NRC Issues Entergy a Violation After Second Pilgrim Inspection



PLYMOUTH – A special inspection of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station last month by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has resulted in another violation for the plant.

A report issued by the NRC this week reported that Entergy, owner and operator of the Plymouth plant, failed to follow-through on the maintenance of important systems.

The violation involved the breakdown of bearings on one of the pumps used to draw seawater from the bay into the plant.

That process then cools the reactor building through a closed system, but also cools emergency and safety-related systems.

The problems with the bearings were reported to plant staff in November and Entergy rebuilt the pump.

“It’s an issue that we believe the company should’ve caught earlier on,” said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. “We are certainly calling attention to it, but we are seeing some progress in terms of Entergy addressing these issues but clearly more work needs to be done.”

The NRC issued the plant a green non-cited violation, which represents a very low safety significance.

The NRC uses a color-coded system (green, white, yellow, red) in their violations to determine the level of safety significance.

Sheehan said that Entergy not prioritizing the problem with the bearings is worrisome.

“It does give us concern because that has been one of the areas of performance deficiency at the plant, where they have problems, they don’t get the kind of attention they need early on and they can lead to bigger problems,” said Sheehan.

The inspection was the second of three that were required by the NRC as part of the increased federal oversight of the plant.

Sheehan said that the violation from the NRC does not include a fine or penalty.

The third inspection of the plant is expected to take place later this year or early next year.

The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is expected to close in June 2019.


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  1. Jan Kelley says

    Another violation? Why are they waiting until 2019 to close this plant down? Is it going to take a full blown catastrophe before they realize what a danger this plant is? I’m appalled at the lack of concern for the welfare of the people who are within the dangerous radius of this standing time bomb. Serioysly, shut the plant down NOW!

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