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A backup safety system at a South Carolina nuclear plant wouldn’t have worked even if they needed it, regulators said.

That finding means the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will increase its oversight and inspection of Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station near Seneca, SC.

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Oconee plant employees determined June 24 testing on the standby shutdown facility pressurizer heater breakers was not successful and the breakers were operable but degraded.

A special inspection team from the NRC then went down to the plant and evaluated the problem and issued a report.

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The standby shutdown facility needs to shut down the plant in case something like a tornado or flood hits and they can not use normal shutdown modes.

The problem was fixed promptly, and Duke is not appealing the findings, said Oconee spokeswoman Sandra Magee.

The NRC met with Duke officials last month to talk about the plant’s safety issues. NRC officials are coming back to Oconee in January for a follow-up inspection.

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