by John Grooms
Hey, heres more good nuclear news: Were only 90 miles from one of the three U.S. nuclear plants the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is most concerned about. On the heels of the nuclear energy disaster unfolding in Japan, and a heightened awareness of inadequate nuclear accident evacuation plans for Charlotte, we now find out that the NRC has concerns. NRC chair Gregory Jaczko told a congressional committee yesterday that three U.S. nuclear plants need increased, more intensive oversight because of problems with safety systems or unplanned shutdowns. One of those three plants is the H.B. Robinson plant in Hartsville, S.C. The oldest nuclear plant in the Southeast, Robinson started up in 1971 and is probably most well-known to Charlotteans as that creepy, nasty-looking thing in Hartsville you see on the way to the beach.
Jaczko says the Hartsville plant, along with plants in Nebraska and Kansas "are the ones we are most concerned about" among Americas nuclear power plants. The plant was shut down nearly four months in 2010 due to two electrical system fires; shut down again in September 2010 because of a control problem with one of the plants turbines; and shut down yet again a month later after a motor powering a pump to cool the reactor malfunctioned. Have a safe, worry-free weekend.