NRC Investigates Degraded Paint At Fermi NPP

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has launched a special inspection at the Fermi nuclear power plant to determine if degraded paint inside a portion of the reactor containment could impact certain safety systems in accident conditions.

Fermi NPPDuring a recent engineering inspection, the NRC noted a degradation in the paint inside the torus, a donut-shaped component of the reactor containment located below the reactor vessel. Filled with water, the torus is designed to absorb energy from the reactor or supply water to safety systems during an accident. Loose paint chips from the torus could potentially impede the flow of water to safety-related equipment, the agency said.

NRC’s five-person inspection team will focus on establishing a sequence of events related to degraded paint in the torus; reviewing the plant’s maintenance practices; and assessing the overall response since the discovery of the condition.

The inspectors will provide their preliminary conclusions regarding the significance of the issue in a publicly available report to be released approximately 45 days following completion of the inspection. The plant continues to operate safely. The Fermi plant, operated by DTE Electric Company, is located in Newport, Mich., approximately 25 miles northeast of Toledo.

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  • And they are saying the reactor doesn't have to be shut down for their inspection. How does that work? They won't actually look inside the torus, they will just review paperwork and see how to get DTE out of that mess without costing them money?

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    No Jessie - they do not have to shut it down.  The torus is about half full of (sometimes borated) water.  Divers enter it regularly to perform inspections and repairs.  Read about the function of a Torus before you make up nonsensical posts to try to scare people.

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Jessie, knowing there is degraded paint  that might be a problem is very different from knowing there is a problem. If you see a wasp near your house, you wouldn't fumigate the house until you've investigated if there may be a full hidden nest. Nuclear plants are very good at protecting the general public

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Southern Company plants always tracked coatings to ensure safety related coatings were always removed and replaced, at least by the next outage.  Calculations existed for how much coating material of non-safety related was allowed if safety related coatings were removed.  Al least this was the case before 2010.