NRC finalizes Three Mile Island flood danger finding

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The Three Mile Island 1 nuclear power plant will receive additional oversight from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after an inspection found problems with safety equipment from flooding. The finding, which has now been finalized, was identified by NRC inspectors during one of the agency’s numerous post-Fukushima reviews of U.S. reactors. The safety finding was given the color code “white” indicating  low to moderate safety significance.

The finding will result in additional scrutiny until the agency is satisfied the relevant issues have been properly evaluated and corrective actions have been implemented. While the NRC’s annual assessment of 2012 performance indicated the agency would carry out the normal level of inspection at the facility, today’s letter adjusts the agency’s regulatory oversight of the unit.

During a visual inspection of Three Mile Island 1’s protections against flooding last fall, NRC inspectors determined that the company had failed to identify and correct, during external flood barrier assessments, a problem involving electrical cable conduits – that is, pipes holding such cables. The conduits, located in the plant’s air intake tunnel, were not adequately sealed to maintain the integrity of the flood barrier. In the event of severe flooding, the problem had the potential to pose a threat to plant safety equipment.

Subsequent to the identification of the issue, Exelon took action to seal the conduits and restore the integrity of the external flood barrier. Three Mile Island 1 is located in Middletown, Pa., and operated by Exelon Generation Co. LLC. (NYSE: EXC).

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