NRC Will Do Audit Of Flood Risks at Oyster Creek
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be visiting eight nuclear power plants-including Oyster Creek in Lacey Township- to do an audit of flooding reports filed by plants as part of a post-Fukushima assessment.
“To look at if there are any vulnerabilities there. Are there some areas where if the flood were to reach to a higher that any of their structures or components could be impacted?”
The flooding walkdowns analyzed possible flooding locations within the site. Inspectors will be on site in Oyster Creek from July 23rd to the 26th verifying the information in the reports submitted by Exelon.
“They will be looking at the company’s guidance procedures and documentation for the visual inspections they did, they’ll be asking clarifying questions of plant staff and they’ll be doing their own visual inspections.” Says NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.
Superstorm Sandy brought the dangers of flood damage to the forefront of attention, however Sheehan says flooding wasn’t the exact concern for Oyster Creek.
“The case with Sandy, the water levels got high at the intakes where for the plant, however the plant grounds themselves were never affected.”
He notes the analysis was actually conducted pre-Sandy, however he notes in the past, inspectors have found potential serious flood dangers at other plants that might almost seem insignificant compared with superstorm.
“Our inspectors went in to look at piping at a building and found seals were missing, and if the water did ever reach a safety levels it would affect safety equipment. The water would leak through the electrical conduits.”
“So we want to make sure that they have the proper flooding seals in place, that there are barriers available against flooding,”
A report summarizing the results will be issued within about 90 days after the audit.