Four U.S. nuclear plant workers injured by flash — Explosion reported — Helicopter transport required

Published: April 3rd, 2013 at 9:43 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
57 comments


Nuclear Regulatory Commission, April 3, 2013:  At 1707 CDT on 4/2/13 an arc flash occurred at the ‘B’ safeguards transformer (XMDV24) in the plant switchyard at Callaway [nuclear plant in Missouri]. At the time of the flash, ground straps were being placed on the ‘B’ safeguards transformer which had been removed from service for maintenance. The event resulted in a loss of power to areas/buildings outside the power block. There was no impact to equipment and systems in the plant. Four workers were injured or affected by the flash. The extent of the electrical-related injuries has not been determined. However, based on reports from the scene, all of the workers were conscious and walked away from the scene. One person was transported by helicopter and two by ambulance to a local hospital. [...]

KMIZ: Emergency officials confirm an electrical explosion happened around 5:30 p.m., but the cause is still under investigation. Ameren Missouri said in a written statement that the accident occurred in the switch yard area, but a company spokesman declined to elaborate about what happened. [...] South Callaway Fire, Callaway Ambulance and the plant’s emergency staff responded to the explosion.

KOLR: The company did not provide any details about the nature of the accident or identify the injured workers.  But one television report said reported the accident was an electrical explosion and that one of the employees was flown to University Hospital in Columbia for treatment.

KMOV: The company declined to elaborate about what happened. But Callaway County Emergency Management Director Michelle Kidwell said the 911 call reported burn victims, including two with burns to the face. Kidwell said a medical helicopter crew was among the emergency responders dispatched to the nuclear facility located about 25 miles northeast of Jefferson City.

From 3 days ago: U.S. nuclear plant suffers "significant industrial accident" -- 8 injured, 1 dead -- No 'immediate' threat to the public

Published: April 3rd, 2013 at 9:43 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
57 comments

Related Posts

  1. “No immediate threat to public” — Major explosion, fire at Louisiana chemical plant — 33 reported injured, 600 workers onsite — “Close doors and windows and stay inside” (PHOTOS) June 13, 2013
  2. U.S. nuclear plant suffers “significant industrial accident” — 8 injured, 1 dead — No ‘immediate’ threat to the public March 31, 2013
  3. Explosion reported at U.S. nuclear plant, emergency declared July 3, 2013
  4. Local SoCal Radio: Nuke alert was required because fumes could prevent access to plant — Ammonia can create respiratory problems, likely why workers evacuated area November 1, 2011
  5. CBS: Up to 70 feared dead, hundreds injured after Texas explosion — 50-unit apartment building ripped apart — “Like a war zone” (VIDEO) April 18, 2013

57 comments to Four U.S. nuclear plant workers injured by flash — Explosion reported — Helicopter transport required

  • Lion76 Lion76

    1safe adjective \ˈsāf\
    saf·ersaf·est

    Definition of SAFE

    1: free from harm or risk : unhurt
    2a : secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss
    b : successful at getting to a base in baseball without being put out
    3: affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty
    4 obsolete of mental or moral faculties : healthy, sound
    5a : not threatening danger : harmless
    b : unlikely to produce controversy or contradiction
    6a : not likely to take risks : cautious
    b : trustworthy, reliable


    Report comment

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII

    Thanks NRC, but we haven't been able to figure out your previous brain-twister mystery status at Arkansas Nuclear One. Your licensee LIED on their original report about the nature of the unusual event, and then lied about Unit 2 having external power on Sunday. On Tuesday, they told you they really meant "initially had" power. And you choose not to publish that until today.

    Great job. You and your licensee effectively tricked the public into thinking Unit 2 has been safe all this time. Anything else you're not telling us?

    "…The event resulted in a loss of power to areas/buildings outside the power block. There was no impact to equipment and systems in the plant…"

    Or does your licensee really mean "was no initial" impact? And how degraded are the backup systems without a B safeguard circuit transformer?

    Safe enough to keep the pressure cooker boiling for 88% power, I guess. We'll wait for the inevitable, useless 'update' in three days to find out how you duped us on this one.

    This joke just never gets old for you guys at the NRC, does it?


    Report comment

  • Anthony Anthony

    This industry is taking a pummeling to their safe work environment image to be sure this last year. These events cast the light on the industry and is a layer of the onion, removed.


    Report comment

  • Wreedles Wreedles

    "At 1707 CDT on 4/2/13 an arc flash occurred at the ‘B’ safeguards transformer (XMDV24) in the plant switchyard at Callaway [nuclear plant in Missouri]. At the time of the flash, ground straps were being placed on the ‘B’ safeguards transformer which had been removed from service for maintenance."

