NRC BEGINS SPECIAL INSPECTION AT OYSTER CREEK NUCLEAR PLANT

(The following press release from the NRC was received by e-mail. The sender 
verified the statement.) 
NRC BEGINS SPECIAL INSPECTION AT OYSTER CREEK NUCLEAR PLANT TO REVIEW ISSUES AT 
SITE DURING HURRICANE SANDY 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has initiated a Special Inspection at the 
Oyster Creek nuclear power plant in response to issues that arose when 
Hurricane Sandy impacted the facility on Oct. 29 and 30. The inspection began 
today at the plant, which is located in Lacey Township (Ocean County), N.J., 
and operated by Exelon.                                                          
The team of three NRC inspectors is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the 
company’s event declaration activities related to water level increases at the 
plant’s water intake structure during the storm. The Special Inspection will 
expand on reviews conducted during and after the storm by the NRC Resident 
Inspectors assigned to Oyster Creek.                                             
There were no actual impacts on the plant’s, NRC’s or state’s emergency 
response posture. All three entities were monitoring the storm’s arrival and 
potential impacts, with the emergency response facilities already staffed.       
“Because the reactor was out of service at the time of the storm for a 
previously scheduled refueling and maintenance outage, plant operators did not 
have to contend with the possibility of a reactor shutdown as Sandy passed 
through the area. There were no immediate safety concerns,” Region I 
Administrator Bill Dean said. “Nevertheless, there are certain observations 
involving procedures and on-site activities that surfaced during the event 
warranting a closer look. This Special Inspection will focus on those areas to 
gain a better understanding of how the intake water level information was 
monitored and communicated during the event.”                                    
As water rose in the plant’s water intake structure on Oct. 29, operators 
declared an “Unusual Event” – the lowest of four levels of emergency 
classification used by the NRC – at 6:55 p.m. when the level topped 4.5 feet 
above mean sea level. Subsequently, at about 8:45 p.m., an “Alert” was declared 
when the water level was 6 feet above mean sea level at the structure. An Alert 
is the second-lowest level of emergency classification. The water level rose 
due to a combination of a rising tide, wind direction and storm surge.           
Contact:                                                                    
Diane Screnci, (610) 337-5330
Neil Sheehan, (610) 337-5331 
(bjh) NY
 
 
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