Emergency at U.S. Nuclear Plant: Steam dumps to atmosphere — No known primary to secondary leakage — Full extent of damage unknown — Additional staff brought to site (VIDEO)

Published: April 1st, 2013 at 9:12 am ET


Follow-up to: [intlink id=”u-s-nuclear-plant-suffers-significant-industrial-accident-8-injured-1-dead-no-immediate-threat-to-the-public” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

NRC: […] “At 1033 [CDT] on 3/31/2013, [Arkansas Nuclear One] Unit 2 entered a Notification of Unusual Event based on EAL HU4 due to damage in 2A1 switchgear. Notification of the NUE will be made lAW Emergency Plan requirements. Follow-up notifications will be made as appropriate.” At this time, the full extent of structural damage on Unit 1 is not known. There was one known fatality and 4 known serious injuries to workers. The local coroner is on site for the fatality and the injured personnel have been transported offsite to local hospitals. Investigation into the cause of the failure and extent of damage is ongoing. On Unit 2, all rods inserted during the trip. The core is being cooled via natural circulation. Decay heat is being removed via steam dumps to atmosphere. There is no known primary to secondary leakage. […]

Entergy Corporation Press Release:  […] The industrial accident at the plant resulted in the fatality of one employee and injuries to eight others. The injured employees were transported to a local hospital. Six employees were treated and released. Two remain hospitalized for their injuries. […]

THV11: […] The plant is in an unusual event classification, the lowest of four emergency classifications designated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Additional staff has been brought to the site to manage the situation. […]

Watch WTVR footage from the nuclear plant here

UPDATE HERE: [intlink id=”residents-nuke-plant-shocked-scared-safety-evacuation-signs-posted-community-nuclear-worker-worst-happen-30-year-career-videos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: April 1st, 2013 at 9:12 am ET


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30 comments to Emergency at U.S. Nuclear Plant: Steam dumps to atmosphere — No known primary to secondary leakage — Full extent of damage unknown — Additional staff brought to site (VIDEO)

  • palisadesnpo

    Tragic event, but there is nothing really to see on this video…this is how PWR's get rid of decay heat to cool down to shutdown cooling. Once they get down to a certain cold leg temp, they'll go on shutdown cooling and won't be using the dumps anymore.

  • palisadesnpo

    And the plant is no longer in a UE, they exited that last night.

  • PavewayIII PavewayIII


    Nuclear engineer design tip: stop putting the damn switchgear in stupid locations where it's subject to flooding or 'industrial accidents'. What are you people thinking?

    • bwoodfield bwoodfield

      These are the people that are creating and promoting the use of nuclear power. Obviously they aren't thinking long term.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      They're certainly not thinking like physicists, engineers, and industrial designers are supposed to think, are they? It's as if they all sat down and made a plan to implement the worst possible, least safe design. At least that's how it looks to some of us "out here" in the public domain.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        It's like the design team leads illustrate "The Peter Principle" in action. Popular 1980's book, the theme of which is how incompetents rise to the top in organizations. Much as the psychopaths and sociopaths do ….

  • This story does not ADD UP for me.

    "“Unit one was in a scheduled refueling outage. Unit two was operating at full power. Unit two automatically shut down."
    – CBS article

    A. IF… They were moving a piece of equipment for Unit 1 which was non operational.

    B. THEN, Why did Unit 2 automatically shut down?

    Not to mention the fact they cannot even count the number of people injured correctly. Was it 2, 3, 4 or 8 people injured? Are they sure only 1 person died? Maybe they should recount.

    If they cannot count to ten accurately, then why should we believe them when they say there has been no release of radiation?

    • amberlight amberlight

      Spot on, ChasAha

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        It's eerily similar to the Nov.2012 description of Oyster Creek's being "two emergency levels away from a Fukushima event in the USA during Sandy" since it also states "additional staff brought in to help" and "atmospheric steam dumps to reduce heat" & "evacuation routes marked for local residents"(probably just the subdivisions where employees live?!!) and no less damning is the NO "IMMEDIATE" DANGER TO PUBLIC(?)!! So no "immediate" danger, atmospheric steam dumps,automatic tripping of reactor shutdowns, running on emergency generators, additional staffing brought in,etc. etc. means another region getting FUKuD!! 🙁 ~**

    • We Not They Finally

      Note that the joint article about this says that there were teams measuring radiation and "evacuation signs posted throughout the community." Even though it s was just "an industrial accident" and a (you think would be un-related) oil spill. The thing is, they probably CAN "count to ten." They just want to ensure that WE cannot "count to ten." You know, "put two and two together."

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      Alabama Nuclear One Unit 1 (ANO-1) is down for refueling. They are also replacing the main generator for Unit 1. The steam turbines, electrical generator and power distribution equipment for both units are in the common turbine building of ANO.

      NRC:"…during movement of the Unit 1 Main Turbine Generator Stator (~500 tons), the Unit 1 turbine temporary lift device failed. This caused a loss of all off site power on Unit 1…"

      It would easily crush the turbine building floors, the support pillars and certainly any equipment underneath or nearby.

      The switchgear for routing outside power to the plant for Unit 1 probably got crushed. The power line is still good, they just can't connect it to anything for Unit 1 anymore – it all runs through the switchgear.

      "…The ANO Unit 1 #1 and #2 EDG [Emergency Diesel Generator] have started and are supplying A-3 4160V switchgear and A-4 4160V switchgear…"

      A-3 and A-4 are the backup circuits and their switchgear apparently didn't get damaged. They can run the plant by using them, but they are not connected to the outside power line – only the emergency diesel generators.