    Removed from service for maintenance.

    In my world, 'removed from service' means disconnected/not powered and appropriate locks in place to assure that it won't become powered partway through the procedure.

    So either it wasn't truly removed from service, or it wasn't properly locked out. Neither one is good.

    So tired of all this…


    Report comment

    • pcjensen

      "so tired of all this" indeed. Risk + liability + proven lies & fraud & corruption + end of life construction + materials not meeting specs + gangs and unskilled labor working in nuclear + contraband found on site =

      huge problems for all politicians who continue to support nuclear power operations – not to mention multiple disasters around the world.

      Past time for honest dialog and effective actions to stop deadly stupidity.

      Go altenergy! ASAP, Obama et al.=> [Get rid of Monitz] Audit more and stop the lies!


      Report comment

  • markww markww

    Many companies in THE USA dumped their safety departments and safety people and gave the safety to managers. When that occurred it was 1985. Since then companies have fallen into lets make money first safety last. So the swing has happened. Instead of a safety fire and plant work permit and inspection and a safety inspector to over see the work and completion to be sure the work was to be done correctly someone messed up. This is the norm hurry and fix to heck with safety.

    Markww


    Report comment

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      Why not, markww? In the nuclear industry, if it all goes to hell, the taxpayers get stuck with the cleanup tab.

      No insurance needed, no company liability fund needed, what a great business to be in! How about using taxpayer funds to subsidize construction and operations, too? And, just to be really nice guys, how about if we allow you all to take huge tax breaks, hopefully helping some of you to pay no taxes at all (GE, cough, cough)?

      Just make sure those campaign contributions come in on time. . .


      Report comment

  • Its Curtains

    "However, based on reports from the scene, all of the workers were conscious and walked away from the scene. One person was transported by helicopter and two by ambulance to a local hospital. [...]"


    Report comment

  • lam335 lam335

    "… loss of power to areas/buildings outside the power block"

    So does this mean the reactors had to be shut down, with the result that more rad-tainted steam will have to get released? We just had the spewing in Arkansas a few days ago; now are we going to have more tritiated steam descending upon the midwest as a result of this accident?


    Report comment

  • Do a search using Yahoo search.. NOT GOOGLE.. as they paid NOT to give results.. on telephone pole fires.! This is our sun spooling-up to a Carrington Event! They may have switched it off.. but that doesn't mean it was dead!
    This has been going on since start of last year.. and a few NPP have lost entire sub-stations to this effect !!!!
    It's the cause of all the electrical & electronics getting fried.!!
    They don't want ANYONE to know just how high the RISK that these plants now represent!
    We lose the grid to a Carrington event… we LOSE EVER SINGLE PLANT… withing 2 weeks MAXIMUM time frame.!! It has been looked at, and would take 2 YEARS to recover the grid from such an event! TWO YEARS! That's WAY TOO LATE!!! Every plant we have would china syndrome long before that !!! Our best plants can hold-out for only 2 weeks on generators and current on-site fuel.


    Report comment

  • Sickputer

    PattieB: "Our best plants can hold-out for only 2 weeks on generators and current on-site fuel."

    SP: Certainly a worst case scenario would be difficult to keep the plants cool until all the fuel rods in America could be casked (5 to 10 years), but you would hope if that was the only option for a nation's survival then there would be an immediate World War III national project to bring in diesel fuel, backup and triplicate diesel generators for months…then build solar and wind turbines for onsite power within a year.

    The logistics are daunting and martial law would be invoked because there is not enough money in any national economy to handle such a crisis. I would like to think it would be the nuclear wakeup call to humanity if such a disaster happened. Probably the USA would be the only nation that could handle such a crisis or perhaps help another country if they were the only country affected.

    But if the entire Northern Hemisphere was affected with a total grid SBO (nuclear station blackouts)then I would suspect the human race would be exterminated.


    Report comment

    • here's the thing.. a Carrington event won't just take out the grid.. would be sort-of like EM-pulse.. ALL new TT-trucks, and most cars… won't even run. The coils are going to go, just like the transformers on the poles.. they do much the same thing. How will you deliver the fuel…? The military trucks will still run.. but, we do not have that many of such that can pull a civilian trailer… the hook-up is different.


      Report comment

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      @Sickputer

      "Probably the USA would be the only nation that could handle such a crisis or perhaps help another country if they were the only country affected." Really? I was just watching a link today posted by anne of a movie (1 1/2 hours long) that I had actually seen before. In it, it was pointed out that France and Germany are the two countries who have dry casked their nuclear waste other than La Hague. The U.S. has not; they implied it was to save money which is almost certainly true. Nuclear power is not cost effective anyway since the government, taxpayers, and ratepayers are called upon to support it constantly.

