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Nuclear Power plant operates safely in 2009

By adriana_acosta
June 3, 2010 at 1:03 a.m.

Dave Rencurrel, site vice president at South Texas Project, explains the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Action Matrix to Bay City resident Jimmy McCayley on Thursday.

BAY CITY - Roy Caruthers is interested in nuclear power.

The part-time educator teaches nuclear power technology at Wharton County Junior College and is interested in what the NRC had to say about South Texas Project.

What he learned Thursday night at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission open house, he will take back to his students for discussion.

The federal agency held the open house to provide information on the agency's 2009 safety performance of South Texas Project's Units 1 and 2.

Overall, South Texas Electric Generating Station operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety, and fully met all cornerstones objectives, according to the letter sent to Ed Halpin, president and chief executive officer for South Texas Project.

"We know our priority is the health and safety of the community and this is their priority as well," Halpin said of the NRC.

It is important that the public know about any safety issues the plant may have, he said.

The federal agency's staff completed its performance review of the STP Electric Generating Station for the period from Jan. 1 through December 2009, said Buddy Eller, director of communication and public affairs for South Texas Project.

The NRC conducts four safety reports a year on the plant.

This assessment shows how well they did in meeting regulations in preserving public safety, said Binesh K. Tharakan, NRC region IV resident inspector.

The open house format allowed residents to ask questions to South Texas Project and the federal agency about the safety performance of the units.

STP operated in a safe manner that preserved the public health safety and the environment, said John Dixon, senior resident inspector at South Texas Project.

The job of the onsite NRC inspectors is to review the performance indicators for the plant and make sure it meets all requirements, he said.

"Our job is to be like a referee. We are there to make sure they are following the rules and regulation, and license conditions," he said.

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