The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has finalized its recent finding about the Ginna nuclear power plant in Wayne County, and as a result, the NRC will increase its level of oversight of that plant. The government agency had found what is called a "white” safety finding, meaning that it was of low to moderate significance.
It has to do with a longstanding issue involving flood protection at the plant, and the concern that flooding could disable some back-up batteries and other emergency sources of power for the facility. The company that owns the plant made modifications to fix the issue late last year, but the NRC is taking enforcement action because of the length of time the vulnerability existed.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan says the close examination of this issue is related to the accident at a Japanese nuclear complex a few years ago.
"This was one of the primary areas of focus for the NRC after Fukushima back in March 2011, and basically we wanted to make sure that all of the plants were protected to the greatest degree possible, and a lot of that analysis work is still going on."
Exelon Energy issued this statement: “Ginna is a robust, fortified facility designed to withstand the most severe weather related events, including the highest recorded flood levels in the area. This potential issue was corrected, it did not affect the safe, reliable operation of the plant and we will continue to work with the NRC to make our facility even safer and more prepared for the unimaginable.”