PHOENIX (AP) — A reactor unit at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona was nearly back to full production Friday after what its operator described as a minor explosion in a cabinet that held electrical switching gear.
Arizona Public Service Co. reported the Tuesday night incident as an "unusual event," the lowest of four emergency levels classified by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company and an inspector with the regulatory commission said no radioactive material was released.
Palo Verde's Unit 1 automatically reduced its power production to 60 percent but started ramping back up Thursday, reaching 95 percent by early Friday afternoon.
APS spokesman Betty Dayyo said the explosion consisted of arcing inside a cabinet, called a "load center," that routes electricity to equipment in a turbine building. "This is really a minor incident," said Dayyo, adding the cause was under investigation.
Palo Verde's own fire department responded but found no fire, APS said.
Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas utilities own the three-reactor plant, 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix.