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South Texas Project meets safety performance for year

By adriana_acosta
May 19, 2011 at 12:19 a.m.

Ed Halpin, president and chief executive officer for STP, spoke at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission public hearing on Thursday. The NRC discussed the end-of-cycle performance for the nuclear plant.

BAY CITY - The South Texas Project's nuclear power plant received Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety approval Thursday.

NRC staff had discussed the safety performance of STP at a meeting before giving its approval.

The meeting, which took place at the Center for Energy Development at Wharton County Junior College, was in response to the NRC's end-of-cycle performance review of Units 1 and 2.

"The NRC determined that the nuclear plant operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety and met all cornerstone objectives," said John Dixon, senior resident inspector for the NRC housed at STP.

Dixon said the plant was within the Licensee Response Column of the NRC's Reactor Oversight Process Action Matrix because all findings had low safety significance.

The annual assessment, which is composed of 4,000 hours, included numerous inspections including radiation safety, fire protection and emergency preparedness inspections.

"Basically, nothing stood out, and no issues were found by the inspector that was a cause for concern," said Laura Uselding, public affairs for the NRC.

The plant operated safely in 2010 and will receive the normal inspection through the next year, she said.

In addition to providing an overview of the safety performance review, the NRC provided an overview of its actions taken after the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the resulting damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The NRC began a comprehensive review of the safety of all 104 operating nuclear power plants in the United States to determine whether the plants would withstand power losses or damage to large areas of a reactor, should there be an extreme event.

"At South Texas Project, we put nuclear safety first in everything that we do," said Ed Halpin, president and chief executive officer for STP.

"We recognized that we have been given a special trust by the NRC and through members of the community," he said.



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