According to a new quarterly report issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, the plant has racked up another three violations. The violations are considered “low in safety significance” but “more than minor”by the NRC.
Perhaps of most concern is the violation related to the boraflex panels in Pilgrim’s spent fuel pool. The panels are there to stop nuclear fission from occurring in the tightly-packed pool (i.e., reduce the risk of fire in the pool and radioactive release). In December 2016, the NRC determined that the nearly 900 of Pilgrim’s panels could be at risk of deterioration by September 2017. One of the new violations is for Entergy, Pilgrim’s owner, only providing short-term fixes for the panels up until September. No long-term plans to fix the problem have been offered by Entergy, despite the fact that the pool will likely hold spent fuel for at least several years after the plant shuts down in 2019.
Read more about this violation, as well as the others, in this Cape Cod Times article by Christine Legere on May 17, 2017: More violations found at Pilgrim →
Issues range from failure to comply with federal requirements for reporting incidents to lack of a long-term solution for disintegrating panels whose job is to prevent a nuclear reaction from occurring in the spent fuel pool.