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NRC: Despite April 2012 power outage, Catawba nuclear plant is safe

Posted By Andrew Kiel On May 1, 2013 @ 6:41 PM In State & Local News | Comments Disabled

Following a loss of offsite power last year at the Catawba Nuclear Station, officials at Duke Energy say a number of changes have now been made to prevent similar events in the future.

This week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and representatives from Duke Energy held a public forum on the annual assessment of the power plant.

Kevin Henderson, site vice president of the Catawba Plant, explains what’s changed since incident on April 4, 2012.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Henderson said the second half of the fix involved reworking the level of review given to products supplied by outside vendors.

A team of NRC inspectors work at the plant day in and day out to keep the plant’s day-to-day operations in line with federal regulations.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

The incident posed no threat to public safety, but Henderson says any incident — no matter how small — is scrutinized very carefully.

[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Following the loss of offsite power, one of the two reactors immediately shut down as Emergency Diesel Generators came online to power the plant.

That incident came two days after a fire in an on-site power inverter, that could have disabled certain equipment that would have started the emergency generators.

Duke officials and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have yet to identify a root cause for the loss of offsite power.

A similar incident of loss of outside power occurred at the plant in 1996.

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