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Fire Hits N.Y. Nuclear Plant

January 15, 1999

SCRIBA, N.Y. (AP) _ A fire erupted Thursday near the electric turbine at the James FitzPatrick nuclear power plant near Oswego, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the fire was under control shortly after it started, but wasn’t completely extinguished as of Thursday evening.

Officials believed the fire was out early Thursday afternoon because hydrogen burns so cleanly, they couldn’t see the flames, Sheehan said. But they discovered the fire was still going as they advanced toward it.

Sheehan said officials thought the fire would eventually burn itself out, but kept water on it to make sure it didn’t spread.

The plant is owned by the New York Power Authority. The 762-megawatt plant began operation in 1975.

NRC spokesman Joe Gilliland said the fire began in an area of hydrogen tanks near the plant’s electric turbine generator shortly before 1 p.m. EST.

``There was no danger to the reactor building,″ he said.

Firefighters from local areas helped control the fire. The power plant continued to operate at full power during the fire, officials said.

One fireman was injured when he was struck in the leg by a hose and a plant worker was slightly burned, said Woody Berzins, a spokesman for the New York Power Authority, the plant’s operator.

Gilliland said there are no plans to order the plant to shut down, although NRC response teams are monitoring the incident. NRC resident inspectors were on the site, he said.

Update hourly