The NRC has proposed fining Northeast Utilities, owner of the Millstone plant, $288,000 for losing two fuel rods. The NRC has said that it found no evidence that the rods were stolen.

Northeast Utilities told the NRC that two fuel rods from their Millstone 1 unit were unaccounted for after the company had conducted an inventory of rods that were in the plant’s storage pool.

The company said that the fuel rods had most likely been cut into segments and then sent to a low-level radioactive waste facility along with other irradiated reactor hardware sometime between March 1985 and December 1992. NRC agreed with this conclusion, but still levied a fine. “Notwithstanding the fact that there was no realistic threat, past or present to the public health, the loss of highly radioactive fuel rods is unprecedented, and is a very significant violation.”