1 Dead, 3 Hurt in Accident at US Nuke Plant

Heavy piece of machinery falls in Arkansas facility

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 31, 2013 6:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – One worker died and three others were injured this morning when a heavy piece of equipment fell on them at an Arkansas nuclear plant, officials said. The workers were moving the equipment from the turbine building at an Entergy Arkansas plant in Russellville, about 70 miles northwest of Little Rock. The three injured workers were taken to a hospital. The company stressed that there is no danger to the public. The Arkansas Nuclear One plant provides about 30% of the state's energy demand, according to Entergy.

"We are deeply saddened by what has happened today," said Jeff Forbes, Entergy's chief nuclear officer. "Our greatest sympathy is with the family and friends of the employee who lost his life, and with those who sustained injuries." Entergy's two nuclear reactors were shut down after the accident. The plant was placed under an "unusual event classification," which is the lowest of four emergency classifications designated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Entergy provides electricity to 2.8 million customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

Steam rises from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors.
Steam rises from the cooling towers of nuclear reactors.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, File)
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