were declared at two Progress Energy nuclear power plants in the Carolinas
over the weekend due to fires. There was also a fire at a nuclear power
plant in Ohio on Sunday
The blazes were put out and disaster averted, but the incidents underscore concerns about U.S. nuclear plants' failure to comply with fire safety regulations.
The first incident happened on Friday night at the Brunswick plant near Wilmington, N.C. There was no explosion or steam line break," the company stated. The plant remains closed today.
Another pair of fires was reported at Progress Energy's Robinson nuclear power plant near Hartsville, S.C. on Sunday evening on the plant's non-nuclear side.
Also on Sunday, fire broke out at Ohio-based FirstEnergy's Perry plant near Cleveland around 6 p.m. and burned for four hours, fed by oil in a water pump's lubrication system..
The emergencies "are a reminder that virtually all U.S. nuclear power plants remain in noncompliance with fire protection regulations," says Jim Warren, executive director of the N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an energy watchdog group.
Fire represents the leading risk factor for a U.S. nuclear plant meltdown.