NRC meeting to focus on Indian Point performance

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will present details on its annual assessment of safety performance at the Indian Point nuclear power plant during a public meeting on May 20th in Tarrytown, N.Y.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Westchester Marriott, located at 670 White Plains Road. Doors to the room will open to the public at 6 p.m. For security purposes, local law-enforcement officers will be conducting searches of personal items, such as purses and backpacks, and random screenings at the room’s entry point.

NRC staff will be available starting at 6:30 p.m. to discuss issues related to the plant. Prior to the end of the 7 p.m. meeting, NRC staff will answer questions on the plant’s performance and the agency’s oversight activities at the Buchanan (Westchester County), N.Y., facility.

An audio recording will be made of the meeting, and that recording will be transcribed. Both the recording and the transcript will be made available on the NRC’s website, www.nrc.gov, at a later date.

Under the NRC’s Reactor Oversight Process, the agency gauges plant performance through the use of color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators, which are statistical measurements of plant performance that can trigger additional oversight if exceeded.

On an overall basis, Indian Point, which is owned by Entergy Nuclear Operations Inc., operated safely in 2014. As of the end of last year, the plant had no inspection findings or performance indicators that were greater than “green” (very low safety significance). Therefore, Indian Point Units 2 and 3 are currently under the NRC’s normal level of oversight.

The NRC’s normal level of oversight at each U.S. nuclear power plant involves thousands of hours of inspection. In 2014, the agency devoted approximately 8,280 hours of review at Indian Point.

The NRC will also review Entergy’s adherence to license renewal commitments for Indian Point 3. That unit’s initial 40-year operating license will expire on Dec. 12, 2015, but it will remain valid while the agency continues to review a license extension application for plant. Despite the lack of a final decision on the application, the NRC expects Entergy to abide by equipment maintenance and other commitments that would be formalized if the plant were to receive an extension.