United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


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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-98-09

February 13, 1998

NRC STAFF SETS ENFORCEMENT CONFERENCE WITH CP&L TO DISCUSS REGULATORY CONCERNS AT ROBINSON

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a predecisional enforcement conference with Carolina Power & Light Company in Atlanta on February 19 to discuss regulatory concerns associated with the Robinson Nuclear Plant's design control process and the plant's safety injection pumps.

During an NRC inspection in April and May of 1997 and another follow-up inspection in early January 1998, the NRC staff identified two apparent violations which will be discussed at the enforcement conference.

The first apparent violation involves a number of calculation deficiencies which appear to indicate a programmatic problem in the plant's design control process. Nuclear plants use thousands of engineering calculations in the plant design, and the data in those calculations are then used in many of the plant's operating procedures and safety analyses. The NRC inspections found that numerous calculations at the Robinson plant contained errors. While the inspectors concluded that the safety significance of each individual calculation error was minor, the large number of deficiencies suggest an apparent broader problem in the design control program.

The second apparent violation resulted from a modification made to safety injection pumps in 1988. The plant's safety injection pumps are designed to provide water during accident situations, but the NRC inspectors found that in certain situations, the modification may not provide adequate water supply to allow the pumps to operate properly.

The conference will be held at 1:30 p.m. in the NRC Region II office in Atlanta, located on the 24th floor of the Atlanta Federal Center, 61 Forsyth Street, S. W. The meeting is open to observation by members of the public, and NRC officials will be available at its conclusion to answer questions from interested observers.

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

No decision on the apparent violations or any contemplated enforcement action, such as a civil penalty, will be made at the conference. Those decisions will be made by NRC officials at a later time.

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