Palo Verde settles with NRC over apparent spent fuel storage violations

November 23, 2020, 6:58AMRadwaste Solutions

The Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona.

A confirmatory order issued by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to Arizona Public Service Company documents the commitments the company has made as part of a settlement agreement with the agency. The settlement agreement stems from two apparent violations of NRC regulations involving spent nuclear fuel at APS’s Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Tonopah, Ariz.

The apparent violations involved APS’s failure to (1) perform a written evaluation for a change to the NAC MAGNASTOR dry cask storage system for spent fuel and obtain a license amendment for a change in methodology for performing tip-over calculations and (2) adequately analyze the consequences of a hypothetical MAGNASTOR CC5 spent fuel cask tip-over accident on the plant’s independent spent fuel storage installation pad.

The confirmatory order was issued on November 17. The apparent violations are described in a July 6 NRC inspection report.

Actions: After being notified of the apparent violations, APS requested the NRC’s alternative dispute resolution process, which uses a neutral mediator with no decision-making authority to assist the NRC and its licensees in reaching an agreement on any corrective actions to be taken or other commitments.

Under the confirmatory order, the NRC has agreed to not issue APS a notice of violation or associated civil penalties for the apparent violations following the company’s satisfactory completion of the actions it has committed to take. While APS has already completed some actions, other commitments relate to communications, training, reviews, and administrative documentation.


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