NRC Sends Special Inspection Team to Callaway, MO Nuclear Plant

Washington, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—March 21, 2011.  The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection at the Callaway nuclear plant to review the circumstances surrounding the lubrication of an auxiliary feedwater pump. The plant, operated by Ameren Missouri, is located near Fulton, Mo.

Inspectors, who began their work today, will identify the circumstances surrounding an oil sample taken on Feb.8 indicating that the pump might have been inadequately lubricated. In addition, they will review the licensee’s response to the event and its evaluation of the operability of the pump. The pump is used to supply water to the plant’s steam generators during some accident conditions.

The oil sample was discolored and contained particulate indicating that the oil level may have been too low to properly lubricate the pump bearing. The pump may not have been able to run for a sufficient length of time to meet its safety function during an accident scenario.

NRC staff decided that a special inspection was appropriate due to a previous event in 2009 involving inadequate lubrication in the same system.

The NRC inspectors will write an inspection report on their findings within 45 days of the end of the inspection that will be publicly available.