Monday, May 11, 2009

Prairie Island broke nuclear safety rules twice last year, but NRC says "No Big Deal"

Prairie Island plant twice violated safety rules, NRC announces.

Star Tribune

Last update: May 11, 2009 - 7:26 PM

Operators of the Prairie Island nuclear power plant twice violated federal nuclear safety rules last fall, but the violations did not pose a safety threat to the public or plant workers. (Bloggers note: Oh yes and we believe them,....right?)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the violations Monday, saying that they had "low to moderate safety significance" and that they would trigger additional NRC inspections and meetings, as opposed to a fine.

The plant, operated by Xcel Energy in Red Wing, is one of two operated by the utility in Minnesota; the other is in Monticello.

The agency gave this account of the incident:

On Oct. 29, workers at the plant loaded radioactive equipment and tools used for refueling the plant into a container and shipped them to a Pennsylvania field office operated by Westinghouse, the reactors' manufacturer.

Although radiation levels in the package conformed to federal rules (Bloggers Note: Which levels are set rediclously low) when the shipment left the plant, when it arrived in Pennsylvania an inspector found that those levels exceeded the maximum safe level on the surface of the container. (Bloggers Note: Hummm, very interesting, dont you think?)

NRC staff members concluded that the radiation spike was caused by a failure to prepare the package for shipment and a lack of training of workers.(Bloggers Note: And that has what to do with the increased levels of radiation?) The utility temporarily suspended its radioactive shipments and improved its handling procedures to the satisfaction of NRC officials. (Bloggers Note: Ah ha. Of course. Now move along people, theres nothing more to know here,.....or is there?)


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