NRC to increase Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant oversight

NRC to increase Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant oversight.
NRC to increase Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant oversight.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced on Wednesday that a recent inspection finding at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant will result in increased oversight of the Plymouth, Massachusetts, facility. 

The plant has been moved to Column 4 of the NRC's Action Matrix, which indicates that the facility requires the highest levels of oversight and is one step above the column that indicates unacceptable performance. 

“The most recent finding highlights the continuing weaknesses in the implementation of Entergy’s program for identifying, evaluating and resolving problems at Pilgrim,” NRC Region I Administrator Dan Dorman said. “Our increased oversight will focus on understanding the reasons for those weaknesses and the actions needed to achieve sustained improvements.”

The facility was located within Column 3 after unplanned shutdowns were found to have not received full evaluations from Entergy, the owner of the plant. While those have since been addressed the NRC explains that a recent finding from Jan. 2015 indicated that safety relief valves were not up to NRC performance standards, prompting the switch in oversight levels. This review took place after a storm-induced shutdown of the facility. 

They will also be determining necessary regulatory action and further examining factors that played a part in the unplanned shutdowns from 2013 and 2015.