Fatal accident at Arkansas Nuclear One leaves unit without offsite power

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Arkansas Nuclear One

Around 07:50 on Easter Sunday morning, an accident at the Arkansas Nuclear Power Plant not only killed one worker and injured others it also left the Unit 1 reactor without offsite power.  Workers were using the Unit 1 turbine temporary lift device to move the Main Turbine Generator Stator, which weighs over 500 tons, out of the turbine building when it fell.  The lift crane failed, dropping the load, which resulted in a crash which was heard by local residents miles from the site, and tripped the Unit 2 reactor.  There was one known fatality and 4 known serious injuries to workers.

The event caused a loss of decay heat removal at Unit 1, which was restored some four minutes later.   As the Unit 1 lost all off site power, the Emergency Diesel Generators were started and are supplying backup power.

At 10:33, over two and a half hours later, Unit 2 entered a Notification of Unusual Event due to damage in the 2A1 switchgear.  Unit 2 entered hot standby mode with decay heat being removed via steam dumps to the atmosphere.

At this time, the full extent of structural damage on Unit 1 is not known, Unit 2 2A1 switchgear was damaged and currently de-energized, but no other equipment at Unit 2 was reported damaged.

Source: NRC Event Notifications

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  1. All of the mainstream media articles that were published yesterday about this “incident” failed to mention the loss of power and loss of decay heat… let alone linked to the actual NRC notification. Let’s hope they can learn something from Enformable’s reporting style instead of remaining childishly ignorant to the real consequences of science and technology malfunctions.

  2. I was on site preparing to work on the generator at the time of the incident. I was not on the turbine deck, and did not hear the stator fall due to ambient activity. I was working with the generator crew, so I had an inside line on events as they unfolded. I left the sight at noon on Sunday, and returned Monday to get my equipment and I spoke with a man who was on the deck next to Wade when he was killed. I was shown pictures of the crash and given some detail.

    So I kept googling ANO to monitor the new reports. The reason for my note today is to complement the author. This is the most well written account of the event I’ve seen. All other authors should be ashamed. I wish I had the vocabulary to properly state my disgust with their level of reporting, but it’s what I’ve grown to expect from the media over the last couple of decades. Let’s send Hixson to WA and see if he can use his integrity there. Hats off to you buddy. I hope this is representative of all your work.


    Petition Statement

    “The US limit for carcinogenic radioactive cesium is 1200 Bq/kg in food. Japan, which is still suffering a triple meltdown, has a limit of 100 Bq/kg. Both of these limits are way too high to protect our children. We are asking that the limit be reduced to 5 Bq/kg for all food, nutritional supplements and pharmaceuticals…”


  4. Looks like the blue equipment of Bigge was ok. The stator made it from the turbine deck to the hatchway and was turned correctly to be lowered to the transport below.

    It appears that the front left leg of the gantry crane was positioned on a floor beam. That beam is bent. Simple guess is that the floor that supported the front two legs of the gantry beams was not strong enough. The under beam buckled and the gantry came apart.

    The turbine deck was strong enough to support the back two legs of the gantry, probably had jack plates built into the foundation, legs of gantry probably right above foundation columns under turbine deck. Front legs were on building floor. This looks like the fatal flaw. Floor beam held for a while then deflected.

    Be interesting who decided that the front legs could be supported by the floor with not under columns to the ground floor. Not going to be pretty.

  5. From the before and after photographs I have seen I disagree with Efin Engineer’s assessment. The end of the long travel beams over the hoist well were fully supported on two vertical beams from a beam in the rail bay with a horizontal beam at the turbine floor level and two further verticals to the main long travel beams (this appears to be a standard arrangement for Bigge systems). The accident looks to be the result of the vertical supports tilting causing the whole rig to collapse. This could have been caused by stopping the load too quickly as it was being rotated to align with the hoist well.

  6. I would only hope that the ‘root’ cause will be known. It might prevent this type of tragedy from happening to another family. Maintenance on nuclear plants should never been done on holidays or midnight to 9AM. I don’t care if they can’t generate power … they need to do maintenance when everyone is awake and alert. Maybe someone might have noticed that the equipment/floor was under stress. People do not function well from midnight to daylight. It’s not fair to put them at risk just so the company can make money.

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