Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

Palo Verde Back To Normal After Scare

By KJ Mullins     Nov 4, 2007 in Environment
Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona is back to normal after a scare earlier Friday. It is the largest nuclear plant in the United States. On Friday an employee tried to enter the plant with what appeared to be a pipe bomb.
The plant was immediately locked down as investigators went to work. The plant still managed to function at a normal rate. When all three towers are running at the plant it can produce enough energy to power 1.5 million to 2 million homes in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
At this time only one of the towers is operating. Another is being refueled and should be functioning by mid December. The other is due to be back on the power grid soon.
The bomb that was found was a working explosive.
"Our examination and preliminary testing shows it is a viable improvised explosive device," said Capt. Paul Chagolla.
While the bomb was powerful enough to damage the truck it wouldn't have harmed the power plant.
The driver of the truck in which the bomb was found was an engineer who had worked at Palo Verde as a contractor. He was not arrested in the incident and cooperated with authorities. He was however detained to his apartment while a search was underway.
The mystery now is how the pipe bomb got into the truck bed of Roger Hurd, 61. Hurd is as puzzled as law enforcement.
"The mystery is how did it get in the truck and how he knew nothing about it. It's all very puzzling," Arpaio told Reuters, adding that a search of Hurd's Phoenix-area apartment turned up no clues. "There was nothing there that would connect him to the pipe bomb."
Hurd wasn't due to be in sensitive areas of the plant as he worked mostly in the administrative areas. The last time that he entered into a more sensitive area was on Oct. 17. He does however have access to those areas.
The fact that the pipe bomb was found was no accident. The security that surrounds the faculty is tight and every car that enters is inspected.
"It's not an accident they found it," he said. "It's not like an inspection you go through at the airport. The security is highly trained and they are damned good at what they do and they did it today."
There are residents that live less than a mile from the plant that has been in operation for two decades.
More about Palo verde, Nuclear power plant, Arizona