NRC sends inspection team to investigate fatal nuclear plant accident

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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will send an Augmented Inspection Team (AIT) to the Arkansas Nuclear One power plant following a deadly accident at the plant that also caused loss of offsite power and an automatic shutdown.

"An AIT is used when the NRC wants to promptly dig deeply into the circumstances surrounding an operational event," said NRC Region IV Administrator Arthur Howell. "We want to make sure that all the circumstances that contributed to this event are well understood in order to prevent a recurrence."

Workers were moving a generator stator out of the plant's turbine building when a lifting rig collapsed. One person was killed and eight others injured. Unit 1 was in a refueling outage at the time and lost offsite power when electrical equipment was damaged when the generator fell.

The generator also caused a loss of electrical power to one of four reactor coolant pumps, causing the unit to automatically shut down. Both plants are stable and there was no danger to the public.

The AIT will put together a timeline of the event, evaluate Entergy (NYSE: ETR)'s response to the incident and assess what factors may have contributed to the accident.

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