United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


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U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION I

475 Allendale Road, King of Prussia, Pa. 19406

CONTACT: Diane Screnci (610)337-5330/ e-mail: dps@nrc.gov
Neil A. Sheehan (610)337-5331/e-mail: nas@nrc.gov

I-97-9

January 30, 1997

 

NRC SUPPLEMENTS CONFIRMATORY ACTION LETTER TO MAINE YANKEE

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has issued a supplement to an earlier letter to Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company, confirming the utility's agreement to complete a number of actions before restarting its Maine Yankee nuclear plant in Wiscasset, Maine.

On December 18, NRC issued a confirmatory action letter to Maine Yankee, documenting the company's commitment to take specific actions to address cable separation and logic circuit testing deficiencies at the plant, including determining the extent of these problems and the root causes.

This supplement to the confirmatory action letter came in response to a series of problems identified by the NRC and the company. As a result of Maine Yankee's continuing review of the NRC's Integrated Safety Assessment Team (ISAT) report, plant personnel have found additional design and configuration control problems. In addition, on November 9, the plant experienced a complete loss of offsite power, and the NRC staff has determined the existing offsite power capability does not meet the current design and licensing basis. Further, the facility's current technical specifications associated with the offsite power capability are not adequate to ensure the plant will operate within its licensing basis.

The supplement to the NRC's confirmatory action letter provides that prior to restarting the plant, Maine Yankee will:

1. Submit an amendment request to the plant's technical specifications to require that when the reactor is critical, both 115-kilovolt incoming lines shall be operable and allow continued operations for 72 hours with one line inoperable, and 24 hours with both lines out of service. The company will not restart the facility until the NRC staff approves the revision to ensure the plant is operated within its design and licensing bases.

2. Assess the recent findings in light of their overall impact on safe plant operations. This assessment will deal with plant officials' understanding of the extent of design and configuration issues and their root causes. It will also contain a more complete definition of plans to address these issues, including actions that may need to be completed prior to plant restart. Plant officials will be required to meet with the NRC to discuss their response, providing a written answer detailing their assessment prior to the meeting. At the meeting, they will be asked to address the information and actions included in the original letter.

The provisions of the original confirmatory action letter remain in effect.

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