Fire damages Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant

Published 10:43 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Port Gibson — A Monday morning fire at Port Gibson’s Grand Gulf nuclear power plant has left the facility operating at 65 percent capacity.

The fire was not considered major and ranked in the lowest of the plant’s four emergency levels.

Jami Cameron, the site’s communication specialist, said the fire started in a water pump turbine when an oil-saturated piece of insulation ignited.

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But what specifically caused the ignition is still under investigation, Cameron said.

Cameron said it was still not known if the heat in the turbine caused the ignition.

Also under investigation is the source of the oil.

Cameron said those examining the scene were trying to determine if the insulation became saturated with oil as a result of a leak within the turbine or if the other factors caused the saturation.

The turbine did receive minor damage in the fire.

And that damage is hindering the plant’s ability to run at full capacity, Cameron said.

“We won’t be at 100 percent until the needed repairs are done,” she said.

There were no injuries associated with the incident.

Electricity generated at Grand Gulf is sent to Natchez and several other parts of the state.