US nuclear plant under watchdog’s eyes after fault found

Catawba Nuclear Station, Unit 2
Catawba Nuclear Station, Unit 2

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that a fault found at Duke Energy’s Catawba nuclear power plant in South Carolina has a “low to moderate safety significance”.

As a result, the plant will be under increased oversight from the atomic watchdog until the agency is satisfied that the issue has been appropriately addressed.

The two-unit Catawba plant is near York, S.C., southwest of Charlotte.

In April, an electrical component on one of the Catawba Unit 2 emergency diesel generators failed during a scheduled test.

NRC inspectors reviewed the event and determined that the plant staff had failed to adequately develop and adjust preventive maintenance activities using operating experience, maintenance history and performance records.

The NRC preliminarily characterized the finding as white, or having low to moderate safety significance, and after reviewing Duke Energy’s response to the issue, the agency finalized the white finding.

The increased oversight resulting from this finding will include a supplemental inspection to ensure Duke Energy fully understands the issue and has taken appropriate corrective actions.