Duke Energy looks into smoke at diesel building at Brunswick nuclear plant

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is investigating the cause of smoke at the security diesel building at the Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina on Jan. 22.

The smoke triggered an on-site fire suppression system that snuffed out an apparent electrical fire in the building, according to an initial report that Duke filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Just after 6 p.m. ET the Brunswick station control room received multiple fire alarms. Site security notified the control room of the presence of smoke in the security diesel building.

Minutes later, the plant declared a “Notification of Unusual Event due to the presence of toxic gas in the security diesel building on the battery/UPS side of the building,” according to the event report filed with NRC.

“The site fire brigade made entry into the building and saw no evidence of fire but they did see and smell an acrid odor from an apparent electrical fire as well as the presence of the NOVEC fire suppressant,” according to the report with NRC. “Offsite assistance was requested but not required to mitigate the event. Investigation of the cause of the toxic gas is under investigation. At this time, no security equipment is affected.”

Both nuclear units at Brunswick continue to operate at 100% early Jan. 23.

The Brunswick nuclear station in Southport, N.C., includes two boiling water reactors that are each listed with a summer operating capacity of more than 900 MW.

Duke is in the process of increasing its ownership interest in the Brunswick units by purchasing an ownership share now held by the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency.

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 wayneb@pennwell.com.