Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant shuts down after transformer fire

An 'unusual event' declared this morning after a transformer fire at the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

The Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant in Scriba declared an 'unusual event' early Sunday morning, and the reactor shut down automatically, after a fire in the power plant's main transformer. A spokesperson for plant operator Entergy says the transformer that burned normally conducts 24 thousand volts of power from the nuclear generator and steps it up, to put out 345-thousand volts to the electrical grid. There is no available estimate of damage or repair time, but we're told there were no toxic PCBs in this transformer.

The fire was reported at 5:46, and was out by 6:30. Firefighters from outside the plant were called in, and had cleared the scene by after 8am. Entergy, the plant owner, stresses there was no nuclear involvement in the incident, which is now under investigation. The spokesperson also says this morning's incident is unrelated to last Sunday's plant shutdown, triggered when a routine, weekly test of turbines detected a flaw in controlling equipment. That has been repaired, and no 'unusual event' was declared for that shutdown.