Davis-Besse nuclear power plant reports electrical fire

By Dorothy Davis

Site officials at FirstEnergy’s Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio reported a small electrical fire and explosions early Wednesday morning near the Containment Access Facility’s construction area according to an Unusual Event report filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

According to the report filed with the NRC, the fire and explosions were initially reported by onsite security personnel, prompting plant officials to call for offsite emergency assistance. However, employees at the facility were subsequently able to bring the situation under control in about 10 minutes through the use of dry chemical extinguishers.

No injuries were reported.

Employees terminated power before extinguishing the fire, but full operations have since resumed at the nuclear power plant. As of January 21, 2011, the NRC Power Reactor Status Report lists the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant operating at 100 percent capacity.

An Unusual Event is the lowest of four emergency classifications utilized by the NRC, and entails that there has been no release of radioactive material requiring offsite response or monitoring.

Currently the cause of the fire and explosions are being attributed to the failure of temporary cables and a transformer supplying power to the secured construction area at the Davis-Besse site. A full investigation into the exact cause of the incident is under way.

Located in Toledo, Ohio, the Davis-Besse nuclear power station in a pressurized water reactor owned and operated by FirstEnergy Corporation with a generating capacity of 893-megawatts.

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