Fire breaks out at Texas nuclear power plant

A transformer fire at a nuclear power plant in Texas has shut down the station's Unit 2 reactor.

The incident occurred on Jan. 8 at the South Texas Project Electric Generating Station (STP) located about 90 miles southwest of Houston at approximately 4:40 p.m. CST, according to a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Plant spokesman Buddy Eller said an onsite fire brigade responded and was able to extinguish flames within 15 minute without outside assistance.  Eller also confirmed there were no injuries or threat to the public.

Operator STP Nuclear Operating Co. ended the unusual event, the lowest of the NRC's emergency declarations, at 7:47 p.m. the same day.

Unit 2 remains shut down as crews continue inspections and repairs. Unit 1 was not affected by the fire and is operating at full capacity. There is currently no timeline on when Unit 2 will return to service.

STP began operations in 1988 and is comprised of two 1,354 MW Westinghouse pressurized water reactors which serve 2 million customers.

PennEnergy's research area offers more details on power plants in the United States.

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