“Emergency Alert”: Fire breaks out at nuclear plant in Spain — Officials take action “to avoid a nuclear disaster” — Large amount of smoke reported — Government activates emergency plan

Published: May 25th, 2017 at 3:08 pm ET
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thinkSPAIN, May 23, 2017: Early-hours alert over Ascó I nuclear plant fire — AN ‘EMERGENCY alert’ affecting the nuclear plant in Ascó (Tarragona province) at 02.12 this morning (Tuesday) after a fire broke out has been called off, authorities have announced. Management at the Ascó I reactor contacted the Nuclear Safety Council (CSN) in accordance with usual procedures in the event of a fire which continues for longer than 10 minutes. The plant shut down its combustible fuel recharging and discharging to avoid a nuclear disaster after the blaze started due to water dripping onto the standard electricity supply bar switches during recharging in the turbine building, the CSN says. Normal electricity supply was lost and a diesel generator put into action… An emergency alert at Mode 1, or ‘reduced risk’ level, was issued, but was withdrawn at exactly 03.31 and replaced with an ’emergency pre-alert’ due to the continued absence of an external electricity supply.

Republica, May 23, 2017 (Google translation): Ascó central activates emergency alert for fire… This morning, the owner of the Ascó I nuclear power station had notified the CSN of an emergency alert according to the requirements established in its Internal Emergency Plan (PEI), following the criterion of fire notification of more than 10 minutes. The short-circuit due to falling water on the switches of a normal power supply bar during recharging work on the turbine building has caused a lot of smoke which, at first, has led to the supposition that a fire had been caused, without risk of Radioactive emission. The levels of ambient radiation collected continuously at stations in the monitoring network have been checked, with no variation of normal levels observed. The CSN has activated the emergency response of its Emergency Response Organization (ORE) in mode 1 (reduced activation) and has followed the evolution of the situation from the Emergency Room (SALEM) in continuous communication with the Resident Inspection, with The installation and with the Subdelegation of Government in Tarragona… As a result of the incident, the normal power supply has been lost and the emergency diesel generator has been put into operation correctly… At 03:03 hours the emergency alert has been declassified, continuing in a pre-alert situation due to no external power supply until the power supply caused by the water fall. As a consequence of the accident, the Government Subdelegation in Tarragona has activated this morning of the Plan of Emergency of Nuclear of Tarragona (PENTA) in situation 0 after a prealerta and has been summoned to all the operative groups of the PENTA. The subdelegate of the Government in Tarragona, Jordi Sierra, has been in permanent contact with the delegate of the Government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, the CSN and the Generalitat.

Published: May 25th, 2017 at 3:08 pm ET
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