NRC begins River Bend nuclear plant inspection after lightning strike

River Bend Nuclear Station
River Bend Nuclear Station | Courtesy of Entergy Corp.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) began a special inspection of the River Bend Nuclear Station near St. Francisville, Louisiana, this week.

An unplanned shutdown of the plant, operated by Entergy Operations Inc., was triggered on Jan. 9 after a lightning strike caused a surge in off-site power supplies. NRC staff will analyze the incident on site to examine

 the plant's root-cause analysis, analyze any maintenance done on plant systems and judge the adequacy of corrective actions that were taken.

The NRC said a full report of this weeklong investigation will be released approximately 45 days after the completion of the investigation.

The NRC said post-lightning strike actions by the plant operators were taken, such as putting the plant in safe-shutdown mode. The next day, shutdown cooling was unavailable for one hour due to operational errors, the NRC said in a statement.

“The purpose of this special inspection is to better understand the circumstances surrounding the loss of shutdown cooling, determine if operator response was appropriate and review the licensee’s corrective actions to ensure that the cause of the event, including associated equipment problems and any contributing operator actions, have been effectively addressed,” NRC Region IV Administrator Marc Dapas said.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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