North Perry, OH Nuclear Plant Explosion, Apr 1978


North Perry, Ohio (UPI) -- An explosion, apparently triggered by sparks from an acetylene torch being used near propane gas tanks, rocked the reactor building at the $2 billion Perry Nuclear Power Plant,
injuring 10 construction workers.
Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. officials, who said the propane tanks were used to operate heaters used to cure concrete, were quick to say that no radioactive material was involved in Thursday's blast.
They said no radioactive material is at the construction site, where about 15 percent of the project has been completed.
All those injured suffered facial burns. Nine were treated at Lake County Memorial Hospital East, Painesville, and later were released, and the other victim was treated at the site.
An estimate of damage was not immediately available.
Two months ago, construction at the site was suspended by federal inspectors from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after it was determined that there were "substantial deficiencies" in the supervision of the project by the utility.
The NRC's regional office in Glen Ellyn, Ill., said its inspectors found fault with the training and inspection programs and with the way certain construction procedures were being followed.
It was the first time work had been halted by the government since construction of the plant -- east of Cleveland -- began in 1974.
The deficiencies reported by federal inspectors generally involved what the government refers to as its "quality assurance program" -- a system of inspection and verification required by the NRC to ensure the plant is being built as designed.
Work has resumed at the site in phases since the suspension of construction in February.
Some 1,150 persons have been employed in the construction of the plant.

Chronicle Telegram Elyria Ohio 1978-04-07