NRC issues White finding to Wolf Creek

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that an inspection finding at the Wolf Creek nuclear plant issued in connection with a 2013 emergency preparedness exercise is of low to moderate safety significance. The plant, located near Burlington, Kan., is operated by Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation.

The NRC evaluates regulatory performance at commercial nuclear plants with a color-coded process that classifies inspection findings as green, white, yellow or red in order of increasing safety significance. This white finding is associated with a violation of an NRC requirement.

NRC inspectors observed and evaluated a regularly scheduled emergency preparedness exercise at the site on Nov. 5, 2013. During the exercise, the NRC found that the licensee had not addressed a previously identified error involving software used to assess offsite radiation dose during a plant emergency. Dose assessment is a key component of a plant operator’s emergency response, and it is important that it be accurate.

The NRC report details the inspection findings. NRC held a regulatory conference with Wolf Creek officials on April 30, and after considering information provided by the licensee determined that a white finding was appropriate to characterize the risk significance of the event.

The NRC will determine the appropriate level of agency oversight and notify company officials of the decision in a separate letter.