Nuclear plant shutdown brings NRC inspectors on site

Pilgrim nuclear power plant NRC special inspection Entergy Nuclear snowstorm Massachusetts shut down offsite power

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) began special inspections at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts.

The inspections stem from a storm-induced unplanned shutdown at the plant on Jan. 27. During the recent winter storm, one of two 345 kV lines that provide off-site power to the plant tripped. Operators with Entergy Nuclear (NYSE: ETR) began reducing power as a result. Around 50 percent power, the second line tripped, causing a scram around 4 a.m. Workers started the two emergency diesel generators and transferred electrical loads for safety systems to on-site power supplies. The transfer was started before loss of the off-site power lines.

The six-member team will review equipment issues that occurred during the shutdown, including partial loss of off-site power, the failure of a condensate pump motor associated with the plant’s High-Pressure Coolant Injection system, and the malfunctioning of one of the four safety relief valves. An inspection report will be issued 45 days after completion of the review.

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