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Explosion reported at Plant Bowen (GA Power)
The Daily Tribune News ^ | 1 hr 39 mins ago 4/4/2013 | by Staff Report

Posted on 04/04/2013 3:12:05 PM PDT by higgmeister

An explosion has been reported at Georgia Power Plant Bowen. Injuries have been reported via scanner traffic, number and extent are unknown. The source of the explosion is believed to be a turbine within the powerhouse.

Read more: The Daily Tribune News - Explosion reported at Plant Bowen


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Local News; Science
KEYWORDS: industry; powergrid
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Shook homes in the area. Residents nearby report holes in one of the turbine towers. No deaths.
1 posted on 04/04/2013 3:12:05 PM PDT by higgmeister
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To: higgmeister
Shook homes in the area. Residents nearby report holes in one of the turbine towers. No deaths.

Turbine towers?

2 posted on 04/04/2013 3:16:27 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: higgmeister
My wife's brother-in-law worked there off-and-on for at lease 20 years. Was the supervisor of one of the crews installing the electrostatic precipitators. People in the area are hearing the loud sound of releasing steam as the facilities are shutdown. Channel 2 news just reported that there is only one injury so far.
3 posted on 04/04/2013 3:17:34 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: Steely Tom

4 posted on 04/04/2013 3:19:45 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister

I did some work there. Not many homes nearby. A little village a mile down the road, otherwise fields. They were very paranoid in the late 90’s about security. This was the only plant (including a nuclear plant) that thoroughly searched me and my truck. Also made calls to veriy my work there. I never found out why.


5 posted on 04/04/2013 3:19:59 PM PDT by mirkwood
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To: higgmeister

At 3,499 megawatts, Plant Bowen has the largest generating capacity of any coal-fired power plant in North America since the partial shutdown of Ontario Power Generation’s Nanticoke Generating Station in Canada. Wikipedia®


6 posted on 04/04/2013 3:21:56 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister

A turbine failure at 3600 RPM would be no fun. If the blades breach the outer shell, there would be an immediate release of energy in the form of thermal energy and the danger of scalding or lacerations by flying debris in the immediate vicinity high. Prayers for the injured.


7 posted on 04/04/2013 3:22:11 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: BipolarBob

Prayers indeed.


8 posted on 04/04/2013 3:23:18 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: Steely Tom

The turbines would be housed withing the main building. The towers associated with the power plant are evaporative cooling towers and are probably not involved in a turbine excursion.


9 posted on 04/04/2013 3:24:27 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: higgmeister

A steam turbine on a USN destroyer received a “slug” of water from the boiler instead of the required steam. The resultant “explosion” (actually, the blades broken from the rapidly spinning turbine, after being hit by water instead of steam) threw blades out a velocity which carried them from the engine room up through four steel decks.

A lot of energy is in those spinning turbines!


10 posted on 04/04/2013 3:25:31 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: BipolarBob
A turbine failure at 3600 RPM would be no fun. If the blades breach the outer shell, there would be an immediate release of energy in the form of thermal energy and the danger of scalding or lacerations by flying debris in the immediate vicinity high. Prayers for the injured.

There was an accident at the G-E LSTG plant in Schenectady long ago; I think it was in the '60s. What failed was an alternator rotor, not a turbine. It failed at 3600 RPM, and pieces of the rotor burst out of the test housing. Three were killed, and (if memory serves) one body was never found.

One man was on top of the housing looking at a meter when it happened.

11 posted on 04/04/2013 3:34:06 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: BwanaNdege
Yes, lots.

5:35 P.M. UPDATE - WYXC-AM reporter John Underwood says that the explosion took place in a cooling tower. There are reports that there are holes in the cooling towers.

Some people nearby said that airbags in their vehicles near the plant were set off by the explosion.

There have been no reports of casualties.


12 posted on 04/04/2013 3:36:49 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister
5:35 P.M. UPDATE - WYXC-AM reporter John Underwood says that the explosion took place in a cooling tower. There are reports that there are holes in the cooling towers.

Buildup of some flammable gas inside the tower finds an ignition source?

Some gas that's used in water treatment, maybe?

Whole lotta volume in those things. That concrete is pretty thin in places. The strength is in the top and bottom rings.

13 posted on 04/04/2013 3:39:18 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom

The alternator rotor is coupled to the main turbine but is not in direct contact with the steam path and therefore the housing is not as resistant. The speed is, of course, the same and therefore a tremendous amount of mechanical energy spinning that. Without more details everything is speculative.


