NRC to Hold Open House on May 23 in Limerick, Pa., to Discuss 2015 Performance of Limerick Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release

No. I-16-015 May 16, 2016
Contact: Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330 Neil Sheehan, 610-337-5331
 
NRC to Hold Open House on May 23 in Limerick, Pa., to Discuss 2015 Performance of Limerick Nuclear Power Plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct an open house on Monday, May 23, in Limerick, Pa., to discuss the agency’s annual review of safety performance at the Limerick nuclear power plant.

NRC staff will be at the Limerick Township Municipal Building, at 646 W. Ridge Pike, from 5 - 6:30 p.m. to discuss the plant’s performance in 2015 and the agency’s oversight plans for the remainder of 2016. On hand will be agency employees responsible for inspections of the plant, including the resident inspectors who are based full-time at the plant.

The NRC’s Reactor Oversight Process is the foundational program that enables the agency to successfully complete its mission of assessing plant safety. Under that program, the NRC gauges plant performance through the use of color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators, which are statistical measurements of plant performance that can trigger additional oversight if exceeded.

Based on its 2015 reviews, the NRC determined that the Limerick nuclear plant, which is owned by Exelon and is the site of two boiling-water reactors, operated safely during 2015. As of the end of last year, Limerick Units 1 and 2 had no inspection findings that were “greater than green” or no performance indicators that were other than “green” (very low safety significance) and will therefore receive the NRC’s normal battery of reviews, barring any changes.

The NRC’s normal level of oversight at each U.S. nuclear power plant involves thousands of hours of inspection. In 2015, the agency devoted approximately 5,300 hours of review at Limerick.

“Our Annual Assessments allow us to step back at regular intervals and size up plant performance. However, we view oversight of each facility as an ongoing responsibility,” Acting NRC Region I Administrator David Lew said. “In the case of Limerick, the plant’s current performance qualifies for our normal level of oversight.”

The NRC issues reports on performance at each plant twice a year: during the mid-cycle, or mid-point, of the year, and at the conclusion of the year. Inspection findings and performance indicators are also updated on a quarterly basis on the agency’s website. Following the release of the Annual Assessment letters each March, the NRC meets with the public in the vicinity of each plant to discuss the results. Normal inspections are carried out by the two resident inspectors assigned to Limerick. Reviews are also performed at the sites by specialist inspectors on a periodic basis.

Among the areas to be inspected this year at Limerick are radiological safety, fire protection and the plant’s problem identification and resolution program. In addition, the NRC will inspect the plant’s dry cask storage facility for spent nuclear fuel.

The Annual Assessment letter for Limerick, as well as the notice for the May 23 open house, are available on the NRC website. Current performance information is also available for Limerick Unit 1 and Unit 2.

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