Nuclear Regulatory Commission Steps Up Oversight of Hope Creek

Tom Johnson | February 8, 2017 | Energy & Environment
Agency determines that plant’s safety-related coolant system was out of service for more than two weeks

Hope Creek nuclear plant
The Hope Creek nuclear power plant is facing increased oversight from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The regulatory agency yesterday announced it determined the plant’s safety-related High-Pressure Coolant Injection was inoperable for a period of more than 14 days, thereby exceeding the plant’s technical specifications.

As a result, the agency assigned the nuclear plant in Salem County a “White‘’ designation (low to moderate safety significance). That is second-lowest rating on the NRC’s so-called action matrix. It will require additional oversight by the agency.

The designation will require the owners of the plant, PSEG Nuclear, to come up with a plan to identify corrective action for the equipment and analyze why it failed, according to Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the plant.

Joseph Delmar, a spokesman for the plant, said the equipment was inoperable because a water-monitoring program was not implemented properly. The facility has implemented new procedures to correct the problem, he said.

Hope Creek is part of a three-unit nuclear complex in Lower Alloways Creek. It has a capacity of 1,176 megawatts.

The nearby Salem II nuclear unit also is under a White designation by the regulatory agency, Sheehan said.