Ammonia leak triggers "alert" at Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan

COLUMBIA, Ala. (WJHG/WECP)-- An "alert" was declared at Farley Nuclear Plant outside of Dothan, Alabama, after an ammonia leak was detected in the auxiliary building for Unit 1.

The alert was declared at 5:43 pm CDT and ended at 11:40 pm CDT. Alabama Power spokesperson Linda Brannon told our sister station WTVY-TV there was never a threat to the public.

Unit 1 was shutdown as part of a planned refueling outage when the leak was found. The auxiliary building was evacuated as a precaution while crews investigated and ammonia detecting equipment was brought in from the Dothan Fire Department.

An "alert" is the second least serious emergency condition for nuclear power plants.

Plant Farley has two pressurized water reactor (PWR) units which, combined, produce 1800 megawatts of base load generation. Unit 1 came online in December of 1977 and Unit 2 came online in July of 1981. Farley is owned by Alabama Power and is operated by Souther Nuclear. Both companies are subsidiaries of Southern Company, based in Atlanta.

Farley is one of three nuclear plants which, together, generate about 23 percent of the electricity for Souther Company. Plant Vogtle, outside of Augusta, Georgia, and Plant Hatch, outside Vidalia, Georgia, are the other nuclear plants in the Southern Company fleet.