NRC sends confirmatory action letter to Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel Facility

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Aug. 12 that it has sent a Confirmatory Action Letter to the Westinghouse nuclear fuel fabrication facility in Columbia, S.C., acknowledging corrective action commitments the company will complete before restarting some of its uranium processing operations.

In May, during an annual maintenance shutdown, plant employees discovered an accumulation of uranium-bearing material in a scrubber system, which is designed to remove unwanted material from a number of plant processes. There were no actual safety-related consequences as a result of the accumulation of the material, but the potential for such consequences may have existed. After an analysis showed the amount of uranium was much higher than anticipated, the NRC launched an inspection to review the issue.

The still-ongoing inspection prompted the need for the Confirmatory Action Letter, or CAL, which outlines a series of corrective actions Westinghouse has already taken or will perform before NRC-licensed operations involving the scrubber system can be resumed. A copy of the CAL will be placed on the NRC website and is available from the NRC’s Region II Office of Public Affairs.