Digital Access

Digital Access
Access morrisherald-news.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Mail Delivery

Mail Delivery
We’ve got you covered! Get the best in local news, sports, community events, with focus on what’s coming up for the weekend. Weekly packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in Morris and Grundy County.
State

Fire at Zion plant posed no risks, authorities say

(MCT) — A small fire broke out Thursday morning at the shuttered nuclear plant in north suburban Zion, but authorities said it was put out with one extinguisher and there were no radiation leaks or risks to the public.

Workers involved in the decommissioning of the lakefront plant were using torches to cut bolts when some grease began to smoke and produce small flames, said Mark Walker of EnergySolutions, the contractor handling the decommissioning.

"There was no structural damage. It was very minimal. There was a lot of smoke because grease was involved," Walker said.

Zion Fire and Rescue Department Deputy Chief Greg Friedrich said the workers were inside a turbine when a spark from a torch ignited oil at the bottom of the turbine.

The call came in at 10:20 a.m., and the all-clear was given in an hour, Friedrich said. No injuries were reported.

Battalion Chief Eric Troy said the fire occurred far from the plant's spent nuclear fuel, adding that the fuel is stored safely on the site.

He said the Fire Department holds an annual training exercise to prepare its responders for a potential radiation spill. That includes a full-scale simulation in which firefighters practice the rescue of someone who has been exposed to radiation.

Troy said the risk of a catastrophic fire at the plant is less now than when the plant was producing power.

Lake County's Specialized Response Team also has been specially trained to respond to possible emergencies at the plant, Troy said.

The Zion Nuclear Power Station, which is about 40 miles north of Chicago, was built in the 1970s and closed in 1998. Its dismantling is expected to take several more years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Loading more