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Safety issue at Calvert Cliffs could spur additional oversight

Safety issue at Calvert Cliffs could spur additional oversight

By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

3:51 p.m. EDT , June 15, 2010

Federal regulators investigating an automatic plant shutdown in February of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant have found a safety issue deemed of low to moderate significance that may spur additional oversight.

Both reactors at the Lusby plant, owned by Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, shut down after an electrical malfunction caused by melting snow on a leaky roof prompted first one then a second reactor to shut down, a company spokesman said at the time.

Inspectors for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said they found some equipment at the plant had been used longer than the manufacturer recommended, without tests to determine whether it was still reliable, according to an NRC spokesman.

Dave Fitz, a spokesman for Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, said company officials were reviewing the findings.

“We’ve taken some immediate corrective actions and some long-term actions are planned,” he said.

NRC inspectors will finish its assessment within 90 days, and Constellation can either request a conference or provide additional information in writing. If the safety concern finding is finalized, then the NRC would provide additional oversight until the problems have been addressed.

The company has not yet determined whether to challenge the NRC’s findings, Fitz said.


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