Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fire on Nuclear Submarine at a Navy Shipyard in Maine

6 people have been injured. The fire seems still burning. The reactor on board was not in danger at any time, according to Captain Bryant Fuller, Shipyard Commander for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

From CNN (5/24/2012):

(CNN) -- Firefighters were still battling a blaze in a nuclear submarine late Wednesday at a U.S. Navy shipyard in Maine - six hours after their initial response to it, a shipyard spokesman said.

Six people sustained injuries and subsequently received treatment either on the scene or at "a local medical facility", said Captain Bryant Fuller, Shipyard Commander for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. Among them was a firefighter evacuated due to heat exhaustion. Fuller described the man as "conscious and alert," in a statement read aloud to journalists.

"While the fire is not out, the situation is improving," he said at 11:45 p.m. Eastern time. "Due to the heat created by the fire, steam continues to emit from the ship from the firefighting efforts."

The USS Miami's reactor was not operating at any time the fire broke out and has remained unaffected and stable throughout, he said. The sub was in dock at the shipyard, when the blaze began, where it has been "since early March for an overhaul."

The fire started in a forward part of the ship away from the reactor, affecting "primarily living areas and command and control spaces," Fuller said.

The USS Miami is capable of carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles and Mark 48 torpedoes, but no weapons were on board, said Navy spokesman Lt. Myers Vasquez.

Local firefighters assisted the Navy's fire crew, who initially responded to the blaze at 5:41 p.m., Fuller said. State, local, and federal authorities were notified of the incident.

"The cause of the fire is not known at this time," Fuller said. " A full investigation will be conducted."

The Miami is a fast-attack submarine of the Los Angeles class, Vasquez said.

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established on June 12, 1800 and is the oldest continuously operating shipyard operated by the Navy, according to Gary Hildreth, a public affairs officer for the facility.


Technician 101 said...

Because of the unstable economy that the United States has been experiencing in recent years, more and more professionals are looking to make smart career changes that will help them land into jobs that will withstand the unstable economy.

Anonymous said...

I've read that the fire is out, now.

I must admit, it would have been interesting to see how they'd react to having a new nuclear disaster blow up in their face.

Anonymous said...

1. A nuclear reactor does not have an off switch like a car. So even if the reactor is in a stable cold shutdown, if the fire would reach it, the cold shutdown might not prevail.

2. A bit OT, but did you read about the british plans? You can check it here from the NYT:

The Gov is trying to sidestep EU regulation of direct subsidies to the construction of new nuclear power plants, by forcing a guaranteed price on the electricity supplied by nuke power facilities. So much about Nuclear is cheap... Without subsidies a nuclear power station can not be built... The British Gov is talking about $175 billion....

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the usual government hijinx. Cut corners on building, cut corners on maintenancing, cut corners on evacuating.

Post a Comment