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"Unusual Event" occurred at northern Illinois nuclear plant

"Unusual Event" occurred at northern Illinois nuclear plant

By Matt Montgomery. CREATED Jan 30, 2012

MADISON - An incident occurred Monday morning at the Byron Nuclear Generating Station, in northern Illinois, and was declared an "Unusual Event", according to Wisconsin Emergency Management. 

They say that the state of Wisconsin is monitoring the loss of power to the northern Illinois nuclear power plant and officials report there is no danger to plant employees or nearby residents.

The two-unit plant is located at Byron, Illinois, about 17 miles southwest of Rockford.  Wisconsin Emergency Management assists with nuclear offsite emergency plans for the Byron plant for Walworth, Rock, Lafayette and Green Counties.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the plant automatically shut down in response to the loss of offsite power.  Officials say smoke was seen from an onsite station transformer but no evidence of fire was found.   Steam is currently being released from the non-nuclear side of the plant to aid in the cooling process and there is no threat to the public.

The "Unusual Event" is the lowest of four levels of the NRC's emergency classification system.     The Byron plant is operated by Exelon Corporation.