The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued its annual report on abnormal occurrences for fiscal year 2012, citing 21 events involving radioactive materials and one event at a commercial nuclear power plant.
An accident or event is considered an abnormal occurrence if it involves a major reduction in the degree of protection of public health and safety. Abnormal occurrences can include, but are not necessarily limited to, moderate exposure to or release of radioactive material licensed by the NRC or a state agency; major degradation of safety-related equipment; or major deficiencies in design, construction, use of or management controls for facilities or radioactive material at NRC-licensed facilities.
For FY 2012, there was one abnormal occurrence at an NRC-licensed nuclear power reactor. This event occurred June 7, 2011, at Fort Calhoun Station, with the fire and failure of a safety-related electrical breaker, and the subsequent loss of both trains of safety equipment. The public was never in danger, and there was no release of radioactivity. The NRC later determined that the event warranted a red finding for high safety significance under the agency’s Reactor Oversight Process.