NRC to discuss Duane Arnold maintenance procedures

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a regulatory conference with officials of NextEra Energy Duane Arnold, LLC, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, to discuss a preliminary inspection finding for weaknesses in a maintenance procedure at the Duane Arnold Energy Center. The plant is located in Palo, Iowa, eight miles northwest of Cedar Rapids.

NRC and company officials will discuss the significance of the inspection finding, which involved deficiencies in the procedure for replacing a heat exchanger on a standby diesel generator. This deficiency was the main cause for the failure of one of the two standby diesel generators during testing activities. The finding did not represent an immediate safety concern.

The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. CST in the NRC’s Region III office, located at 2443 Warrenville Road, in Lisle, Ill. The public is invited to observe and NRC officials will be available to answer questions.

The NRC evaluates regulatory performance at commercial nuclear power plants with a color-coded system that classifies findings as green, white, yellow or red, in increasing order of safety significance. The NRC’s preliminary evaluation determined that the violation at Duane Arnold was “white,” which means it has a low to moderate safety significance.