      "…ANO-1 entered TS 3.8.2 A, 'One Required Offsite Circuit Inoperable'. All required actions are complete. The event caused a loss of decay heat removal on ANO Unit 1 which was restored in 3 minutes and 50 seconds…"

      Unit 1 is in shutdown, but still has (some?) fuel in it and needs cooling.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Again, thank you for your explanation. One begins to wonder if any workable fail-safe systems are operating as they should. Not reassuring the switchgears are now connected to emergency diesel generators. Now all we need is some flash flooding or some other natural disaster (or encroaching oil spill) to really muck things up. Heaven forbid. Wishing the good citizens of Arkansas well today. We are mindful of your situation and are concerned.

  • harengus_acidophilus

    Countdown to meltdown?

    > The core is being cooled via natural circulation.

    "natural circulation" replaces the force driven waterflow.
    "It's not a bug, it's a feature"

    > Decay heat is being removed via steam dumps to atmosphere.
    Sounds not really healthy …


    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      It's in some kind of shutdown state but still has decay heat. Just keep pumping in more water and vent the steam.

      There is no immediate danger.

      Please shelter in place and leave a sign on your door indicating the number of FEMA coffin liners that would be required for persons currently residing in your dwelling. Please be considerate and conserve FEMA resources. Two small children can easily fit in one coffin liner – there is no reason to order individual ones for each child.

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      While you're waiting for your coffin liners, please remain calm and consult the helpful Emergency Instructions we have prepared.


      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Good luck trying to read it if you're using Mozilla. It just shows up as garbledy-gook on my monitor. Not much help in an emergency, IMHO, if you have to use a special type of browser to read the contents.

    • they are bleeding the steam out the pressure-relief pipe meant to allow the steam-gate to the turbines to close. And pouring fresh water into the top-end the secondary cooling loops. (Wash-down-system) meant to clean and inspect-repair the cooling loop system.. THIS is a pressure relief!.. it's not meant to cool the damned core! This is much like replacing the big cooling tower with a 12-ft stack of auto radiators!

      They have dead-shorts.. so generator isn't doing much good. Can't put ANY power into the control bus like this! OH! and NO.. they have NO POOL COOLING at #1 OR #2 right now!

      NATURAL Circulation…?? MY ASS !!

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        I love the videos of the newspeople reporting on this accident. Behind them, the reactor building is releasing radioactive steam directly into the atmosphere, that the reporters (and all downwinders) are breathing! Out of the reactor building itself! These people are trying to sort out how many people were injured, and how many died. And meanwhile, the plant right behind them is venting steam! WTF?

  • nedlifromvermont

    How can anybody but a sadist regard nuclear power as a morally defensible business???

    I know … stupid question …

    Havin' fun with your big blue chip neighbor down in Arkansas??

    Arkansas is where Entergy grew up … it all started with saw dust …

    They should have stuck to their biomass roots …

    Now we risk these guys polluting the northern hemisphere a la Fukushima …

    Somebody thought they had a really good idea (atoms for peace!?!)

    That person is long dead.

    Let us tear down the false God of nuclear power.

    Global nuclear shut down. Thank you to Iran and North Korea for pointing out the blatant hypocrisy in Obama-nuke and his toady acolytes …

    peace …

  • many moons

    Level 4 accident with local consequences

  • We Not They Finally

    How does one get to "This happened at Unit 1" to "The full extent of structural damage to Unit 2 is not known"? Why TWO reactors involved and why STRUCTURAL damage?

  • Inter-locked safety systems.. and cross-hooked power systems… one wasn't running. But the dropped equipment smashed the control panel and shorted-out EVERYTHING !



    Let's add some more problems !! Like some of THIS getting into the WATER they are pumping to cool the core !!

    • PavewayIII PavewayIII

      The NRC will simply not permit this.

      Crude oil fouling intake pumps AND generators demolishing switchgear is a beyond-design-basis event. It could only happen in the minds of the tin-foil hat internet anti-nuke crowd.

      I'm much more concerned about how the NRC is protecting me from imaginary terrorists. Can't they start random body-cavity searches on residents within a 5-mile radius of the plant? It's for their own protection.

  • We got rad-detections in area… over 1000 times normal.. folks with metallic-taste in mouth..etc:

    • Wolf

      If you are not aware of Leuren she is a nuke whistleblower a scientist. She discusses history, what is going on, mitigation, etc.

      ichicax4 can be found on youtube – most Tuesday and Thursday there are updates and special guests. One of the best talk internet show that I have found.
      I have embraced the horror, I now own the horror. Live, learn and thrive.

      Nuked Radio Special: Nuked in the skies w/ Leuren Moret part 2
      10 celebrities displaying symptoms of possible radiation sickness after excessive flying. Historically, some famous actors and actresses have been nuked before…so it wouldn't be the first time.


      Part 1: Kim Kardashian, Lil Wayne, Kelly Osbourne

      Part 2: Jessica Alba, Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Bieber & more

      A more detailed look at our current situation can be found here:

      2 years of Fukushima Part 1:Current status of Fukushima & comparisons to Chernobyl

      2 years of Fukushima Part 2: Excess Mortality & Fallout Avoidance

      2 years of Fukushima Part 3: Synergistic Relationships between Chemicals & Radiation: Multiplier Effect

      2 years of Fukushima Part 4: Mutations in Plants, Animals & Humans: Chernobyl, Three Mile Island & Fukushima

      2 years of Fukushima Part 5:…

    • I have and do… in fact they hate me, and now trim the report info due to me doing systemic play-by-play of problems.. and tell folks like it is… 😉

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Greg Palast; The Lies and Fraud Behind Nuclear Plant Emergency Diesel Generators; via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/11/greg-palast-lies-and-fraud-behind.html

    30 Ways The Nuclear Industry Deceives Everyone; via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/03/primer-in-art-of-deception-cult-of.html