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NRC Begins Significant Activity under Heightened Oversight at Pilgrim Nuclear Plant

Neil Sheehan
Public Affairs Officer
Region I

A significant activity at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant gets underway today when a team of inspectors arrives at the Plymouth, Mass., facility to examine a variety of aspects of its operation.

Included on the 20-member team will be inspectors tasked with evaluating the state of equipment reliability, human performance, plant procedures and the plant’s corrective action program.

What’s more, the team will look carefully at the plant’s safety culture. Among other things, safety culture encompasses the willingness of plant employees to raise safety concerns without fear of reprisal.

This inspection is being performed as part of NRC increased oversight of Pilgrim, which was initiated in September 2015. That occurred after performance issues triggered a change in where the plant falls on the agency’s Action Matrix. The matrix uses inspection findings and performance indicators to guide the level of scrutiny at each plant.

The “95003” inspection process spells out the steps to be taken by the NRC staff to ensure a plant’s owner has taken the appropriate actions to remedy deficiencies. Two earlier team inspections, carried out in January and April, were also part of this oversight regimen.

The inspection beginning today will involve three weeks of on-site reviews. Any findings coming out of the evaluation will be made available in a report due out within 45 days of the inspection’s conclusion.

More information on the NRC review activities regarding Pilgrim can be found on a webpage devoted to that subject.

9 responses to “NRC Begins Significant Activity under Heightened Oversight at Pilgrim Nuclear Plant

  1. Public Pit Bull December 1, 2016 at 4:15 am

    I am glad that soon Pilgrim will be history. The phase-out of this unforgiving technology continues. Soon a “nuclear safety dome” will be in place in the US…
    “The Ukraine on Tuesday unveiled the world’s largest moveable metal structure over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant’s doomed fourth reactor to ensure the safety of Europeans for future generations.
    The gigantic arch soars 108 metres (355 feet) into the sky — making it taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty — while its weight of 36,000 tons is three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.”
    What a fitting monument to nuclear power!

    • Public Pit Bull December 1, 2016 at 4:55 am

      Yes Chernobyl ranks right up there with the 7 “Blunders” of the World!

      • Public Pit Bull December 3, 2016 at 9:56 am

        Keeping Up With China
        Work has begun on an over 100-million dollar, life-size replica of the Titanic in China which will allow visitors to relive the sinking which claimed 1,500 lives.
        I think China is onto something.
        Perhaps to stay competitive the US should build a Chernobyl replica. The death toll at Chernobyl is now estimated at 4,000. There were only 56 direct deaths there (47 accident workers & 9 children with thyroid cancer) however it is estimated that there may be 4,000 extra cancer deaths among the approximately 600,000 most highly exposed people. Plus with many nuke plants in the US shutting down prematurely there are plenty of locations to choose from to build such a replica.

  2. steamshovel2002 November 30, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Neil,
    Please explain “no significant groundwater leakage”….what ground water leakage does the pilgrim have? Remember VY had this undisclosed leakage when the plant had a operating license and it so called evaporated before it pooled. Does Pilgrim have any unexplained wet spots on the building walls or floors especially surrounding wet weather. I think you need a special inspection on this leakage at VY…explain the history of the leakage and what was leaking in the seismic gap, for the good of the industry. I am in dangerous territory assuming the design of VY is identical to Pilgrim.

    Mike Mulligan
    Hinsdale, NH

  3. Anonymous November 29, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I hope the NRC would get us some information on Pilgrim’s turbine/reactor building safety seismic seals. Particularly identify all water leakages into the reactor and turbine building. There are actually Fukushima issues here in Pilgrim. Did the severely compromised turbine/reactor building seismic seals make worst the water leakage inundating the Japanese plant? I am greatly concerned a generic safety problem discovered at a recently permanently shutdown nuclear plant wouldn’t translate into corrective actions at all applicable operating nuclear plants.
    Vermont Yankee recently discovered severely deteriorated turbine/reactor building seismic safety seals. They never did inspections or maintenance on these seals for the life of the plant. This dead plant was being inundated with radioactive contaminated “ground water” leaking into the plant.

    http://steamshovel2002.blogspot.com/2016/11/junk-plant-pilgrim-leaking-and-severely.html

    “Junk Plant Pilgrim: Leaking And Severely Deteriorated Turbine/Reactor Building Seismic Safety Seals”

    Mike Mulligan
    Hinsdale, NH

    • Moderator November 30, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      We are not aware of any significant groundwater leakage involving the turbine or reactor buildings at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. Likewise, we are not aware of any problems involving the seals designed to keep groundwater out of those structures. That said, we will share any information from upcoming inspections that indicates otherwise.

      Neil Sheehan

  4. Joan Holt November 28, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    The problem I have with this is that I don’t trust the NRC to put our safety ahead of the convenience and profits of Entergy. You are likely to identify some items, declare them to be of “no danger to the public,” let Entergy add them to their “To Do” list, give them one extension of time after another, and allow them to continue to operate—with no enforcement action or penalties assigned. Business as usual! The NRC is devoted to protection of the nuclear power industry and thus,is itself a danger to the public.

    Joan Holt
    Truro, MA 02666

  5. Public Pit Bull November 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Sorry NRC, it is just too little too late. Pilgrim has been a threat to public health & safety for a long time & you did nothing about it. Pilgrim has in fact had several abnormal events. Anyhow, in just a short while the plant will be shut down permanently. Why waste resources that can & should be used elsewhere?!

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