NRC to hold public session on Oyster Creek violation

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will conduct a public regulatory conference at its King of Prussia offices on March 9 to discuss an apparent violation at Exelon’s Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in New Jersey, where inspectors in December discovered one of five pressure relief valves was not functioning.

The NRC on Jan. 25 issued a violation notice involving one of the plant’s five electromatic relief valves, which would be used to depressurize the reactor during a pipe break to allow coolant to be injected into the reactor core. The violation was classified as “white,” of low to moderate safety significance. If it were upheld, it would result in additional NRC oversight.

Exelon Nuclear agreed to shut down the 625-megawatt power station in 2019, at least 10 years before its license expires, in a deal with New Jersey regulators that allowed it to operate without building expensive cooling towers.