NRC begins special inspection at North Anna nuclear plant

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has dispatched a Special Inspection Team to the North Anna nuclear power plant, located near Mineral, Va., about 40 miles northwest of Richmond. The team is examining the discovery of a specific type of insulation found inside the containment buildings for the plant’s two units, which are operated by Dominion.

This insulation does not pose an immediate safety concern, but analyses completed for the plant did not appear to take into account the presence of this material inside containment. Material that may become loose inside containment, such as the insulation, could potentially block the flow of water during certain accident scenarios. The NRC team is seeking further information on the material at the North Anna plant.

The NRC’s Special Inspection Team is being led by a senior resident inspector from another plant and also includes one region-based inspector. The inspectors will review the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the insulation, assess why Dominion did not previously identify the presence of the material, review the company’s corrective actions and identify any generic issues for North Anna or other nuclear plants.

The special inspection began Monday, Oct. 4 and is expected to continue for about a week. The NRC will issue a report within 45 days of the completion of the inspection.

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