An inspection started up at the Oyster Creek Generating Station in Lacey, NJ, in response to issues related to Hurricane Sandy, said Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials.
Three inspectors are reviewing activities related to water level increases at the plant’s water intake structure during the storm and will expand on reviews made during and after the storm by the NRC’s resident inspectors assigned to Oyster Creek.
“Because the reactor was out of service at the time of the storm for a previously scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, plant operators did not have to contend with the possibility of a reactor shutdown as Sandy passed through the area. There were no immediate safety concerns,” said Region I Administrator Bill Dean.
“Nevertheless, there are certain observations involving procedures and on-site activities that surfaced during the event warranting a closer look. This Special Inspection will focus on those areas to gain a better understanding of how the intake water level information was monitored and communicated during the event.”
An “Unusual Event” (the lowest of four levels of emergency classification) started Oct. 29 when water levels topped 4.5 feet above mean sea level. Officials then declared an alert at 8:45 p.m. when water was 6 feet above mean sea level at the plant’s water intake structure. Early Oct. 30, the water level had declined enough to eliminate the need for emergency classifications.
The inspection report should come out within 45 days of its completion.