Western Pa. nuclear plant reports false fire alarm

SHIPPINGPORT, Pa. (AP) – Officials with a western Pennsylvania nuclear power plant and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission say an “unusual event” report was spawned by a false fire alarm.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan says the “unusual event” designation is the lowest emergency classification used by the agency.

Sheehan and officials with FirstEnergy Corp. tell the Beaver County Times that Sunday’s incident at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station was reported because it took more than 15 minutes to confirm the alarm was false.

Sheehan says any report of a fire that lasts more than minutes – even if it is later unfounded – qualifies as an “unusual event.”

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Jennifer Young says increased humidity from water being used in one area of the plant likely set off a smoke detector. It was reported Sunday, just after midnight.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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