NRC Posts Plant High Performers

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 @ 01:03 PM gHale

All but three of the U.S.’ nuclear power plants were in the two highest performance categories after the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued annual letters to the nation’s 99 commercial facilities operating in 2016.

Of the 96 highest-performing reactors, 83 fully met all safety and security performance objectives and ended up inspected by the NRC using the normal “baseline” inspection program.

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Thirteen reactors ended up assessed by the NRC as needing to resolve one or two items of low safety significance.

For this performance level, regulatory oversight includes additional inspection and follow- up of corrective actions. Plants in this level are: Davis Besse (Ohio); Diablo Canyon 2 (California); Dresden 3 (Illinois); Ginna (New York); Grand Gulf (Mississippi); Hope Creek 1 (New Jersey); Monticello (Minnesota); Oyster Creek (New Jersey); Salem 2 (New Jersey); South Texas Project 1 and 2 (Texas); and Vogtle 1 and 2 (Georgia).

Oyster Creek and Vogtle 1 and 2 resolved their identified issues since the reporting period ended and transitioned to the highest performing level.

There were no reactors in the third performance category with a degraded level of performance.

Three reactors are in the fourth performance category. Arkansas Nuclear One 1 and 2 require increased oversight because of two safety findings of substantial significance. Pilgrim (Massachusetts) is in the fourth performance category because of long-standing issues of low-to-moderate safety significance. Reactors in this category receive additional inspections to confirm the performance issues end up addressed.

“These assessment letters are the result of a holistic review of operating performance at each domestic power reactor facility,” said Bill Dean, director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. “In addition to inspecting U.S. nuclear plants to verify that they are operating safely, the NRC continuously assesses their performance. The letters help our stakeholders understand our plant performance assessments and how we address any identified performance deficiencies.”

Later this spring and summer, the NRC will host a public meeting for each plant to discuss the details of the annual assessment results. Details for each event will release separately. In addition to the annual assessment letters, plants also receive an NRC inspection plan for the coming year.

Information on the NRC’s oversight of commercial nuclear power plants is available through the NRC’s webpage on the Reactor Oversight Process.

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