Control room fire at Farley nuclear plant prompts NRC regulatory conference

Source: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a regulatory conference with officials of Southern Nuclear Operating Co. on July 12 to discuss an apparent violation of plant procedures that led to a fire in the control room of the Farley nuclear plant.

NRC and Southern Nuclear officials will discuss the significance of the inspection finding, which involved the failure to maintain the proper configuration of a system that supplies oil to the reactor coolant pumps. This condition resulted in an electrical short causing a fire in a switch on the Unit 1 main control board on Nov. 10, 2010 when that unit was not in operation. The fire was extinguished within approximately one minute. The risk was to both units since the plant has a shared control room.

The regulatory conference is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. EDT in the NRC’s Region II office, located at 245 Peachtree Center Ave., NE., Suite 1200, in Atlanta. The public is invited to observe and NRC officials will be available to answer questions.

The NRC evaluates regulatory performance at commercial nuclear power plants with a color-coded system which classifies findings as green, white, yellow or red, in increasing order of safety significance. The NRC’s preliminary evaluation determined that the violation at Farley was “white,” which means it has a low to moderate safety significance.

No decisions on the final safety significance or possible enforcement action will be made at the conference. Those decisions will be made by NRC officials at a later time. 

The NRC inspection report in which the apparent violation is documented is publicly available online at www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. The number to access the report is ML111590912.



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