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Fire breaks out at Grand Coulee

Hydro power production was disrupted at Grand Coulee dam in the US when a fire broke out in one of the dam’s three power houses. The fire allegedly started after one of the dam’s circuit breakers malfunctioned while an operator was working on it. The fire was contained to the underground room where it started, but the power house was filled with thick smoke and the worker suffered burns to his arms and legs. He is reported as being in a satisfactory condition.

Of the 24 main generators at the dam, 14 shut down automatically because of the fire. Four other generators were already off-line for routine maintenance. The fire caused electricity production to be halved, losing 1800MW of power production. But Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal power-marketing agency to which all the power from the dam is routed, reported no disruption to its power transmission system.

‘The system was able to absorb it without any disruption,’ said Ed Mosey, a spokesman for BPA .