A citizens' panel that oversees safety issues at Millstone Power Station closely questioned representatives of the nuclear plant about whether three recent federal inspections signal a problem with the plant's operation.
The Day of New London reports that Bill Sheehan, chairman of the Nuclear Energy Advisory Council, asked representatives of Millstone owner Dominion Resources Inc. at a town hall meeting Wednesday if plant operators are trying to determine the cause of the problems. Millstone representatives made their annual presentation to the council.
"Are you looking to see if alertness is slipping, or if the care is slipping or if the attitude is changing?" Sheehan asked. "Have you looked for a pattern in what seems to be occurring in these dissimilar events, related to materials or personnel or training?"
The plant was subject to inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission after an unplanned shutdown of both operating plants, a backup safety pump at Unit 3 and a different problem with the same pump.
Lori Armstrong, director of nuclear safety and licensing at Millstone, said 80 Millstone staff members have participated in training to improve troubleshooting.
The first problem with the pump was the result of the installation of a replacement bearing that was mislabeled by the manufacturer, she said. It was detected by an engineer "with a very inquisitive mind," Armstrong said.
The NRC has not levied any fines.