NRC investigates brief loss of intake cooling function at Turkey Point nuclear plant

Source: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff began a special inspection at FPL’s Turkey Point nuclear power plant to assess the circumstances surrounding the brief loss of the intake cooling water function at one of the plant’s two nuclear units.

On Aug. 11, Turkey Point Unit 3 lost the function of the intake cooling water system for about 20 minutes when an open valve closed and then failed in that closed position. The intake cooling water system provides cooling to important plant equipment. The NRC staff determined that because the failure resulted in the loss of a safety system and because there is also a potential generic concern, a special inspection was appropriate.

The NRC special inspection team is composed of two inspectors from the NRC’s region office in Atlanta as well as an acting resident inspector already at the Turkey Point plant. The team will develop a timeline and review FPL’s response to the event, assess the plant’s ability to meet its design functions, review maintenance and testing performed for the valve, and assess the company’s problem investigation activities.

The on-site portion of the inspection will be completed this week, and a report documenting the results should be issued within 45 days of the completion of the inspection. 

Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Unit 3 is a 720-megawatt pressurized water reactor that began commercial operations in 1972 and received approval in 2002 from the NRC to extend its operating license through 2032.


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