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Violations at Harris nuke plant bring more oversight

Posted October 4, 2012

— The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Thursday that it has placed the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant in southwest Wake County under increased oversight because of internal safety violations.

The violations are linked to the operation of ventilation systems for facilities at the plant that would be staffed during emergencies, officials said.

One violation involves Progress Energy's failure to maintain the Emergency Operations Facility ventilation system, which was out of service for extended periods over two years. Officials said there was no immediate safety concern because no emergencies requiring use of the facility occurred during that time.

Progress, which was acquired in July by Duke Energy, was also cited for not notifying the NRC during the times that the ventilation system was degraded or out of service.

The findings mean the plant will be subject to additional NRC inspections beyond the baseline inspections that are conducted at all nuclear plants.

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