Entergy acknowledges radiation monitoring error at Palisades, asks US to treat it as minor

Energy Associated Press

Entergy Corp. acknowledged Tuesday that it didn't follow some radiation safety monitoring procedures during a refueling of its Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern Michigan last year but says federal regulators should treat it as a low-level violation.

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The New Orleans-based company presented its case at a hearing before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Lisle, Illinois. The plant is on the shore of Lake Michigan in Van Buren County's Covert Township, about 55 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

The commission staff said in December that some workers lacked one of the required body radiation monitors while replacing equipment at the plant between Feb. 6 and March 8, 2014. It said that had no effect on the public's or workers' health.

"Your staff indicated that no worker exceeded federal limits for occupational exposures as a result of these dose calculations," Kenneth G. O'Brien, director of the commission's reactor safety division, told the company in a letter accompanying the Dec. 2 report.

The report said that the violation should get a "white" rating. Green is the least serious, followed by white, yellow and red.

Entergy said it has made changes in its procedures at all its nuclear plants as a result of the finding. In its presentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, officials asked that the violation get a green coding instead of white.

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A commission decision is expected in mid-February.

Palisades opened in 1971. The 2014 refueling and maintenance outage was its 23rd.

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Online:

Commission staff report: http://1.usa.gov/1z8Bm3U

Plant background: http://1.usa.gov/1u4DzGT