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Last updated 10:57PM ET
March 8, 2021
Alabama
Alabama
Breaker Problems at Farley Nuclear Plant Scrutinized
(2007-09-11)
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday it is sending a team of inspectors to investigate the failures of electrical breakers in a cooling system at the Farley nuclear plant.

The failures, which happened last week, were quickly repaired, but the NRC decided to send an inspection team because similar failures have occurred in the past, said NRC spokesman Roger Hannah.

Hannah said there has been no immediate danger to the public as a result of the failures at the plant, operated by a division of Atlanta-based Southern Co. He also said they were not related to an earlier valve problem at the plant.

"One of the things that's important to understand is that if there are issues that are identified, we want to make sure they are addressed before they become more significant safety issues," Hannah said Monday.

"We welcome the NRC's help and participation in helping us to find the corrective action plan that is needed," said Alyson Fuqua, a spokeswoman for Southern Nuclear Operating Company.

She stressed that Southern Nuclear, which operates the plant, identified the failure and reported it to the NRC and plans to cooperate fully to find and correct the problem.

On Sept. 4 and 5, two different electrical breakers in the component cooling water pumps on Unit 1 failed to close during testing at the Farley plant, Hannah said.

The breakers were promptly replaced and Southern Nuclear is trying to determine what caused the failure, according to the NRC.

The specialized team from the NRC was scheduled to arrive Monday and plans to spend about a week at the site.

Hannah said the electrical breaker failure is unrelated to an announcement by the NRC on Friday concerning a valve problem with the cooling system. NRC and Southern Company officials will hold a public meeting in Atlanta on Wednesday to discuss the valve problem, which could result in a citation against the company.

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