LA Nuke Undergoes Leak Inspection

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 @ 02:12 PM gHale

After a leak during a routine test occurred earlier this month, a Baton Rouge, LA, nuclear station will undergo inspection by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Entergy’s River Bend plant, located about 30 miles north of Louisiana’s capital, was performing a routine test of its emergency backup diesel generators on Dec. 2, 2012 when workers discovered a leak in a generator cooling pipe.

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They immediately shut down the generator. While the plant continued to operate at 100 percent capacity at all times with the second emergency generator functioning, the NRC said the issue warrants its concern. Two other recent leaks at the plant are also a cause for concern, the NRC said.

“The purpose of this special inspection is to better understand the cause of the leak and review the licensee’s corrective actions,” said NRC Region IV Administrator Elmo E. Collins.

Two commission inspectors were already on site Dec. 14 and a third joined them Monday. They will review Entergy’s response to previous leaks involving emergency diesel generator piping and review the corrective actions taken.

When asked whether anyone publically reported the initial Dec. 2 leak, NRC Regional Spokesman Lara Uselding said it most likely was not because the leak took place during a pre-scheduled test and the plant was not offline at any time.

A full report on the inspection and the NRC’s findings will be publicly available within 45 days.

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