The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is inspecting the Susquehanna nuclear power plant in northeastern Pennsylvania after the facility underwent three unexpected shutdowns in recent months. Despite the plant's operator saying the facility is safe and stable, a three-member team of federal regulators is investigating the performance and equipment reliability at the plant, The Associated Press reported.
The unplanned shutdowns occurred between November 9 and December 19, the article stated. The latest shutdown happened after a valve failed to open during plant startup, which caused the water supply to be interrupted at one of the facility's two reactors. A spokesperson for the operator of the plant, PPL (NYSE:PPL), has said the reactor shutdowns did not pose a safety threat, adding they completed their own internal investigation.
Neil Sheehan of the NRC said any recommendations the regulators make following their inspection should include increased oversight of plant operations, according to the AP.
“Corrective actions can take a number of forms, including changes to operator training, revisions to plant procedures and equipment repairs and/or modifications,” Sheehan told The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. “We want to ensure that these actions are effective and will help to prevent a recurrence of problems like those experienced during the Dec. 19 shutdown.”