NRC to verify Millstone inspections, changes

Waterford - Unit 2 at the Millstone Power Station is one of eight nuclear power plants nationwide that will be subjected to additional checks by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to verify that inspections and plant modifications made to protect the plant from flooding were done correctly.

NRC staff will visit the plant July 15 - 17 to perform the audit, NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said Monday. The eight plants to receive the additional checks were chosen out of the 102 nuclear plants nationwide because of "lack of clarity" about how the inspections were done, NRC reviews of the inspection reports, and information gathered by NRC staff during its own inspections of the sites, Sheehan said.

The NRC ordered all nuclear plants to conduct inspections for flooding risks after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

Ken Holt, spokesman for Millstone owner Dominion, said the company's flood inspections identified 13 areas that needed to be addressed. Of those, 10 have been completed. Of the remaining three, work is underway to reinforce a building that stores fire safety equipment; repairs are scheduled for a panel and seals in a restricted-access area; and modifications to the third area are pending, Holt said. Repairs to fix a leak in a vent in the tunnel where cooling water is released into Long Island Sound must wait until the plant is shut down for refueling next spring, he said.

During the July visit, Sheehan said, NRC inspectors will review how Millstone staff conducted the evaluations, ask clarifying questions and, where necessary, examine the structures, systems and components involved.

A report summarizing the results will be issued within about 90 days after the audit.

j.benson@theday.com

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