Palisades nuclear plant’s safety rating to be downgraded

COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The safety rating for Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan will be downgraded following a violation related to how some workers’ radiation doses were monitored and calculated, federal regulators said.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week announced a final ruling related to the violation, which is considered to be of low to moderate safety significance. The commission said a radiation measuring device wasn’t properly positioned while plant parts were replaced early last year.

The NRC said no workers received higher-than-allowed radiation doses. NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said the safety assessment rating for the plant’s reactor will be dropped one level from the top category to the second one on the NRC’s five-level rating system.

The change is retroactive to the fourth quarter of 2014 and a follow-up investigation is planned, Mitlyng said.

Plant spokeswoman Lindsay Rose told The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph that procedures have been revised to resolve the NRC’s concerns. Workers each had several dosimeters on their body to collect radiation dosing levels, but one in the chest area wasn’t in the proper place, Rose said.

“The plant has taken immediate action to resolve the concerns, and for doing accurate calculations for dose projections,” Mitlyng said.

The plant in Van Buren County’s Covert Township on the shore of Lake Michigan is owned by New Orleans-based Entergy.


Information from: The Herald-Palladium

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