NUCLEAR SAFETY: Is Monticello plant ready for a flood? - KMSP-TV

NUCLEAR SAFETY: Is Monticello plant ready for a flood?

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Photo by Maury Glover Photo by Maury Glover
MONTICELLO, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public meeting Monday night at the Monticello Community Center to discuss its latest safety review of the Xcel Energy nuclear power plant.

The NRC's 2013 review of the Monticello plant had one "yellow" finding involving the failure to maintain a procedure in the event of a major flood, and regulators downgraded the plant from the its highest performance level to the yellow level, which is second from the bottom on the 4-step scale. 

The agency found Xcel Energy wouldn't have been able to build a protective levee within the required 12 days, but Xcel said it now has materials on site and the NRC acknowledges that corrective action has been taken.

Monticello has a boiling water reactor, similar to the Fukushima nuclear plant hit by the tsunami in Japan nearly 3 years ago. If a flood, tornado or other disaster were to strike, Xcel Energy, the state and federal agencies have emergency plans that would include detailed mass evacuations within a 10-mile radius.


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NRC regional administrator Cynthia Pederson and other staff gave an update on the plant's safety and answered questions about the report Monday night.

NRC assessment letter:
http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/mont_2013q4.pdf

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