PG&E's Diablo Canyon Unit 2 Remains Shut Down After Fire Personnel are evaluating repairs necessary to return Unit 2 to service; Unit 1 continues to operate at full power.
Release Date: August 18, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – Diablo Canyon Power Plant's Unit 2 reactor remains shut down after a transformer failure caused a fire outside the plant's turbine building on August 17. The fire did not pose any threat to the nuclear reactors and no personnel were injured. During the event all plant safety systems operated as designed, automatically bringing Unit 2 to a safe shutdown.
Today PG&E and Diablo Canyon personnel are in the process of investigating the cause of the transformer failure and evaluating the scope of repairs that will be necessary to return Unit 2 to service. The equipment on which the fire occurred is a transformer that increases the voltage of electricity from the generator to levels suitable for transmission across the grid. Initial surveys indicate that damage will require the replacement of the transformer. Repairs are also expected to be necessary on adjacent equipment in the yard, including minor repairs to another transformer, which was affected by debris associated with the fire. Debris also caused some damage to the nearby administration building.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) notified county, state and federal authorities of the declaration of an Unusual Event (UE) at the plant at 12:12 a.m. An Unusual Event is declared for an other-than-normal plant related condition that does not require any emergency action by the general public or any government authorities. It is the lowest of four emergency classifications mandated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Diablo Canyon firefighters extinguished the fire at 12:26 a.m., and the UE was terminated at 2:31 a.m.
There was no release of radioactive material to the environment from this event, as indicated by sensitive plant radiation monitors.
Diablo Canyon Power Plant provides enough electricity to meet the needs of more than 3 million northern and central California homes, and is located approximately 12 miles southwest of San Luis Obispo, CA, which is about 220 miles south of San Francisco and 200 miles north of Los Angeles.