Pacific Gas & Electric is considering an appeal of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's white safety status designation issued last week that cited the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant for failing to adequately maintain an emergency core cooling system at the plant in San Luis Obispo County, California.
The plant is equipped with two emergency core cooling systems that are to keep a reactor cool under certain adverse or accident conditions, the NRC noted in its announcement issued 29 December.
“During a scheduled test conducted in May workers discovered that a maintenance problem had rendered one of Unit 2 emergency cooling systems inoperable for an extended period of time, beginning as early as October 2014,” the NRC said.
The problem was traced to an improperly installed switch, the Associated Press reported. The AP also said that PG&E was considering an appeal of the ruling. The notice of an appeal came from a company spokesperson and from a released statement.
The NRC noted that PG&E had corrected the problem “and changes have been made to maintenance procedures to prevent recurrence.”
The NRC evaluates regulatory performance at commercial nuclear plants by assigning a color-coded status on operating plants under its purview. The color spectrum ranges from green to white, yellow then red indicating increasing levels of concern starting with green as safe and using white to indicate a finding of low to moderate safety concern, and so forth. The NRC has determined that this inspection finding was of low to moderate safety significance. With this level of concern, plants are subjected to an increased level of NRC inspections until the problem is resolved.
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