PA Nuke Requires Special Inspections

Tuesday, September 8, 2015 @ 05:09 PM gHale

The Susquehanna Nuclear power plant needs to resolve low to moderate safety issues, according to a report released Thursday.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) made public its mid-cycle assessments of how the 96 highest-performing nuclear plants performed in the first half of 2015.

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While 75 of the facilities met their objectives, Talen Energy’s Susquehanna Nuclear plant in Salem Township, PA, was one of 21 that needed to resolve a low- to moderate-level safety finding, according to the NRC.

The finding at the plant, first reported in June, involved employees failing to notify state and local emergency responders within 15 minutes of identifying a potential steam leak in the reactor building during an April 17 training exercise.

“It’s not a new issue; it’s one that we finalized earlier this year,” NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said.

The finding means Units 1 and 2 get a higher level of attention from the NRC. Sheehan said a team from the agency will have to go in and do a supplemental assessment at the plant.

“They’ll need to notify us when they’re ready for a team of NRC inspectors to come in,” Sheehan said.

The company has communicated to the NRC the immediate steps taken by plant employees to remedy the issue, and continues to work with the federal agency, said Talen spokesman Todd L. Martin.

“Safety is a priority at Susquehanna Nuclear Station, and each and every one of Talen’s nuclear energy generating plants,” he said.

The plant had other findings in the first half of 2015, but they were of very low significance and ended up addressed, according to the reports for Units 1 and 2.

The other findings included not adequately storing excess combustible materials in accordance with the plant’s fire protection program requirements; not assessing and managing an increase in risk from online maintenance activities; and issues related to emergency preparedness.