NRC requests grid reliability data

8 February 2006

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has called for all US nuclear power plant operators to provide or give additional information on reliability measures associated with offsite electrical power sources.

The call follows an August 2003 blackout which saw nine nuclear plants shut down. The NRC’s review of the events surrounding the blackout raised several issues, including how plants prearrange for backup power from local sources and how they monitor the grid in real time.

The agency has also asked for data on how nuclear plant operators comply with NRC regulations on maintaining offsite power to safety-related systems.

Plant operators have 60 days to submit written responses to questions in several areas, including arrangements between the plants and grid system operators or reliability coordinators, to monitor the grid’s ability to provide power to a plant’s safety systems.

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