NRC will hold nuclear plant meeting Monday at Monticello Community Center

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold a public meeting Monday night March 31 to discuss the agency’s assessment of 2013 safety performance at the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant.

The meeting is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Monticello Community Center, 505 Walnut St.

The NRC will present its assessment of the plant’s 2013 performance, talk about agency activities, and be available to respond to questions or comments from the public. An assessment letter sent from the NRC Region III office to plant officials addresses the performance of the plant during 2013 and will serve as the basis for the discussion.

Overall, the NRC found the Monticello facility operated safely last year.

For the first quarter of 2013, the NRC’s assessment of Monticello’s performance had the plant in Column 1, which means it received standard NRC oversight. The plant moved to Column 3 in the second quarter, which resulted in increased inspection hours and oversight.

This was due to a yellow finding of substantial safety significance involving the plant’s failure to have procedures in place to fully address the effects of an external flooding scenario. The plant has taken corrective actions to address the violation.

“The plant’s decline in performance warrants additional oversight from the NRC. We expect to see improvement and will conduct an in-depth inspection to evaluate if the plant has fully understood the cause of the violation, the extent of the problem, and taken sufficient corrective actions to prevent recurrence,” said NRC Region III Administrator Cynthia D. Pederson. “We will address public questions and concerns about our findings and regulatory actions during the upcoming public meeting.”

The NRC letter also talks about a substantive cross-cutting issue in the area of human performance, specifically complete and accurate design documentation, procedures and work instructions.

The issue will remain open until the corrective actions taken prove to be effective and sustained performance improvement is observed in the human performance area. Cross-cutting issues are issues that affect multiple areas of plant operation.

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, as the safety significance of the issues involved increases. Performance indicators are statistical measurements of plant and equipment performance.

Inspections are performed by two NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant and by inspection specialists from the Region III Office in Lisle, Ill., and the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Md.

The most current performance information for Monticello is available on the NRC’s website, www.nrc.gov.

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