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Duke nuclear plant to get additional scrutiny

Duke Energy’s Robinson nuclear plant near Hartsville, S.C., will get extra oversight after inspectors found maintenance problems with a standby generator.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission spotted the problem last October after fan belts failed on a diesel generator that would be used to safely shut down the plant in a fire or if outside power sources were lost.

The generator was repaired, but the NRC said the fan belts failed in part because they weren’t adequately inspected and replaced.

After a conference between the agency and Duke in August, the NRC said the problem constituted a violation of low to moderate safety significance.

The “white” safety finding is the second-lowest of four color-coded levels that depict inspection findings and plant performance. Robinson will get additional oversight including a follow-up inspection that has not yet been scheduled.

“Overall, the Robinson plant continues to be operated safely,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree. “However, the additional oversight and inspection by the NRC is warranted because we expect plants to ensure that all important equipment is properly inspected and maintained.”

Henderson: 704-358-5051; Twitter: @bhender
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