Mar 24, 2003
PPL Susquehanna briefly declared an "unusual event," the lowest of four emergency classifications for U.S. nuclear power plants, Monday afternoon because an injured worker, contaminated with radioactive material, had to be taken from the plant for medical treatment at an area hospital.
The event, which lasted just over two hours, posed no threat to public safety.
"A contract worker tripped and fell to the floor inside the containment structure surrounding the Unit 2 reactor while erecting scaffolding to support the ongoing planned refueling and inspection outage," said Herbert D. Woodeshick, special assistant to the president for PPL Susquehanna.
He said standard procedure for nuclear power plants is to declare a low-level emergency in response to incidents of this nature. The unusual event was declared at 4:52 p.m. and ended at 7:15 p.m.
"Plant workers and local emergency responders quickly controlled the situation and helped get the worker to the hospital, which is equipped to handle a contamination event," Woodeshick said.
Injuries the worker sustained in the fall are not life-threatening, he said, and the low-level radioactive contamination, which was confined to the worker's protective clothing, represents no long-term health risk.
The Susquehanna plant, located in Luzerne County about seven miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna.
PPL Susquehanna is one of PPL Corporation's generating facilities. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation controls about 11,500 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to customers in Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom and Latin America.
SOURCE: PPL Susquehanna
CONTACT: PPL Susquehanna Media Operations Center, +1-570-759-2285
Web site: http://www.pplweb.com/