NRC finds most nuclear plants had high marks in 2015 assessment

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) recently issued letters to the nation’s 99 commercial operating nuclear plants about their performance in 2015. All but three plants were in the two highest performance categories.

Of the 96 highest-performing reactors, 85 fully met all safety and security performance objectives. These reactors were inspected by the NRC using the normal “baseline” inspection program, NRC said in a March 4 news release.

Eleven reactors need to resolve one or two items of low safety significance. For this performance level, regulatory oversight includes additional inspections and follow-up of corrective actions. Plants in this level are: Clinton (Illinois); Davis Besse (Ohio); Dresden 2 (Illinois); Duane Arnold (Iowa); Indian Point 3 (New York); Millstone 3 (Connecticut); Prairie Island 2 (Minnesota); River Bend (Louisiana); Sequoyah 1 (Tennessee); and Susquehanna 1 and 2 (Pennsylvania).

Duane Arnold, Millstone 3, and Susquehanna 1 and 2 have resolved their issues since the reporting period ended and have transitioned to the highest performing level.

There were no reactors in the third performance category with a degraded level of performance.

There were three reactors in the fourth performance category. Arkansas Nuclear One 1 and 2 (Arkansas) require increased oversight because of two safety findings of substantial significance. Pilgrim (Massachusetts) is in the fourth performance category because of long-standing issues of low-to-moderate safety significance. Reactors in this category receive additional inspections and increased NRC management attention to confirm performance issues are being addressed.

NRC plans to hold public meetings to discuss the details of the annual assessment.



About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at