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Electrical fire shuts down reactor at Beaver County nuclear power plant

| Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

There was no danger to the public during “a small fire” late Tuesday afternoon at the nuclear power plant on the banks of the Ohio River in Beaver County, company officials said.

Operators of the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport shut down the Unit 1 reactor because of an electrical fault that started shortly before 6 p.m. outside the turbine where electricity is produced, said Jennifer Young, a spokeswoman for FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., which owns the plant.

“There was no danger to public health and safety,” Young said. “The fire was not in the reactor or the reactor building. The plant is now stable, and we are in the assessment stage. There were no injuries.”

Operators noticed indications of a problem in a breaker, and, when they inspected, they saw an electrical short and a small fire, Young said. The fire was quickly extinguished, she said.

Although emergency officials were notified and firefighters were summoned, they were not needed and didn't enter the plant, Young and Beaver County emergency dispatchers said.

There was no immediate word on the extent of damage or how long the unit would be shut down, Young said. She said customer service would not be affected.

Unit 1 was shut down on Sept. 30 for scheduled refueling and maintenance and had just started producing enough power to be considered “online” again Monday night, Young said.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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