United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Enforcement Conference Scheduled with Wisconsin Electric on Team Inspection Findings at Point Beach



NRC Seal NRC NEWS

U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION III

801 Warrenville Road, Lisle IL 60532

CONTACT:    Jan Strasma (630) 829-9663/e-mail: rjs2@nrc.gov
Angela Dauginas (630) 829-9662/e-mail: opa3@nrc.gov

NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: RIII-97-26

March 7, 1997

ENFORCEMENT CONFERENCE SCHEDULED WITH WISCONSIN ELECTRIC ON TEAM INSPECTION FINDINGS AT POINT BEACH

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will meet on April 9 with representatives of Wisconsin Electric Power Co. for a predecisional enforcement conference on apparent violations of NRC requirements found during a special team inspection at the Point Beach Nuclear Power Station.

The Operational Safety Team Inspection took place in December at the plant, located near Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and at the utility's corporate offices in Milwaukee. The team's preliminary findings were presented January 31 in a meeting with the utility, which was open to public observation.

The predecisional enforcement conference, which is open to public observation, will be at 10 a.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, NRC Region III Offices, 801 Warrenville Road, Lisle, Illinois.

The enforcement conference will cover four apparent violations identified by the team:

1. The systematic failure of the utility's corrective action system to assure that problems are adequately resolved. The team found 17 examples of problems that had been known to the utility but which were not corrected in a timely manner.

2. A change in how the plant's shutdown cooling system was used during a refueling outage might affect the consequences of certain accident conditions, but the utility did not seek appropriate review and approval by the NRC, as required.

3. and 4. Two violations associated with inadequate testing of the plant's emergency diesel generators.

The decision to hold an enforcement conference does not mean the NRC has determined that a violation has occurred or that enforcement action will be taken. Rather, the purpose is to discuss apparent violations, their causes and safety significance; to provide the licensee an opportunity to point out any errors that may have been made in the NRC inspection report; and to enable the company to outline its proposed corrective actions.

No decisions on the apparent violations or any contemplated enforcement action, such as a fine, will be made at this conference. Those decisions will be made by senior NRC officials at a later date.

The report of the Operational Safety Team Inspection is available on the NRC's internet web site at: <http://www.nrc.gov/OPA/reports>. The transmittal letter and executive summary are available by fax from the NRC Office of Public Affairs in Region III.

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