Transformer causes fire at Watts Bar nuclear plant

Authorities say the fire was due to a faulty transformer. (Image: WTVC)

Several fire crews responded to a fire at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant on Tuesday night. Authorities tell us the fire was caused by a failed transformer, and the nuclear reactor was not affected.

TVA public relations manager Jim Hopson tells Newschannel 9 the fire started around 9:11 Tuesday night in the switchyard, and crews responded around 9:20.

Hopson said the fire was extinguished by and it appears that transformer is to blame.

However, the TVA is still investigating the exact cause.

Hopson said the building housing the nuclear reactor was never threatened by the fire. Firefighters were able to put the fire out as of 10:20 p.m.

He also said no injuries were reported and there is no danger to the public.

Hopson said the event forced TVA to declare a rare "unusual event" at Watts Bar. That's the least of their emergency classifications.

According to the TVA, their transformers are cooled by oil, so they are prone to catching fire when they do fail.

So, all things considered, things could have been much worse.

Fire crews from Rhea and Meigs County also assisted in the emergency.

Hopson said at no point was the public in any danger.

Depend on NewsChannel 9 to bring you updates on this story online and on air as they are made available.

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