NRC to evaluate buried pipe safety

NRC CHAIRMAN TASKS STAFF TO EVALUATE AGENCY ACTIVITIES ON BURIED PIPING AT NUCLEAR PLANTS 

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko has tasked the agency’s technical staff to review the NRC’s approach for overseeing buried pipes given recent incidents of leaking buried pipes at several U.S. commercial nuclear power plants.

“Although they have not jeopardized public health and safety, leaks from buried pipes continue to occur and we need to assess the NRC’s and licensee’s efforts to prevent them,” Jaczko said. “The agency’s handling of these events has focused on each incident as it occurs, but we need to look at what we’re doing on a generic level to determine what additional actions may be necessary.”

Recent instances of leaks in buried pipes have primarily involved water containing elevated levels of tritium, a mildly radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The NRC continues to review how plants dealing with these leaks are using monitoring programs to confirm there is no significant effect on public health and safety and the environment.

To read the complete NRC memo, open pdf:

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