14 posted on 04/04/2013 3:40:57 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: higgmeister
Here is and updated status log on Fox5Atlanta with some viewer comments.

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21883961/incident-investigated-at-georgia-power-plant-in-bartow-county

15 posted on 04/04/2013 3:41:08 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister

Stepping away for a few to get real work done before the end of the day. Be back later on. For full disclosure, I own some Southern Company stock.


16 posted on 04/04/2013 3:46:26 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: Steely Tom
Buildup of some flammable gas inside the tower finds an ignition source?

At this point there is no indication the cooling towers were the source of the accident but only the target of debris. There is probably no gas build-up in a cooling tower however they did a modification last year in which they are using less water through a thermosyphon cooler. How this works I am unsure at this time.

17 posted on 04/04/2013 3:47:12 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: higgmeister

bmark


18 posted on 04/04/2013 3:49:24 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: BipolarBob
The alternator rotor is coupled to the main turbine but is not in direct contact with the steam path and therefore the housing is not as resistant.

Well, the alternator housing is not a pressure vessel that's true, but there's a steel stator laminations and heavy copper bars a two or three feet thick surrounding the rotor on all sides.

The turbine housing on the other hand is made of high-grade steel and is a couple of inches thick. On the other hand, those low pressure blades are close to five feet long and weigh on the order of a hundred pounds each. One of those suckers flies off at 3600 rpm and you've got a problem.

The alternator rotors are solid steel, three or four feet in diameter (for 3600 rpm anyway). They weigh something like fifty or sixty tons.

19 posted on 04/04/2013 3:51:06 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom
Channel 2 News just showed a very large dark stain on the side of one of the chiller towers and speculated that was possibly a result of the explosion. You may be on to something. They also at one point said GA Pwr closed the area to inspect for chemical spills before crews could fully investigate.
20 posted on 04/04/2013 3:51:31 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: Steely Tom

The rotors come in larger sizes and can present problems if someone is not careful handling them. Here’s what happened this week just to the South of me.
http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/ElectricPower/21894074


21 posted on 04/04/2013 3:56:44 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: higgmeister

I based the “flammable gas in the cooling tower” idea on the reports of a very large report and house-shaking pressure wave out to a distance of miles from the site.

I don’t see how a turbine explosion could release that kind of pressure wave.

Even a flat-out boiler explosion would dissipate much of it’s energy against the walls of the plant.

But flammable gas inside the volume of one of those cooling towers could really release a hell of a pressure wave.

Be a cool thing to try, anyway. I mean, if anyone’s got a spare hyperbolic cooling tower laying around.


22 posted on 04/04/2013 3:57:08 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: BipolarBob
Here’s what happened this week just to the South of me.

Looks like they dropped a stator from a crane. One fatality. Nasty.

23 posted on 04/04/2013 3:59:39 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom

GA Pwr reported they were in the process of shutting down for maintenance when the event occurred.


24 posted on 04/04/2013 4:08:56 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister
Even a flat-out boiler explosion would dissipate much of it’s energy against the walls of the plant.

I'm obviously wrong about that one. I forgot that in the big plants the boiler is basically outside the plant, at least parts of it are (the steam drum at the top). The rest of it is inside the furnace; I think those are designed to handle a burned-through tube without blowing up.

25 posted on 04/04/2013 4:14:37 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: higgmeister

26 posted on 04/04/2013 4:16:33 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

Wow!


27 posted on 04/04/2013 4:20:11 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: HangnJudge
11Alive News just posted that four were injured.
28 posted on 04/04/2013 4:23:58 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: higgmeister

One H.ll of a “stain” on that cooling tower...


29 posted on 04/04/2013 4:26:44 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: higgmeister
Different angle


30 posted on 04/04/2013 4:38:38 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

What in the ... ??


31 posted on 04/04/2013 4:42:07 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom
What in the ... ??

My sentiments exactly...
Blast from ground level up,
or from inside the tower
No obvious structures external to tower effected

32 posted on 04/04/2013 4:48:24 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

No adjacent building!

Maybe someone tried to deep-fry a frozen cow right next to the tower?


33 posted on 04/04/2013 4:49:58 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom; BipolarBob

***Well, the alternator housing is not a pressure vessel that’s true,****

Actually it is. There is approximately 50 lb of pure hydrogen in the generator to cool it. If it went there would have been a massive explosion followed by the sealing oil fire. Very nasty!

This does not sound like a hydrogen gas explosion but more like the relief diaphrams on the LP turbines went, signifying a loss of condenser cooling water.

If it did, it would trip the unit and the main steam valves would slam shut, the reheat relief valve would open and dump reheat steam through the Intermediate turbine into the condenser.

