Coronavirus at U.S. plants: UPDATE

April 17, 2020, 2:06PMNuclear News

Here are some important updates to our April 10 story on COVID-19 cases at nuclear power plants:

Vogtle: At Georgia Power’s Vogtle site, near Waynesboro, Ga., 42 cases were confirmed, far eclipsing the previously reported single case. “We took immediate action to identify and notify workers who were located in close proximity to these individuals when we first learned there were pending tests and sent those team members home to await test results,” plant officials said in a statement. “These team members will remain home in self-isolation and monitor their health for symptoms.” Vogtle is reportedly still awaiting test results for 57 workers, while 154 have tested negative.

Limerick: Of the five cases we reported at Exelon’s two-unit Limerick plant, one was later found to be a false positive, leaving two confirmed cases since the March 27 start of the Limerick-1 spring refueling outage and the two cases confirmed prior to the outage. Also, the previously reported total of 44 plant workers in quarantine was reduced to 10, according to Limerick’s communications manager, Dave Marcheskie. “During the outage, we worked closely with local, county, and state officials, sharing daily information and updating our website with current cases and number of workers in quarantine,” Marcheskie told NN in an April 16 email.

Cook: One worker at Cook was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 8 and is now quarantined at home with mild symptoms, according to Bill Downey, Cook’s communications manager. The two-unit Cook plant, operated by Indiana Michigan Power, is located in Bridgman, Mich.

“We are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance in consultation with our company doctors and providing information to employees,” Downey stated in an email to NN. “The infected employee only had close contact with one other employee. We are continuing to coordinate with local and national health officials and have provided specific guidance to the individual who had close contact with the infected employee and any others within that individual’s work group.”

Indiana Michigan Power and parent company American Electric Power continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are taking ongoing actions, Downey said, such as cleaning work areas, working with smaller crews, having employees work from home when possible, restricting business travel and meetings, and closing facilities to all visitors, with the exception of necessary deliveries.

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