NRC Releases Inspection Report on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant


PLYMOUTH – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released its second quarter inspection report for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth.

It contains five “green”, or very low safety significance non-cited violations, one severity Level IV violation and one violation identified by Entergy.

“If we identify issues that we believe need to be cited, and therefore demand corrective actions on the part of the company, we won’t hesitate to put those out there,” said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.

Two of the green inspection findings are associated with an event that took place on March 31.

At that time, operators incorrectly realigned valves, causing 55,000 gallons of water to rush out of a storage tank and into the base of the reactor.

Inspection findings included a failure to follow procedures and failure by Pilgrim control room operators to recognize an issue with the water level indicators.

Another two of the inspection findings were associated with Entergy removing the safety function of standby gas and secondary containment.

“The plant remains under very high levels of NRC oversight because of its placement in column four of our action matrix,” said Sheehan. “We will be conducting follow-up inspections on a quarterly basis in relation to that.”

In response, Pilgrim issued a statement:

“The NRC’s Second Quarter inspection report continues to represent the low threshold for finding and resolving issues at Pilgrim established both by the regulator and our dedicated staff. The NRC categorized all findings in the report as very low safety significance, and the report’s observations will be carefully reviewed to preclude recurrence. We work to continuously strengthen our ability to self-identify and resolve issues in a timely and effective manner, as documented in this report.

 The quarterly inspection reports are issued after the events they describe have occurred and been successfully resolved. The findings were entered into our formal corrective action program to determine causes and planned actions and track future performance. We remain focused on safe and reliable operations and are committed to meeting our regulatory requirements through the plant’s shutdown, planned no later than June 1, 2019.”


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