The main Pop valves also went due to the sudden buildup of pressure when the main steam valves closed.

The “smoke” mentioned in the article looks more like water vapor leaking out of the various openings caused by the trip off and diaphram openings.

Other than that, I don’t know much about it. ;-)


34 posted on 04/04/2013 4:56:45 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (The murals in OKC are destroyed.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
There is approximately 50 lb of pure hydrogen in the generator to cool it.

Well, yeah, I didn't know they used that much, but I knew they kept positive pressure to keep air out.

But compared to the turbine housing... inlet steam at ~3000 psi (at least for fossil fuel plants) it's almost negligible.

35 posted on 04/04/2013 4:59:07 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: Steely Tom
Maybe someone tried to deep-fry a frozen cow
right next to the tower?

Cow nothing, maybe a mature Sperm Whale!

36 posted on 04/04/2013 5:01:08 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: higgmeister

Think that makes three Nuclear Plant accidents since Easetr Sunday. First they dropped the million pound turbine down in Arkansas, then supposedly a Switch Unit arced at another Plant and now this ? That makes three this week. Any Koreans working at these plants ?


37 posted on 04/04/2013 5:01:15 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: HangnJudge
Cow nothing, maybe a mature Sperm Whale!

There you go!

38 posted on 04/04/2013 5:01:59 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: justa-hairyape
Think that makes three Nuclear Plant accidents since Easetr Sunday.

This one's fossil-fueled. See the big pile of coal in the background in the picture at the top of the thread?

39 posted on 04/04/2013 5:03:25 PM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
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To: justa-hairyape

This is a coal power plant, right?

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/explosion-reported-at-georgia-powers-coal-fired-plant-bowen-near-euharlee-ga—reports-20130404-01023#.UV4Uy1d7yAc


40 posted on 04/04/2013 5:04:06 PM PDT by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: Steely Tom
On a old lap top right now. My main computer just acquired a very strange bug. Appears to be a hardware malfunction, but it is actually a software problem. Very weird.

Then the main commonality is the Turbine area having an accident, which is the same area an accident happened in Arkansas on Sunday. A couple of days in between we had a power switch arcing at a third power plant. Sure hope they are not targeting our power generation capabilities.

41 posted on 04/04/2013 5:13:17 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

There is approximately 50 lb of pure hydrogen in the generator to cool it.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thanks for this info. Do you mean 50 lb of hydrogen or 50 psi of hydrogen?


42 posted on 04/04/2013 5:14:37 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: Steely Tom; BipolarBob; Ruy Dias de Bivar; HangnJudge; BwanaNdege; mirkwood

Does anyone have an opinion on possible contributing personnel issues, subcontractors potentially not aware of processes, procedures or pratfalls or old-timers retiring to deplete the knowledge base?


43 posted on 04/04/2013 5:15:06 PM PDT by higgmeister ( In the Shadow of The Big Chicken!)
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To: HangnJudge

Maybe someone tried to deep-fry a frozen cow
right next to the tower?

Cow nothing, maybe a mature Sperm Whale!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Mature Sperm Whale nothing, maybe .....


44 posted on 04/04/2013 5:17:55 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: higgmeister
Might be useful to know why that unit was
in the process of a maintenance shutdown

Planned and routine, or unplanned and diagnostic

45 posted on 04/04/2013 5:20:29 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: loungitude
Mature Sperm Whale nothing, maybe .....

Herculean Turducken?

46 posted on 04/04/2013 5:25:04 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: HangnJudge

Sort of. Think “Let’s Move”.


47 posted on 04/04/2013 5:37:03 PM PDT by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: higgmeister

another bmark


48 posted on 04/04/2013 5:44:24 PM PDT by no-to-illegals (Scrutinize our government and Secure the Blessing of Freedom and Justice)
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To: loungitude

50-55 lb/PSI. 60 is ideal. 99.99% pure. You use an oil seal to keep the Hydrogen in the generator.


49 posted on 04/04/2013 6:03:57 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (The murals in OKC are destroyed.)
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To: higgmeister

Back in the early ‘90’s I worked an “Outage” at Oconee Nuclear as a Powerhouse Mechanic with a subcontractor. They ran us through two weeks of classes before we began the job.

This WAS nuclear, of course, was was probably far more stringent. However, back in 2009, I worked as a fiber optic engineer on a rebuilding project at a refinery in Beaumont TX after one of the hurricanes. Again, we all went through a very thorough class schedule, fully documented with permanent certification badges.


50 posted on 04/04/2013 6:05:06 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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