TWO RIVERS, Wis., April 24, 2001 Point Beach Nuclear Plant declared an "unusual event" this morning after a small amount of rags caught fire during outage maintenance work. The plant fire brigade extinguished the fire within 3 minutes of arriving at the affected work area.
No one was injured, no off-site assistance was required, there was no release of radiation and no risk to plant safety equipment.
The Notification of an Unusual Event (NUE), the lowest of four emergency classifications, was provided to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, state and local officials. It does not indicate a change in plant operation but it activates communication channels with NRC and off-site agencies and advises them that plant officials are monitoring a situation that could affect plant operation
The incident occurred at Point Beach Unit 1, which has been shut down for its scheduled refueling outage since April 7. Point Beach Unit 2 continues to operate at 100 percent power.
Workers reported the fire to the plant control room at 1:48 a.m., an unusual event was declared at 2:06 a.m. and terminated at 2:43 a.m. Initial investigation shows that rags on a platform near a steam generator ignited. The cause is under investigation. The fire damaged a nearby electrical box and cable that supports equipment used for inspecting the plant's steam generators.
Scheduled work resumed in the Unit 1 steam generator area by about 5:30 a.m., and all other refueling outage work proceeded as scheduled.
Point Beach generates 1,022 megawatts of electricity. The plant is owned by Wisconsin Electric Power Co., based in Milwaukee, Wis., and operated by Nuclear Management Company, based in Hudson, Wis.