NRC sets date to discuss apparent violation at North Anna nuclear station

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a regulatory conference with officials of Dominion on Friday, April 20 to discuss an apparent violation of plant technical specifications associated with a gasket failure on one of the North Anna nuclear power plant’s emergency diesel generators.

NRC and Dominion officials will discuss the significance of the inspection finding, which was identified when a gasket failure prevented one of the diesel generators from performing its function following the earthquake in late August 2011. The failed gasket was not caused by nor related to the earthquake. The gasket was replaced the same day and the problem was not found on the plant’s other diesel generators. However, NRC inspectors found that the plant staff did not have adequate procedures for installing the gasket. 

The regulatory conference is scheduled for 1 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 inspection finding at North Anna was “greater than green,” which means the actual significance has not been finalized, but it is greater than low safety significance.

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

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