More NRC Oversight at Seabrook

Thursday, August 9, 2012 @ 05:08 PM gHale


New Hampshire’s Seabrook nuclear power plant will receive additional oversight after a “white” finding following an inspection during an emergency exercise.

During the April exercise, plant personnel did not develop and make proper initial protective action recommendations to states, based on radiological conditions at the time, said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). However, their recommendations did become correct as the exercise went on.

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During these exercises, the NRC assesses the company’s on-site emergency response capabilities, including the ability to evaluate and respond to a significant event, and to communicate what is going on to state, county and local authorities. Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency assesses off-site response.

The “white” inspection finding has to do with during the company’s critique of the exercise, conducted April 17-19, plant personnel failed to identify the error regarding the incorrect protective action recommendations. As the NRC inspection report on the exercise states, this represents a “performance deficiency that was reasonably within NextEra’s ability to foresee and prevent.”

The report also states, “specifically, the failure of NextEra personnel to effectively identify an exercise weakness associated with a risk-significant planning standard caused a missed opportunity to identify and correct an exercise-related performance deficiency.”

The commission said plant owner NextEra did not contest the finding and provided results of an analysis of the issue.

The commission will do a supplemental inspection at Seabrook to evaluate its evaluation.

All U.S. nuclear plants must undergo a graded full-scale emergency exercise once every two years.



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