NRC to further oversight inspections of Monticello Nuclear Plant

Officials at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have decided to place Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant under increased NRC oversight after a recent NRC inspection finding.

Monticello’s recent performance improvements make it unnecessary to put the facility in the category of plants with multiple and systemic performance issues.

The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators that escalate from green to white, yellow and red: codes that signify the safety level of the issue.

The NRC’s 5-column action matrix reflects overall plant performance and agency response with the first column requiring a baseline level of inspections. If a plant slips into another column, an increased level of NRC oversight and inspections will follow, until the agency regains confidence in the plant’s ability to perform safely.

On Feb. 26 the NRC issued Monticello a greater-than-green security finding, which was identified in the fourth quarter of 2014. While the details of this issue are not publicly available, it is important to note that the plant has corrected the situation.

“Plants in Column 4 tend to have broad and systematic performance issues across multiple areas of plant operation," NRC Region III Administrator Cynthia D. Pederson said. "Our recent inspections demonstrate that Monticello’s performance does not warrant its placement in Column 4. However, we will make sure the plant can sustain the improvements made so far and has resolved the security finding.”

Monticello, operated by Northern States Power Company – Minnesota, is located in Monticello, Minn., 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis.