Local News

Small Fire At Nuclear Plant Offers Good Emergency Practice

Posted December 11, 2002

— An early-morning fire on Wednesday gave on-site personnel at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Plant good practice for a real emergency.

Officials said the fire started about 3:45 a.m. near one of the pumps used to draw water to fight fires at the nuclear plant. The fire was quickly put out by someone at the facility.

Officials said the fire started about 3:45 a.m. near one of the pumps used to draw water to fight fires at the nuclear plant. The fire was quickly put out by someone at the facility.

The fire happened outside of the reactor and posed no threat to the public. Officials said no one was hurt, and no one working in the plant had to be evacuated.

Shearon Harris sits just a couple of miles from several homes. Residents in the area are well aware of the dangers associated with the plant and fires that may occur there.

Shearon Harris spokesperson Sharon Hall said Wednesday's fire was good practice for a real emergency.

"They have monitors for everything on site," Hall said, "from the cooling tower to those kinds of pumps to the actual reactor.

"They got an alarm in the control room that let them know there was a fire here."

Hall said the plant has its own fire brigade, which can quickly swing into action.

"We have a manager who oversees that," she said. "There are about 80 people on the staff; it's a lot like a volunteer fire department.

"They have other jobs within the plant. But we ensure through our scheduling that we have appropriate people and enough personnel onsite to respond to situations just like this."

In addition to the fire brigade, the Apex Fire Department responded to the fire Wednesday - standard procedure in case a much-larger fire erupts.

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