Pilgrim 4th Quarter Inspection Report Includes Minor Violation


PLYMOUTH – The final quarterly inspection report for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth has been released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and includes one “green” finding and one licensee-identified violation.

Pilgrim experienced a shutdown on October 5 due to the improper installation of connectors associated with a feedwater regulating valve.

Specifically, Entergy, the plant’s owner, did not adequately secure wire connections in the valve controller during maintenance, which caused the valve to fail closed when the connections came loose unexpectedly.

All safety systems responded as designed during the shutdown.

When looking further into the incident, plant officials determined the technicians who were performing the maintenance did not follow proper procedures.

“This has to do with not only the clarity of procedures being used, and management oversight,” said Neil Sheehan, an NRC spokesman. “Management oversight during these activities was less than effective.”

Sheehan said the plant or the public were never in danger as it safely shut down during the incident.

“They’ve taken corrective actions and they are going to do their best to make sure that not only are the procedures more clearly articulation, but also that management oversight has increased,” Sheehan said. “We’ll be following up with inspections to make sure that is the case.”

Sheehan said the incident was another example of how operators need to be vigilant while maintenance activities are taking place.

The inspection report also included a licensee-reported green finding that dealt with inoperable source range monitors in the reactor core which measure power levels.

Pilgrim issued a statement following the inspection report:

“The quarterly inspection report identified one issue which resulted in a green non-cited violation (lowest safety significance) and one self-identified violation which demonstrates we are identifying and addressing our issues. Pilgrim continues to drive performance improvement through identifying and correcting issues in a timely manner commensurate with safety significance.”

The plant remains under the highest level of NRC oversight, Column 4, as it prepares to shut down the reactor on May 31.

Sheehan said the violations will be taken into account as the NRC decides whether the plant should return to a normal level of oversight prior to its shutdown.

The NRC completed its fifth and final Confirmatory Action Letter quarterly inspection in December and found no safety findings or violations that were classified as more than minor.

The inspection report also indicated that the plant has taken the proper actions to address the final 40 safety deficiencies of the 156 outlined in the 2017 Confirmatory Action Letter.

The NRC will be conducting annual assessment reviews for all plants around the country.

The results of the annual assessment review and a decision on if the plant qualifies to transition to a more normal level of oversight are expected to be released sometime in March.

About CapeCod.com NewsCenter

The award-winning CapeCod.com NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy