Nuclear plant cited for security issueXcel Energy was officially cited Thursday for a security issue at Prairie Island nuclear plant.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Xcel Energy was officially cited Thursday for a security issue at Prairie Island nuclear plant.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said the plant had a security problem that was at least of low to moderate security significance, or “greater than green.”
The NRC labels issues at plants on a color scale: “Green” is the lowest, followed by “white.” Those posing more serious safety concerns can get a "yellow" or "red" rating.
The issue was discovered during a late October inspection, according to an NRC report. Because it was a security matter, details of the incident were not released. But an earlier report states it was in the “area of human performance because the licensee failed to conduct an effectiveness review of safety significant decisions to verify the validity of the underlying assumptions, and identify possible unintended consequences."
The problem was addressed and corrected, the NRC said. But a violation also was associated with the finding. The matter will mean extra NRC inspections.
Staff from Xcel and the NRC met in January to discuss the issue.
Xcel has 30 days to determine whether it wants to appeal the finding.
“Security and safety at our nuclear plants are our highest priorities, and we take this matter very seriously,” Xcel officials said in a statement. “We are reviewing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s determination and will decide whether to appeal.”
Prairie Island was cited for a separate issue in August that had to do with a safety-related battery charger. It would "lock up" and stop charging during tests that simulated losing off-site power, the NRC found. Though Xcel challenged it, the commission gave the issue a "white" classification.
That issue also has been fixed, Xcel officials said then.