Palisades upgraded to top performance category but remains under watchful eye of NRC
Palisades Nuclear Plant Photo: flickr.com
Caroline MacGregor November 12, 2012 | WGVU
While the improved
rating may come as a surprise given ongoing problems, federal authorities are taking
measures they say are not considered normal NRC procedure and Palisades will
remain under close scrutiny.
announcement that Palisades has been moved to the Category I classification, comes
on the heels of a report detailing results of a nine member on site NRC
inspection team this September.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it’s satisfied with the way Palisades has
addressed safety concerns, as the federal overseer of nuclear safety and
licensing, the agency is not taking any chances.
“We are keeping an increased level of oversight so in that sense we are still keeping a much closer eye on Palisades than any other plant in that first column.”
That was NRC
spokeswoman, Viktoria Mitlying, who says the NRC will carry out more than one thousand
extra hours of inspections next year.
Region III Administrator Chuck Casto says
while Palisades has demonstrated satisfactory resolution of the most
significant risk issues and there are no other immediate safety concerns, other
issues, including several leaks, continue. In response, he says, the NRC will
deviate from normal procedure and continue inspections at an elevated pace in
2013 to ensure the problems are resolved. The NRC will also be more proactive
in getting information out to the local community about safety and oversight.
2011, an electrical fault caused by workers resulted in Palisades being
downgraded to the third column, ranking it as one of the country’s worst
performing plants. The incident shut down one reactor and resulted in a loss of
power to indicators in the plant’s control room. Radiation released from steam was
considered within acceptable NRC levels.
weeks ago, Palisades passed a simulated emergency drill but was shut down on November
4th for three days because of a valve leak. The steam from that leak contained
low levels of radiation which were contained the building.
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