Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Cited with 4 New Safety Violations

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

COURTESY PILGRIM NUCLEAR POWER STATION

PLYMOUTH – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is citing the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth with 4 new safety-related violations.

They were all discovered during the agency’s third-quarter inspection of the facility.

The violations include problems with the plant’s diesel generators, radiation monitor substations, several electrical relays and primary containment isolation valves.

The NRC lists all of the violations as “very low significance” and said all of the safety issues have since been addressed by Pilgrim.

“These are considered to be of very low safety significance, but nevertheless, we are always on the lookout for any trends or patterns,” said NRC Spokesman Neil Sheehan.

In its first finding, the NRC said Entergy did not adequately assess the operability of one of Pilgrim’s emergency diesel generators while it was in a testing configuration for an extended period of time.

The agency said electrical cabinet doors were opened during the testing, which could have adversely affected electrical relays and the emergency diesel generator’s ability to operate during a seismic event.

In a second finding, it was determined Entergy did not conduct what are known as “functional failure” reviews and therefore did not recognize that several radiation monitor subsystems had exceeded their performance criteria under the NRC’s Maintenance Rule.

NRC also faulted Entergy for not implementing preventive maintenance procedural requirements to periodically replace six electrical relays.

That resulted in the relays being in place in systems beyond their recommended service life of 10 years.

The NRC said that could have adversely affected the reliability of two containment isolation valves. Five of the six relays had been in service for 31 years and one for 17 years.

In its final finding, the agency said Entergy did not perform a timely evaluation of the operability of primary containment isolation valves.

They were equipped with electrical relays that were in place beyond their recommended service life.

“These are all things that once they were identified, they were quickly remedied,” said Entergy spokesman Patrick O’Brien.

The NRC said it took Entergy 74 days and four different operability determinations upon discovery of the degraded electrical relays to conclude that the primary containment isolation valves were operable.

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