Millstone faulted in NRC audit

Millstone Nuclear Power Station made changes to important safety systems without gaining approval from regulators, an audit released today concluded.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission audit, conducted by the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation every three years, said Millstone officials had an appropriate system for managing commitments made to the agency, but that the system often had not been followed. In fact, in 10 cases Dominion had "misused" the process to treat NRC requirements as if they had been minor commitments, the audit found.

Millstone spokesman Ken Holt said this afternoon that Dominion is taking corrective actions.

"That's not the way we do business," he said.

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said there is no indication that Millstone's actions posed a danger to the public. But he said the audit findings are unusual and that most other plants show a "cleaner bill of health."

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