CO2 discharge prompts nuclear plant evacuation in Pennsylvania

June 17, 2013 at 4:53 PM

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa., June 17 (UPI) -- Workers at a Pennsylvania nuclear power plant were forced to evacuate a part of the plant due to a carbon dioxide leak, federal regulators said Monday.

Workers at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, Pa., about 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, were alerted to a problem in the turbine-generator area. A second alarm sounded shortly after signaling a CO2 discharge, prompting the evacuation, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

The plant's fire brigade responded in accordance with federal regulations and cleared the scene about 9:55 a.m. Monday, a little more than an hour after the alarms went off.

Regulators from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission classified the incident as an "unusual event" -- the lowest of four classifications for technical malfunctions at a nuclear power plant.

The cause of the discharge remained under investigation.

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