The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is beginning a special inspection at Duke Energy’s (NYSE: DUK) 2,258 MW Catawba nuclear power plant to assess the circumstances surrounding an event on April 4 that resulted in both of the plant’s units losing offsite power.
One of the two units at the plant was already shut down for an outage and the other unit automatically shut down. The plant's emergency diesel generators started and provided power to the plant’s safety systems, which operated as needed. Plant employees were able to return offsite power a few hours later, but the event was reported as an Unusual Event, the lowest of four NRC emergency classifications for nuclear plants.
The Special Inspection Team will be composed of a total of three inspectors from the NRC’s Region II offices in Atlanta. The team will, among other things, develop a timeline, review Duke Energy’s actions leading up to the event and evaluate the company’s response.
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