On Sunday, a transformer fire caused the partial shut down of a nuclear plant located 40 miles north of New York City and an oil spill into the Hudson River. New York state governor announced Sunday that emergency crews were struggling to contain the Hudson oil slick and clean it up as soon as possible.
The oil was used as transformer fluid at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York. Engineers roughly estimated that thousands of gallons of the fluid were discharged into Houston. However, the exact amount remains largely unknown, according to the governor.
Authorities reported that a transformer at the nuclear plant suddenly encountered a malfunction and caught fire, which led to an automatic shut-down of non-nuclear side of the facility.
However, emergency crews said that although they managed to quickly extinguish the fire, the resulting heat revived the blaze which was put out once more. But as a tank designed to hold transformer fuel failed to contain the extra amount of fluid, oil slowly leaked into Houston’s waters.
Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection said that they had taken additional measures to prevent more leaks such as installing booms in the river. NYC authorities said Sunday that the clean up should not last longer than a couple of days.
Although the transformer moat failed to contain the thousands of gallons of leaked fluid, the main reactor was not affected. Engineers checked it and reported that there were no safety concerns as it remained stable. The secondary reactor of the plant was also out of the harm’s way and remained fully functional.
The Buchanan nuclear power plant, which is located on the eastern bank of the Houston River, provides electricity to millions of households, businesses and state buildings across Westchester County and in the Big Apple.
New York gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the incident was far from being a “major situation,” but nevertheless emergency teams took the situation very seriously.
“I take nothing lightly when it comes to this plant specifically,”
The transformer involved in the blaze had the purpose of changing the voltage of the energy generated by the plant to match the power grids in the state. The blaze was extinguished by the staff in the facility and an automatic sprinkler system. Moreover, fire crews and police officers were also called as a precaution.
Crews couldn’t tell on-spot what was the exact cause of the transformer failure or whether it could be repaired. But they reassured the public that there were no safety risks or a health hazard involved. Entergy employees are currently investigating the root of the problem.
Cuomo, on the other hand, complained that there were far too more emergencies at the Indian Point Energy Center. Its Unit 3 had to be shut down Thursday because of a water leak located in the similar area where the fire broke out. Officials said then that the problem was solved and there was no radioactive hazard. Additionally, two months ago, Unit 3 was again shut down for a refueling that took way longer than expected.
Image Source: Fox News