The H.B. Robinson nuclear power plant will receive additional oversight, including a follow-up inspection, from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after a violation related to the company’s failure to perform adequate preventive maintenance on the dedicated shutdown diesel generator.
The Robinson plant is located near Hartsville, S.C., about 26 miles northwest of Florence, and is operated by Duke Energy.
The violation and increased oversight is linked to an inspection finding, which was discussed at a regulatory conference between Duke and the NRC in August. After reviewing the information from the inspection and the conference, the NRC staff determined that the finding was a violation and should be classified as white, meaning it has low to moderate safety significance.
The issue was identified after the failure of the diesel’s radiator fan belts and the subsequent automatic shutdown of the generator in October 2012. There was no actual event requiring the use of that diesel generator and it was repaired and returned to service. However, the fan belts were degraded, in part, because of inadequate inspection, maintenance and periodic replacement. The belt failures could have prevented the shutdown diesel generator from being available during a loss of power or a fire.