NRC: Despite April 2012 power outage, Catawba nuclear plant is safe

Posted May 1, 2013 6:41 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News

Following a loss of offsite power last year at the Catawba Nuclear Station, officials at Duke Energy say a number of changes have now been made to prevent similar events in the future.

This week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and representatives from Duke Energy held a public forum on the annual assessment of the power plant.

Kevin Henderson, site vice president of the Catawba Plant, explains what’s changed since incident on April 4, 2012.

Henderson said the second half of the fix involved reworking the level of review given to products supplied by outside vendors.

A team of NRC inspectors work at the plant day in and day out to keep the plant’s day-to-day operations in line with federal regulations.

The incident posed no threat to public safety, but Henderson says any incident — no matter how small — is scrutinized very carefully.

Following the loss of offsite power, one of the two reactors immediately shut down as Emergency Diesel Generators came online to power the plant.

That incident came two days after a fire in an on-site power inverter, that could have disabled certain equipment that would have started the emergency generators.

Duke officials and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have yet to identify a root cause for the loss of offsite power.

A similar incident of loss of outside power occurred at the plant in 1996.