Feb 19 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
said it will increase oversight activity at two New York nuclear
reactors due to declining performance trends seen last year, the
agency said on Tuesday.
The Nine Mile Point Unit 1, owned by Constellation Energy
Nuclear Group LLC, and the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power
plant, owned by Entergy Corp, both located in Scriba,
New York, were cited for different reasons.
Nine Mile Point 1 was cited because of the frequency of
unplanned scrams, or shutdowns, per 7,000 hours, or roughly 10
months of operation. Constellation is a joint venture between
Exelon and EDF Group of France.
If a plant has more than three unplanned scrams in that
period, the NRC's performance indicator goes from "green," the
least serious level, to "white," which subjects the plant to
additional NRC scrutiny, the agency said.
At the end of 2012, the Nine Mile Point 1 rolling average of
unplanned shutdowns stood at 3.5, the NRC said.
At FitzPatrick, the NRC is concerned about the number of
unplanned power changes per 7,000 hours of operation, the agency
If the number exceeds six during the period, the indicator
moves from "green" to "white" and the NRC steps up oversight.
FitzPatrick's rolling average was tallied at 6.5 at the end of
the fourth quarter of 2012.
"Performance indicators are designed to signal when there
are trends at nuclear power plants in need of additional
oversight by the NRC," Region I Administrator Bill Dean said in
Increased oversight will include a supplemental inspection
at each site to provide assurance that operators understand the
reasons for the indicator changes and that the issues have been
addressed, the NRC said.
"We will follow our process and ensure that any of the
underlying problems contributing to the Nine Mile Point 1 and
FitzPatrick indicator changes receive the attention they
deserve," Dean said.