Quake Plant gets more Oversight

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 @ 03:05 PM gHale

Dominion Virginia Power is now facing additional federal oversight at its North Anna Nuclear Power Station in central Virginia because of a safety violation related to its emergency diesel generators.

Inspectors found a gasket failure prevented one of the four diesel generators from performing its function following the August 5.8-magnitude earthquake, said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials. The earthquake did not cause the failed gasket, officials said. While workers replaced the gasket the same day, inspectors found the plant did not have adequate procedures for installing it.

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Richmond-based Dominion discussed the issue with federal regulations in April. The NRC has deemed it a “white” violation, or being of low to moderate safety significance.

The NRC evaluates performance at commercial nuclear power plants with a color-coded system that classifies findings as green, white, yellow or red, in increasing order of safety significance.

Dominion spokesman Rick Zuercher said the energy provider isn’t challenging the NRC’s findings but said the issue never posed any public threat and that maintenance procedures improved at the plant about 40 miles northwest of Richmond.