Entergy nuclear reactor back in service following deadly accident

Entergy (NYSE: ETR) announced it has reconnected the Unit 1 nuclear  reactor at its Arkansas Nuclear One power plant Wednesday after a major restoration effort. Prior to restarting, ANO’s Unit 1 required extensive restoration efforts, including damage evaluation, repairs to non-nuclear plant components and rescheduling the unit’s refueling activities.

The restoration was necessary following the collapse of a contractor’s crane while moving a 550-ton generator stator out of the turbine building. The incident resulted in one fatality and injuries to eight others. All injured workers have since been treated and released from the hospital.

There was no radiological release and no impact on public health or safety during the event.

“We’d like to thank the community for their outpouring of support at both the local and state levels,” said Jeremy Browning, ANO site vice president. “As a corporate neighbor of the Russellville area, your confidence in us is deeply appreciated. The ANO team is committed to the safety of this plant, the people who work here and those who live in this community.”

All told, Entergy employees and contractors devoted more than 790,000 hours of effort to the unit’s safe return to service. The restoration effort saw 55 tons of steel erected and 93 cubic yards of concrete placed – in addition to hundreds of cable installations, switchgear replacements and electrical repairs.

ANO workers developed a comprehensive startup monitoring plan to ensure the plant achieved a safe and controlled restart. The plan focused on both equipment and systems, including walk-downs by plant staff, extensive monitoring and testing activities, increased training, augmented crews and increased oversight. These plans were developed and challenged by both internal and external ANO subject matter experts.

Unit 1 has been offline since Sunday, March 24 when the plant entered its scheduled refueling outage. ANO’s Unit 2 reactor was successfully reconnected to the grid April 28.

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