NRC will hold Monticello nuclear plant performance open house

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold an open house July 9 to discuss the agency’s assessment of the Monticello nuclear plant’s safety performance for last year.
During the open house, which is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Monticello Community Center, 505 Walnut St., in Monticello, attendees will have an opportunity to hold one-on-one discussions with NRC staff members about the plant’s 2012 performance and the agency’s oversight of the facility. NRC staff on hand will include the inspectors assigned to the plant on a full-time basis, and staff from the Region III Office in Lisle, Ill.
The assessment letter sent from the NRC Region III office to plant officials addresses the performance of the plant during 2012 and will serve as the basis for the discussion.
Overall, the Monticello plant operated safely during 2012. At the conclusion of last year, all performance indicators and inspection findings for the facility were green, or of very low risk. As a result, Monticello will continue to receive the NRC’s normal level of oversight during 2013.
“When the NRC evaluates the performance of the Monticello plant for the previous year, we take a look at any and all issues that might be of concern,” said Region III Administrator Charles Casto in a news release. “Then we map out our inspection plans for that specific facility, issue inspection reports and hold public meetings near the plant in order to discuss our oversight and answer questions from local residents.”
The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess nuclear plant performance. The colors start with green and then increase to white, yellow, or red, commensurate with the safety significance of the issues involved. Performance indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance.
Inspections are performed by two NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant and by specialist inspectors from the Region III Office in Lisle, Ill., and the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Md. Among the areas of performance to be inspected this year by NRC specialists are activities associated with radiological safety, independent spent fuel storage, emergency preparedness and fire protection.