Shutdowns prompt increased oversight at Plymouth nuke plant
PLYMOUTH – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be watching Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station’s performance more closely because of complications during unplanned shutdowns of the facility’s reactor over the past year.
The NRC on Monday released third quarter performance reports for the nation’s 100 nuclear power plants.
Pilgrim, which is owned by Entergy Nuclear and located in Plymouth, had two shutdowns with complications so far this year. Such shutdowns should be extremely rare, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan. The maximum allowed by the NRC in a year is one.
Pilgrim will receive “an increased level of oversight,” Sheehan wrote in an email. An NRC inspection team will visit the plant and scrutinize the root cause for recent problems.
Pilgrim is also walking a fine line for unplanned shutdowns in general. No more than three are allowed in a 7,000-hour period of operation. When the third quarter ended, the plant was at 2.9. That number did not include the Oct. 14 unplanned shutdown, which will be considered at the end of the fourth quarter.