with at the nuclear plant in Wake County said there were no radioactive materials being released because of the incident. According to Duke Energy, who jointly owns the plant with the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, plant employees are staffing emergency response facilities [...]

WRAL, 5:31a ET: [...] Duke Energy said the staff at the plant is ready to activate sirens located throughout the plant’s 10-mile emergency planning zone if needed. A company spokesperson told WRAL News the malfunction happened in the part of the plant that distributes produced power and that officials do not expect the situation to worsen. An alert is the second in increasing significance of four emergency classifications. It is used to describe conditions that require emergency response agencies to be in a heightened state of readiness, but pose not threat to public safety. [...]

***UPDATE*** WTVD, 7:28a ET: [...] After an inspection of equipment revealed no threat to safety, officials terminated the alert. Around 6 a.m., plant personnel said they were operating at a reduced power level of 91 percent as recovery actions continued. [...] “(There was) a little bit of smoke, so we had to declare this alert. The plant is stable and online, no injuries, no danger ever to the public from this event.” [Kim Crawford spokesperson with Duke Energy said.]

***UPDATE II***: Explosion at U.S. nuclear plant triggered emergency alert — “Sufficient force to damage permanent structures or equipment within the Protected Area” (VIDEO)

Watch WNCN’s interview at the nuclear plant here

Published: August 8th, 2013 at 6:24 am ET
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