United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

NRC Regional Administrator Authorizes Restart of Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant


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U. S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, REGION II

61 Forsyth Street, Suite 23T85, Atlanta, GA 30303

CONTACT: Ken Clark (Phone: 404/562-4416, E-mail: kmc2@nrc.gov)
Roger Hannah (Phone 404/562-4417, E-mail: rdh1@nrc.gov)

No: II-98-05

January 30, 1998

NRC REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR AUTHORIZES RESTART OF CRYSTAL RIVER NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region II Administrator Luis Reyes today granted permission for Florida Power Corporation to operate its Crystal River nuclear power plant.

The Crystal River plant, on the west coast of Florida, had been shut down since September 1996. After the plant was shut down, both the NRC and FPC discovered a number of design and engineering concerns, and the NRC staff issued a Confirmatory Action Letter in March 1997 outlining matters the plant staff would need to address and resolve prior to restart. The NRC formed a restart panel to review the issues and the company's corrective actions, and the Crystal River plant was placed on the NRC's list of plants requiring increased regulatory attention in 1997.

On Saturday, January 24, 1998, FPC notified the NRC that actions required in the CAL were complete and requested permission to return the plant to power operations.

In his letter authorizing restart, Reyes said the NRC has completed an assessment of the CAL items and considers each item closed. Reyes' letter gave concurrence to proceed to power operations in accordance with the plant license, and with the understanding that FPC will confer with the NRC before proceeding above the 50 percent and 90 percent power levels.

While FPC begins the process of bringing the plant back to full power, it will remain on the list requiring increased regulatory attention until the plant staff demonstrates a sustained period of improved performance.

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