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NRC to increase oversight at two nuclear power plants

By: Power Engineering |

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it was stepping up oversight at Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s Nine Mile Point 1 and Entergy (NYSE: ETR)’s Fitzpatrick nuclear power plants in New York as a result of changes in indicators used by the NRC to assess performance at reactors.

The color-coded performance indicators start with “Green” and then increase to “White,” “Yellow” or Red.”

Nine Mile Point Unit 1 had 3.5 scrams or shutdowns during the fourth quarter of 2012, which changed its status from “Green” to “White.” If a plant has more than three unplanned scrams per 7,000 hours of operation, the status changes.

At the Fitzpatrick plant, the indicator was tracking the number of unplanned power changes exceeding six per 7,000 hours of operation. Fitzpatrick’s rolling average was 6.5.

The increased over sight at the plants include supplemental inspection at each site to assure that plant operators are addressing the concerns.