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Nuclear reactor accident kills 1, injures 8 in Arkansas

Arkansas Nuclear OneArkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Arkansas

ENENews reports April 1, 2013, that the Arkansas Nuclear One nuclear reactor in Russellville, AR – operated by Entergy – suffered an accident yesterday which killed one and injured 8 workers.
The plant vented steam to cool the reactor. Air detection teams have been deployed to the area and determined there’s been no radiation leakage, but local residents are worried.
One employee who works at Arkansas Nuclear one said that it is the worst thing that has happened in his 30+ year career at the nuclear power plant. Top officials of Entergy, including their CEO, are being brought in with their emergency response center to help assess and handle the situation. Site Vice President Jeremy Browning assures the public that they are safe: “The fact is the building, the plant, is in a very stable configuration. […] the structure is stable.”
The Courier reports that the area surrounding Arkansas Nuclear One was placed at emergency Level 4 because of the potential for local impact, but no call to evacuate was issued by the Arkansas Department of Health. Despite that, some evacuation signs were posted throughout the community today showing emergency evacuation routes.
KARK: reports that many people who live near the nuclear reactor are concerned about what happened. Daniel Millsaps says he’s scared that the plant might be dangerous: “It’s terrible. It’s sad. I don’t know what to think. It’s scary. You never know when that thing is going to go off, or when you’re going to have to evacuate.”
Watch the KARK broadcast here

map-of-arkansas-citiesClick map to enlarge

Coincidentally (or not), 40 miles away from Arkansas Nuclear One on Friday (March 29) evening before the nuclear accident, an ExxonMobil pipeline near Little Rock ruptured, resulting in a major (nearly 500,000 gallons) oil spill.
KTHV quoted a resident as saying “We could see oil running down the road like a river.”

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