The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has strict rules, regulations and limits for all aspects of nuclear plant operations. This includes a program to monitor reactor vessels and the potential impact of a rare accident scenario — pressurized thermal shock — in which a large amount of cold water would be injected into the reactor resulting in rapid cooling of the reactor vessel. Every pressurized water reactor plant in the nation is required by the NRC to continually update its calculations to confirm reactor vessel strength. This means every plant must conduct periodic reactor vessel inspections and analyze reactor vessel samples.
Palisades regularly conducts these inspections and analysis, and will do an inspection during a refueling outage in early 2014. An updated evaluation will be submitted to the NRC for review in the spring of 2014. Palisades has every reason to believe that the test results will again demonstrate the safety and strength of the plant’s reactor vessel – which will enable us to continue operating through the end of its license in 2031.
The Palisades plant is safe and the reactor vessel meets all current NRC requirements. Palisades is committed to the health and safety of everyone in the community, including our families and friends in the public as well as our own employees. As part of that commitment, we have a rigorous inspection and evaluation program in place to ensure our reactor vessel meets or exceeds all NRC requirements, even in the most unlikely scenarios.