NRC Issues “Green” Inspection Finding to Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant


PLYMOUTH – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a “Green” inspection finding and non-cited violation to Entergy for an issue involving one of the emergency diesel generators at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth.

The “Green” finding represents a very low safety significance.

The issue had been preliminarily determined to be “Greater than Green”.

“This will not lead to an additional layer of increased oversight at Pilgrim,” said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.

The emergency diesel generators provide power to key safety systems in the event that off-site power to the site is interrupted.

The finding is related to Entergy’s failure in May 2000 to account for potential new failure mechanisms on a replacement relief valve on the emergency diesel generator radiator blower fan.

As a result, Entergy did not consider the need to periodically monitor or maintain the valve.

It subsequently failed in September 2016.

Employees noticed that there was oil on the floor and the level in the gearbox was below the recommended minimum.

A regulatory conference was held between the NRC and Entergy last month in Pennsylvania, where Entergy provided a presentation that described its assessment and corrective actions being taken.

The company conducted a 24-hour endurance test on the affect gearbox and components in June, which showed that the gearbox fulfilled its safety function and did not affect the generator’s performance with reduced oil.  

Those results were presented to the NRC in their meeting last month.

“We will of course follow up on that in upcoming inspections and make sure that they have taken all the necessary steps,” said Sheehan. “Based on what we understand at this point, we believe that to be the case.”


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