A fire caused by a short circuit in a transformer of the South Ukraine nuclear power plant was extinguished within two hours yesterday, Energoatom, the country’s state-owned nuclear power plant operator, said today.
The AT-1 grid automatic transformer tripped at 10.03pm and was put out at 11.42pm.
The incident did not affect operation of the plant’s units. After recent rumours of radiation releases at its Zaparozhe nuclear power plant Energoatom was careful to note there was no change to radiation levels in the vicinity of the South Ukraine plant, which it said remain at background levels.
The South Ukraine plant is located on the banks of Pivdennyi Buh river in the town of Yuzhnoukrayinsk, in the Mykolayiv region. It consists of three VVER-1000 reactors with a total installed capacity of 3000 MWe. Unit 3 is undergoing scheduled maintenance work. Also near the river are two twin-unit hydro power plants.
Unit 3 of the Zaporozhe nuclear power plant tripped on 28 November, but posed no threat to the environment or public and returned to normal operation on 5 December. Energoatom said on 3 December that the unit had disconnected from the grid automatically as “protection against internal damage to the generator.” The short circuit was caused by damage to the winding voltage section of the auxiliary transformer and switch block transformer. The unit was transferred to a cold shutdown state.