- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - The federal government has fined a contractor for an Idaho nuclear plant after an electrical explosion there last year.

Battelle Energy Alliance will pay $60,000 and complete a number of safety assessments following the April 23, 2015 incident, reported The Post Register (https://bit.ly/1ssy8Xw ).

Three Battelle workers were performing regular maintenance on a circuit breaker at the Idaho National Laboratory when they triggered a type of explosion called an arc flash, according to U.S. Department of Energy documents. It knocked the workers to the ground, but they were uninjured, the documents said.

In a letter addressed to lab Director Mark Peters, the Department of Energy said the explosion could have been prevented.

The event “revealed deficiencies in BEA’s hazard identification and assessment procedure, electrical safety program, protective equipment selection process, hazard prevention and abatement procedure, and safety training program,” the letter said.

Power workers have made changes to improve safety, said Ed Anderson, the Idaho National Laboratory’s chief operating officer for facilities and site services. He said they have compared training at the lab to other commercial utility workers and electric employees at other national labs.

The three workers involved in the accident, who have not been identified, still work at the Idaho National Laboratory, Anderson said.


Information from: Post Register, https://www.postregister.com

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