Cooper Nuclear Station

Cooper Nuclear Station

A firefighting crew extinguished a blaze at the Cooper Nuclear Station southeast of Brownville, Nebraska, on Saturday.

Workers at the facility discovered hazardous gas in the basement of the plant just before 9:05 a.m., according to a Nebraska Public Power District press release. They then detected a fire within the piping system.

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The station’s fire brigade, wearing protective gear and using oxygen equipment, extinguished the fire at 9:51 a.m., said Mark Becker, an NPPD spokesman.

Additional staff members were brought in to monitor the station’s piping, assess damage to equipment, provide engineering support and make sure that the fire did not restart. The monitoring ended at 3 p.m., when workers were confident that the fire would not start up again, Becker said.

Conditions at the plant never threatened public safety, Becker said, and the plant remained stable and operational during the fire. No one was injured, he said.

It wasn’t clear Saturday afternoon what sort of gas was detected, Becker said. Plant officials have reported the incident to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he said.

Bob Glissmann helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow him on Twitter @BobGlissmann. Phone: 402-444-1109.

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