NRC Cites Ohio Nuclear Plant, Increases Oversight

Alleged violations include failure of personnel to prepare adequately for retracting a radioactive source range monitor from the reactor core, which could have overexposed workers.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued violations of low to moderate safety significance to thhe Perry Nuclear Power Plant and said they will result in "significantly increased" additional NRC oversight. The plant, located 35 miles northeast of Cleveland, Ohio, is operated by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. and is in NRC's Region III.

It is a operating under an operating license issued in 1986 and is a boiling water reactor, acording to NRC's online data. NRC posted a news release about the enforcment action on Aug. 26.

The alleged violations occurred April 21, 2011, when four workers were retracting a radioactive source range monitor from the reactor core while the plant was shut down for a refueling outage. They detected a rapid increase in radiation levels, stopped the procedure, and left the area immediately, according to the NRC news release.

"Even though there was no overexposure to the workers, no impact on the safety of the plant or the public, plant staff failed to conduct an adequate radiological evaluation of the activity and to implement necessary controls to eliminate a potential for overexposure," said Region III Administrator Mark Satorius. "We have inspected the plant's actions to make sure plant staff are prepared to conduct activities in accordance with safety requirements, and we will conduct additional inspections to ensure plant activities continue to be performed safely."

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