United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment


NRC Seal NRC NEWS

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-98-57

May 15, 1998

NRC, PECO TO DISCUSS APPARENT VIOLATIONS AT PEACH BOTTOM PLANT

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will meet with officials of PECO Energy Company on Thursday, May 21, to discuss three apparent violations of agency requirements at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant. PECO owns and operates Peach Bottom, located in Delta, Pa., and home to twin boiling-water reactors.

The predecisional enforcement conference will begin at 10 a.m. in the Public Meeting Room at the NRC Region I office in King of Prussia, Pa. It will be open to the public for observation.

Two of the apparent violations stem from problems that affected a Unit 3 core spray pump. The component is part of the unit's core spray system, which would be used to keep the reactor core covered and cooled during a loss-of-coolant accident.

On March 24, PECO determined that foreign material had entered and was impeding the performance of a core spray pump. Upon further investigation, the utility learned that fibrous material -- apparently from protective padding that had been used on rigging employed to move equipment during modification work -- had become wrapped around parts of the pump's impeller. (The modification work involved the installation of expanded strainers, or screens, for the facility's emergency core cooling systems.)

The NRC has found that the failure to maintain the pump in a fully operable condition constitutes an apparent violation, as does the failure to carry out the modification work with instructions and procedures in place to prevent the introduction of foreign material into the core spray system.

Another apparent violation involves a failure by PECO to maintain a high-water level trip, or automatic shutdown, function on a Unit 2 reactor feedwater pump. Driven by variable-speed, steam-powered turbines, feedwater pumps provide a flow of water to the reactor, where it is heated and converted into steam, which in turn is used to produce electricity.

The decision to hold a predecisional enforcement conference does not mean that the NRC has determined 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 with an opportunity to point out any errors that may have been made in the NRC inspection report; and to enable the licensee to outline its proposed corrective action.

No decision on the apparent violations will be made at this conference. That decision will be made by NRC officials at a later time.


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