Training, Preparation Help Safely Extinguish Transformer Fire at Watts Bar

Training and preparation allowed plant personnel to effectively respond to a transformer fire in an onsite switchyard at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on Tuesday night, August 30. The fire was initially reported at approx. 9:11 pm EDT and was fully extinguished in a little over one hour with no injuries. 

After the fire was reported, an Unusual Event—the least severe of four emergency classifications—was declared at 9:20 pm EDT. After operators confirmed the fire was extinguished and all plant systems were in a safe, stable condition, the site exited the Unusual Event classification at 11:42 pm EDT.

The transformer is located in an exterior switchyard. When it failed, Watts Bar Unit 2 was automatically taken offline as designed, and all systems operated as expected. There was never a danger to the general public. Watts Bar Unit 1 was unaffected and remains online.

As a precaution, plant personnel requested assistance from three local fire departments. We greatly appreciate their rapid and professional response, although onsite personnel were able to successfully extinguish the fire before the additional assistance became necessary.

Our current focus remains on ensuring the safety of the public and our employees as we work to determine the cause of the fire and make necessary repairs to allow Unit 2 to resume its power ascension testing.

aerial view of plant