U.S. NRC hosting public meeting on Harris plant

May. 12, 2013 @ 04:58 AM

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a public meeting and open house on May 20 to discuss the agency’s assessment of safety performance during 2012 at the Harris nuclear power plant. The plant, operated by Duke Energy, is near New Hill, about 20 miles southwest of Raleigh.

An open house and poster session is scheduled from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Holly Springs Cultural Center, 300 West Ballentine St. in Holly Springs. At 6:30, the NRC staff will make a brief presentation and will be available to answer questions on the safety performance of the Harris plant last year, as well as the NRC role in ensuring safe plant operation.

“The NRC inspects nuclear plants and monitors their performance on an ongoing basis,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree. “We issue inspection reports throughout the year and we hold these annual meetings near each plant to discuss our oversight and answer any questions local residents may have.”

The NRC review concluded that the Harris plant operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety and protected the environment. The Harris plant was subject to increased NRC oversight as a result of one inspection finding of low to moderate safety significance last year. That finding was for failure to maintain adequate emergency facilities and equipment to support emergency response. An NRC follow-up inspection earlier this year found that the company had taken appropriate corrective actions for that issue, and the plant has now been returned to the normal level of NRC oversight and inspection.

A letter sent from the NRC Region II office to plant officials addresses the performance of the plant during 2012 and will serve as the basis for the meeting discussion. It is publicly available on the NRC website.

This year, the NRC plans to continue to conduct the very detailed inspections required at those plants, including Harris, that are operating well. In addition, the agency will complete an inspection related to buried piping at Harris.

Current performance information for the Harris plant is available on the NRC website.