      Another thing I noticed was that Cirirad(sp?) (who did the study and made a movie of it, sent an employee to the Techa River in Russia at 38.20 in the film to get samples of the water which they said was highly contaminated. He was not wearing protective gear and his hands were bare except for rubber gloves. Therefore, I questioned how seriously the water was contaminated. Otherwise, it appeared to me to be informative. 6,000 generations is much too long to look after nuclear waste. How stupid to have started it in the first place. The film points out that few people (including most politicians) understand nuclear power.

      The movie is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Dnhds7Qlik


      Report comment

    • Nigwil

      A CME hitting any region with nuclear power plants will likely see them all go Fukushima within hours as not only will the external power supplies blow but the pulse will fry control and instrumentation all the way to the desk and devices.

      So even the sensors that would normally tell the generator controllers that the mains have gone will be fried, as will the motor controllers for the generators themselves. If its copper and connected, it will be ruined.

      By the time the lads have pulled the car batteries out of all the cars in the car park the cores will be boiling dry and the spent fuel ponds will be all a bubble. By the time they have wired all the batteries into series and tried to get a multi-megawatt AC primary circulator pump running on n x 12 volts DC the radiation levels will be starting to climb.

      With no communications, no on or off site power, and no hope of any change to that unhappy condition in the foreseeable future the astute workers will run for it while the noble ones stay and meet their maker without saving a sparrow.

      Then the radiation plume from that plant will swing across the next, rendering that uninhabitable too, and the process repeats until the entire contents of the cores and SFPs of the regions nukes are all just a blowin' in the wind for the next thousand years.

      Not that that is anything to worry about.


      Report comment

  • I've stepped in it again.. they shutdown the steel solider site with the listing of the one guy who made a connect-all setup.. defines what the problem is!..


    Report comment

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    April Program – '700 Tons of High-Level Nuclear Waste Are Stored at the Callaway Nuclear Plant. Should We be Concerned?'
    April 24 2013

    http://standwiththeplanet.com/content/april-program-700-tons-high-level-nuclear-waste-are-stored-callaway-nuclear-plant-should-we


    Report comment

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication

      @Heart

      It is interesting to note that neither the MSM nor PBS have mentioned the two npp accidents in the last few days. Although PBS put on several minutes of the nearby oil spill and brought people in to discuss the pros and cons, they had not a word to say about nuclear problems or anyone dying a few miles away. They did portray the young man whose leg was broken during a ball game…. It is what it is.


      Report comment

  • Let me put it in a "Nut-Shell" for everyone.

    ALL NPP here in the USA… ONLY at Peak LOAD… not what capable of, but MAX-LOAD in summer add to the grid!…??? 36 megawatts. That's ALL !!

    We installed 1/3 of that.. 13 Gigawatts in renewable solar and wind in 2012 alone.
    5 megawatts in just the month of Dec. 2012.

    We do 3 times that this year..? We will have replace all that NPP's actually contribute with to the grid with an extra 3 gigawatts left over!

    With a push on.. and change from 50% new power installed, to 100% all new power being build being renewable..? Would take just 6 months to get to the point we'll not even need them running at all!

    Let's SHUT THEM ALL OFF!


    Report comment

  • lickerface lickerface

    That sure isn't as much power as I thought too… I was thinking 1.21 Jigawatts or higher. It seems we don't need all the extra power. I like this transition plan btw. What to do with all the radioactive waste though…


    Report comment

  • They CAN make a great deal more.. but it's like Japan.. not really needed.. and nukes are down alot.. so..actually the grid is then forced to FEED the nuke in return. so.. demand WITHOUT nukes.. will DROP !!!


    Report comment

    • We Not They Finally

      So true. They shut off the NPP's in Japan and whoops, still had power! It makes one wonder (we had wondered anyway) if that is all they are really being used for. Like people get so freaked about Iran "enriching uranium." Well, that's what NPP's DO!! No NPP's, no nuclear bombs. Like duh….


      Report comment

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Yes, what you said is true, We Not They Finally.

        Now Japan's new Prime Minister and his lackeys have come along and said there is a power shortage in Japan. Therefore, they must re-start all the idle nuclear reactors. And they lied and said there's no viable technology to replace the nuke plants. And they lied and said they have to raise the rates charged to the consumers in Japan, etc., etc. ad nauseum.

        Liars, liars, pants on fire.


        Report comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.