One Killed, Eight Injured at ANO Accident

Interested in learning about workplace safety?  Click here.

THE COURIER / Joshua Mashon
UPDATE (11:33 a.m., April 1) - A statement from Entergy says six of the eight workers injured in Sunday's accident were treated for injuries and released from Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center. Officials have not released the names or status of the two other injured workers who remained hospitalized.


UPDATE (9:45 a.m., April 1) - Wade Walters, 24, of Russellville has been identified as the person killed in the accident at ANO Sunday morning.

Pope County Coroner Leonard Krout said the cause of death is under investigation.


UPDATE (5:00 p.m.) - An Entergy spokesperson told The Courier the total number of Arkansas Nuclear One employees injured in the Sunday morning accident at the plant was eight, not three, as earlier reported.

The spokesperson provided no other details about those injured, including their names or medical status.

One worker died in the accident.

The spokesperson said that even though the identity of the person killed has been reported by some media outlets and has been discussed in social media, Entergy officials have not released the name of the deceased at this time out of respect to the family.

The accident happened in a secondary area of the plant, in a non nuclear area, the spokesperson said at about 4:30 p.m.


UPDATE (4:10 p.m.) - According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the nuclear reactor at Arkansas Nuclear One was not affected by the Sunday morning accident at the plant. The agency stated there is no immediate threat to the public in Pope, Johnson and Yell counties.

Entergy officials confirmed Sunday that one person was killed, and three others injured in an accident at Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, and that no nuclear material was released during the incident.

The release states the accident occurred around 7:45 a.m. when a generator stator fell while being moved out of a turbine building.

The injured workers were transported to a local hospital, officials said.

Entergy officials say both units are in a "stable shutdown condition" and there is no danger to the public.

At an early afternoon press conference, Arkansas Nuclear One and Arkansas Department of Health officials told the media there was no release of nuclear materials following the industrial accident at the plant.

The area surrounding ANO was placed at emergency Level 4 because of the potential for local impact, but no call to evacuate was issued by the Arkansas Department of Health. Some evacuation signs were posted throughout the community today showing emergency evacuation routes.

Entergy officials said the reactor in Unit 2 is in a stable configuration.

An Arkansas Department of Health official categorized it has an industrial accident that did not involve any radiation or affect to the reactor.

Jeff Forbes, Executive VP and Chief Nuclear Officer, said, "We are deeply saddened by what has happened today. Out greatest sympathy is with the family and friends of the employee who lost his life and with those who sustained injuries. I also want to express my sorrow and support to all those who work at ANO. I know this is especially hard on them."


UPDATE (11:21 a.m.) - A person who witnessed the accident says one person was killed and two more injured when a large piece of equipment fell from a crane. Officials have not released names of anyone involved in the accident, but a press event is expected to be scheduled this afternoon.

A spokesperson for Entergy's nuclear division forwarded requests for information to Arkansas Nuclear One spokeswoman Donna Gregory.

Officials have said there is no threat to public safety following the accident.


UPDATE (9:43 a.m.) - According to Pope County Sheriff Aaron Duvall, a construction accident occurred at the plant, and there is no threat of leakage now and no threat of future leakage. He did not release further details about the incident.

Arkansas Nuclear One's two reactors generate enough power for about a third of the state, according to Entergy's website.

Read more: The Courier - Your Messenger for the River Valley - Construction accident at ANO Sunday morning