NRC: No Additional Actions Needed Following Special Inspection at Pilgrim

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

PLYMOUTH – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says no additional actions will be taken against the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station following a special inspection of facility.

The NRC will keep Pilgrim in Column 4 of their action matrix, meaning the station remains as one of the three worst performing reactors in the country and one step away from a shutdown order.

A report issued by federal inspectors found 11 new safety violations, 10 of which are considered of low safety significance.

Officials say one of the violations, a problem with the installation of the plant’s emergency diesel generator radiator flower fan, could result in a more significant safety violation. A final ruling on the matter is expected later this summer.

The special inspection of the facility in December and January came after Pilgrim’s rating was downgraded due to repeated safety violations and a series of unplanned shutdowns. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has repeatedly stated they believe the station is operating safely.

But the Cape and Islands legislative delegation disagrees. Lawmakers asked the NRC to shut the station down after details were released on the latest inspection findings in March.

Pilgrim is scheduled to close in 2019.

Plant-owner Entergy will not have to comply with a post-Fukushima regulation to upgrade a vent system at the station. The NRC approved a request to defer the improvements because there would not be enough time for the design and approval process ahead of the plant’s closure.

In April, Entergy began the final re-fueling process at the station ahead of the 2019 shutdown.

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