Palo Verde fire doesn’t affect nuclear operations

An evening fire at the mammoth Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona was extinguished by the station’s on-site fire crew and had no impact on plant operations, a spokesperson for Pinnacle West (NYSE:PNW) said Sept. 3.

Around 7:12 p.m. on Sept. 2 smoke was detected by a security officer around insulation around a main feed pump in a Unit 2 turbine building, according to an NRC “unusual event” report. The turbine building is on the non-nuclear area, the spokesperson told GenerationHub.

Unit 2 continued to operate at 100%, the spokesperson said. “There were no adverse safety consequences, and this event did not adversely affect the safe operation of the plant or health and safety of the public,” according to the report that Pinnacle subsidiary Arizona Public Service (APS) filed with NRC.

Although Tonopah Fire Department was notified of the event and did respond, the event was under control when the local fire department arrived. The fire was declared out shortly before 8 p.m.

There were, however, two small “reflash” events reported prior to midnight while fire officials were removing damaged insulation material.  

The NRC and various other government authorities were notified of the incident. The company will do a root cause analysis of the fire to determine what happened. The company does not currently have a damage estimate yet.

The Palo Verde nuclear station in Maricopa County, Ariz., includes three pressurized water reactors (PWRs) that each has a nameplate generating capacity of 1,400 MW, according to GenerationHub data.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at