08.03.2019_No48 / News in Brief

All US Reactors In Top Two Performance Categories, Says Regulator

Security & Safety

8 Mar (NucNet): Ninety-three of the 98 commercial plants in the US nuclear fleet fully met all safety and security performance objectives in 2018 and all were in the two highest performance categories, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said yesterday.

Four reactors were assessed 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.

The NRC said plants in this category are Grand Gulf in Mississippi; Peach Bottom-2 and -3 in Pennsylvania; and Watts Bar-2 in Tennessee. Watts Bar-2 resolved its issues since the reporting period ended and has moved to the highest performing category.

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

The Pilgrim-1 plant in Massachusetts, owned and operated by Entergy, moved out of the lowest performance category – category four – because it had resolved issues of low-to-moderate safety significance. Reactors in this category receive additional inspections to confirm the performance issues are being addressed, and Pilgrim’s latest additional inspection concluded the plant can return to the highest performance level, the NRC said.

Pilgrim had been under increased NRC oversight after Entergy did not adequately evaluate the causes of unplanned shutdowns in 2013. Pilgrim is scheduled to close permanently on 31 May 2019 with Entergy blaming the closure on a number of financial factors.

The NRC uses a four-level “action matrix” to asses nuclear plant performance. Yesterday it said it had sent letters to all 98 commercial nuclear plants outlining the results of its annual assessments.

More details: https://bit.ly/2C98Q8t

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Trump Signs Bill To Modernise Nuclear Regulation (News in Brief No.13, 18 January 2019)

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