The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has scheduled an inspection to begin in February at an Arkansas nuclear power plant where a worker was killed nearly 2Â½ years ago.
The 3,000 hour inspection at Arkansas Nuclear One, owned by Entergy Arkansas Inc., will be in addition to the 6,600 hours of normal annual inspections at the plant in Russellville.
The inspection will verify that Entergy holds its employees accountable and that maintenance is properly done, said Brian Tindell, a resident inspector for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at the plant.
This is going to be one of the first pivotal indicators of where (Entergy) is in its improvement, Tindell told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The NRC rates Arkansas Nuclear One, owned by Entergy Arkansas Inc., in column four of its overall performance ratings. Its the worst rating of all 100 nuclear plants in the country.
Any plant that falls to column five is required to be shut down.
Inspections since the fatal March 2013 accident found that Entergy failed to properly design, construct and maintain the seals that protect the safety-related equipment in the emergency diesel fuel storage building from flooding. The accident damaged a water main and thousands of gallons flooded into the turbine building. The exact cause for the flooding was not determined until early this year, and it tipped Arkansas Nuclear One into column four.
It will take Entergy two to three years to get back to column one, said Victor Dricks, a spokesman at the commissions regional headquarters in Arlington, Texas.
Entergys first evaluation of the accident didnt identify that its own performance was a large contributor to the accident, according to Tindell.
Were the ones who pointed out that they had a responsibility in the accident and thats what put them in column three and the other issues put them in column four, Tindell said.
The inspections will determine whether Entergy has put together a successful corrective action plan to identify and address its problems, said Jeremy Browning, site vice president for Entergy.
Entergy has been addressing the problems since June last year, Browning said. Company employees spent 25,000 hours assessing all aspects of its business in the past year, Browning said.
We have not discovered anything in and of itself that would pose significant increase to the risk of the operation of the (plant), Browning said. We have made significant improvements but we still have opportunities to continue to improve.
The accident involved a 1 million-pound generator stator that fell 30 feet when a crane moving it collapsed. A worker employed by a contractor was killed and eight others were injured.
The commission charges Entergy $225 per hour for its inspections, which will total about $2.3 million for 10,000 total hours next year.
(c) 2015 SANA Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers