Degraded power cables at Oconee nuclear plant lead to special inspection
OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. —The discovery of degraded power cables at the Oconee nuclear power plant has led to a special inspection by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The NRC will begin a special inspection Tuesday at Duke Energy’s Oconee nuclear power plant to assess the degradation of power cables on startup transformers for two of the plant’s three units, according to a release.
The plant is located near Seneca, about 30 miles west of Greenville.
A plant operator making routine inspections on Dec. 7 discovered that a cable that should have been connected to the Unit 3 startup transformer was disconnected.
Upon further inspection, it was determined that other cables linked to the Unit 1 startup transformer were in a degraded condition. All of the cables have been repaired and the transformers are available for use if needed.
“There was not an event in which the startup transformers were needed, but they play a very important role in some circumstances by providing electrical power to plant safety equipment,” said Leonard Wert, acting NRC Region II administrator. “We felt a special inspection was warranted to gather more information about Duke’s response and also determine if there are generic issues that may apply to other plants.”