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Described as ‘low safety significance’


Staff writer

On Tuesday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission released its inspection report of Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant units 1 and 2, revealing three findings of very low safety significance.

The report states the findings include plant owner Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s failure to completely isolate a leak in the reactor coolant system pressure boundary, plant personnel’s failure to identify and properly account for a functional failure of an emergency diesel generator ventilation train and staff’s failure to perform corrective actions previously prescribed to address and correct drain failures that impacted safety-related equipment.

Kory Raftery, Calvert Cliffs spokesman, said Wednesday that in the instance of the drain failure, “We utilized the corrective program to successfully clean and clear the drains near the salt water pump, but found our vision was a little too narrow. As a team trying to always get better, we have since taken action to broaden our focus and put structured and robust maintenance programs in place for the other sections of drains downstream from the equipment to prevent this occurrence from happening again.”

All three findings are of very low safety significance, according to the report, because the inspectors determined the findings weren’t a design or qualification deficiency, didn’t represent a loss of safety system function and didn’t screen as potentially risk significant.

In addition, the first two findings have been identified as non-cited violations in the report because they have been entered into the plant’s corrective action program.

“Calvert Cliffs’ top value is the safety of our neighbors, our employees and our facility,” Raftery said, adding that the corrective action plan is one way staff is able to put safety first.

The findings are based on safety and compliance with the NRC’s rules and regulations and with the conditions of the plant’s license.

The inspection, which reviewed procedures and records, observed activities and interviewed personnel, covered a three-month period concluding Sept. 30.

During the inspection period, Unit 1’s power was reduced or shut down a total of six times from July 7 to Aug. 12 for failure of a circulating water pump, investigation and repair of a leak in containment from the wet layup connection on a steam generator, to isolate and repair a leak in the reactor coolant system pressure boundary, and for the dropping of a coolant rod into the reactor core.

Power of Unit 2 was reduced or shut down during the inspection period a total of three times for main condenser waterbox cleaning.