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NRC puts on Three Mile Island open house, draws a crowd of 1

By David Barr davidbarr@pressandjournal.com
Posted 4/25/17

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had a solitary visitor to its open house Thursday night.

Joyce Vigilante of the borough of Royalton attended the event since she was “curious” about how …

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NRC puts on Three Mile Island open house, draws a crowd of 1

Posted

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission had a solitary visitor to its open house Thursday night.

Joyce Vigilante of the borough of Royalton attended the event since she was “curious” about how the Three Mile Island nuclear plant, owned by Exelon, was doing.

The NRC held the open house at the Londonderry Township Municipal Building for discussion of its recent report that Unit 1 operated safely in 2016 with no inspection findings or performance indicators outside the normal band.

Vigilante said she can see Three Mile Island from her backyard, so she wanted to learn about what the plant has been up to in the last year. She added that because there was so much information and everyone she spoke with was so knowledgable she felt “comfortable with the safety of the island.”

As Vigilante was up to that point in the evening the only person to take advantage of the opportunity to speak with NRC officials about the plant’s happenings, she said that she would share all she had learned with her neighbors.

“Everyone was so helpful. There’s lots of beneficial information about the plant,” she said.

NRC senior resident inspector David Werkheiser said a small crowd isn’t unusual. These events usually only have a few attendees, but they do allow the public the opportunity to come learn about how the plant operates and its safety procedures. Werkheiser and Brian Lin were the resident inspectors at the open house.

According to Werkheiser, a resident inspector’s job consists of reviewing the electronic logs for the past 24 hours upon arrival at the plant each morning, before participating in work activities such as testing equipment, observing workers and ensuring they are performing their tasks properly.

As Werkheiser described it, the observations allow the inspectors to confirm that what the workers are doing, what the electronic logs report, and what actually is happening in the plant are all in sync and everything is as it should be.

The NRC undertakes thousands of hours of inspection each year. Day-to-day inspections are performed by two resident inspectors assigned to the plant. Reviews are also carried out at the site by specialist inspectors assigned to the agency’s Region I office in King of Prussia. The annual assessment letter for Three Mile Island is available on the NRC website, www.nrc.gov.

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