NRC to decide if there was a violation at Robinson Nuclear Power

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public conference Monday in Atlanta with Duke Energy about an apparent violation at the HB Robinson Nuclear Power Plant in Hartsville last year.

Duke Energy operates the plant.

The NRC says last October the plant's radiator fan belts failed and led to the automatic shutdown of the dedicated shutdown diesel generator during testing of the systems last October.

It says there was no actual event requiring the use of that diesel generator and it was repaired and returned to service.

However, the fan belts were degraded, in part, because of inadequate inspection, maintenance and periodic replacement, according to the NRC.

There was no threat or harm to people living near the plant , but the NRC says the belt failures could have prevented the shutdown diesel generator from being available during a loss of power or a fire.

The NRC has to determine if the violation is a "white" violation, meaning it has low to moderate safety significance.

The NRC uses color-coded inspection finding to assess plant performance. The colors range from green, or very low safety significance, to white, yellow and red, which has the highest safety significance.

No decision on the final safety significance and any additional NRC actions will be made at the conference.

That decision will be announced at a later time.