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Unexplained Explosion Shakes Nuclear Power Plant North of New York City


Unexplained Explosion Shakes Nuclear Power Plant North of New York City

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

In what witnesses described as a huge explosion, a transformer at the Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City caught on fire Saturday, billowing smoke and prompting the plant operator to shut down the impacted unit.

Witnesses documented the explosion on Twitter:


— Gustavus Gricius (@GustavusHimself) May 9, 2015


No problem , these plants are absolutely safe , don’t worry be happy , enjoy Mothers day , besides the wind is coming from the south today


Exactly correct, move on people, nothing to see hear. WE have everything under control. Go shopping. God bless America and we thank you for your service.


Switchyard transformers can explode at any other kind of power plant - it has nothing to do with the plant itself.

You all would be at least a little more credible if you spoke out against the far more numerous coal power plants - the largest single source of CO2 - with equal energy that you expend on nuclear plants…


Transformers often blow up – if your computer power supply ever goes out with a bang, that’s a transformer (more exactly, a capacitor that’s smoothing the output of the transformer) failing. And the explosions in cities that sound like a bomb going off, they’re transformers too.

They sound like a bomb because they’re abruptly releasing an enormous amount of electrical energy. They’re why you should never ever fool around inside a tv chassis or other similar electric/onic gubbins unless it’s been unplugged for a week (or, to really be safe, a month). The capacitors can still, even days later, have a charge that can kill you stone dead if you accidentally ground them out through your body.

The take-home is that the ones associated with nuke power have nothing to do with the nuclear part of the plant. They’re filtering and massaging the electricity before sending it on its way.


point taken , I woke up feeling especially snide this morning , tho lets see just how this shakes out . I’ve never claimed much in the credibility department more just an opinionated bonehead , who would like to see the alternative energy avenue more vigorously perused and the nuc industry discontinued , as I’m sure the folks in Japan would concur ? Im not sure if the plant in NY is the same as the Japan models but if there is no reason for concern I pause to wonder why the shutdown ? I surmise the backup electrical system is not under water . But thanks for the rattle , I’ll try not to be so reactive in the future after a grumpy wake up !


How comforting to know that they are not able to design a foolproof low tech item like a transformer, yet are able to build nuclear reactors that are failsafe,… almost.


I just did a little research and discovered that there’s another way transformers can blow up, and that’s electrochemically.

A sudden large surge of input, if it’s large enough and fast enough, can cause an arc between windings before the automatic circuit breaker can pull the plug. This can pressurise the container and, especially if it’s old, cause a rupture and ignite the surrounding cooling oil. So you get the equivalent of a bomb and a fire, which appears to be what happened this morning at the nuke plant.


My Mr. Coffee does a better job of boiling water for my coffee than a new-q-lur plant.


Most transformers never fail catastrophically, they just degrade til they expire.

And there are solutions ( http://www.transproco.com/how-transformer-protector-works/ ) to the problem of the Really Big Ones going out with a bang. But they’re expensive, and since catastrophic failures are relatively rare --this one this morning, like the ConEd one in NYC 5 years ago, didn’t do more than scare people and cause property damage–there’s not a lot of motivation to install such solutions. They should be installed, but that’s Capitalism for ya.


Where does it get its power from?


Right. And the plan is to run a pipeline of fracked, explosive gas along this plant.


More such safe energy to come from Obama’s 9 billion dollar investment in Georgia Power company’s expansion of their nuclear power capacity to blow up the whole Southeast. No problem. Diablo Canyon nuclear power disaster on the CA coast near San Louis Obispo. How many do we need to watch, see, hear, smell as we eat more and more of that radioactivity in our organic vegetables? And how much more will Democrats welcome Hillary to add to the Obama insults?


Big power transformers are oil cooled and if they over heat, the oil can catch fire. The loud bangs that one often hears in conjunction with a power failure are usually just the cut-outs (explosive-propelled fuse-switches) blowing. You can see such cutouts at every pole transformer. As a kid, I once witnessed a squirrel get electrocuted when he or she climbed the pole to the transformer and touched the 13kV primary tap. There was a loud “bang!” which I though was the poor squirrel exploding, but it was just the cutout blowing. The squirrel fell to the ground dead, but intact.

That childhood memory has always led me to be very caerful around electric stuff. BTW, when working on HV power supplies like old TVs once had and microwave ovens still do, rather than wait, one can simply discharge the capacitor with a old screwdriver which one does not mind burning off a bit of the tip of the screwdriver. Better yet is a screwdriver onto which is attached a ground wire and 10k or so resistor.


The degree of design effort into the safety of something is a function of the consequences of failure. For example the design effort and hardware used in, say, a porch swing, has nothing like the design and materials quality control, fail-safe redundancies and factors of safety that the hardware used in an airplane - or large nuclear reactor - does.

I am so tired of the way in the US leftists seem to confuse anti-capitalism with luddism. Marx, or even Bakunin, would support nuclear energy - as long as it is the workers, not the bosses, who own and run the reactor for the benefit of all their brothers and sisters


Hey, lets all just salute that there flag and be real "Merikans!!! Don’t complain!! Its a nice hot day here in Flo-ri-DUH (don’t believe that there globul warmin-its a lie!!!)
Everyone just listen to Fox News and chant "USA! USA!! And keep on moving-nothing to see here!!!..


Not at all. Until they make a Mr. Coffee machine that can brew coffee all by itself every day for 50 years using a energy source the size of a BB (roughly the actual amount of enriched uranium used to produce the 10,000 kwh the coffee machine would use over that long time), then the nuclear plant will be way ahead of any other electric source.


If not a nuclear plant, from which the coffee maker would consume just a tiny piece of uranium, then the coffee maker would consume several tons of coal - emitting about 15 tons of CO2.


And the cup of coffee has to constantly reheat itself for a month, until you drink it.


Yes exactly. There is a coal powered plant that I think is in Japan, and the weirdest thing has happened. No one can stop the damn thing. It just keeps burning the damn stuff and no one can stop it!