About 300 gallons of oil spilled out into the basement of the William R. Dickson Cogeneration Plant today at about noon. MIT personnel quickly spotted and stopped the leak of No. 6 fuel oil, which is considerably less flammable than home fuel oil.
The spill was contained to the basement of the building.
The Cambridge Fire Department and MIT's hazardous materials contractor responded to the scene and cleanup was expected to take four or five hours. The cause of the leak was not known.
MIT's cogeneration plant provides 80 percent of campus electrical power requirements. The operation of the power plant was unaffected and no impact was expected on the campus power supply.