NRC Critical Of Mass. Nuke Plant Post-Shutdown

Federal nuclear regulators have issued a critical report following the unplanned shutdown of a Massachusetts nuclear power plant in May.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in a report released Thursday, criticized Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station's owners for inadequate training and enforcement of its standards following the automatic shutdown, which occurred as the reactor was being returned to service after a refueling and maintenance outage.

Carol Wightman, a spokeswoman for Entergy Corp., which owns and operates Pilgrim, acknowledges it was a human error.

"There was never a threat to public safety. We remain committed to the safe operation of Pilgrim," Wightman said.

Although there was no danger to the public, the incident was serious enough for the NRC to send an inspection team to the Plymouth plant, a fairly rare occurrence.

The NRC says the incident will bring increased scrutiny to Pilgrim.

Entergy says it is reviewing the report but says it has evaluated procedures and retrained staff.

The Associated Press and The WBUR Newsroom contributed to this report.

This program aired on September 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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