Ormat Geothermal Pressure Leak

Southwest Reno was in concern today when reports of a possible explosion where reported.

The Ormat Geothermal power plant had been shut down for routine maintenance when a heater failed and pressure from the steam quickly built up in the oil tank.

The tank ruptured, causing an oil spill around midday Wednesday.

The plant uses geothermal steam to heat lubricating oil for the turbines.

At the same time, that tank caused a nearby pipe carrying isobutane to break.

The Reno Fire Department sent seven trucks as a precaution.

Ormat representatives say the oil is contained, and the isobutane safely dissipated.

Nobody was hurt.

Ormat says three-fourths of the plant will go back into service tomorrow as planned, but the damaged unit will take longer to repair.


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