Photo courtesy of Nimur

NEW HILL – Equipment malfunction at the Shearon Harris nuclear plant in New Hill—just more than 25 miles southeast of Chapel Hill—set off alarms at around 3:00 a.m. Thursday; the plant’s owner, Duke Energy, reports no radioactive material has leaked.

The alert was cancelled at around 5:00 a.m.

The reported equipment failure resulted in the loss of power to non-safety related equipment. As a precaution, emergency response facilities were being put in place early Thursday morning. There are also sirens set up in a ten-mile planning zone around the plant. Duke Energy officials said crews were standing by to activate those if needed and that they do not expect the situation to get any worse.

This is the second incident since May at the Shearon Harris plant when a microscopic crack was found in one of the plant’s reactors forcing it to be shut down and repaired in early June.