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Friday, May 21, 2010 - 8:17am

Fed Regulators Increase Oversight of SE Ga. Nuclear Plant

A nuclear plant in southeast Georgia is getting more federal oversight.

Plant Hatch in Appling County near Baxley will get an extra dose of inspectors--and inspections--for the rest of the year.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that’s because of two violations last year—defined as a low to moderate safety importance, or "white" level.

Joey Ledford with the NRC says the problems involved the plant’s ‘timer cards’.

“Those are very important components because in the event of loss of power to the site, they provide emergency power that allows them to cool the reactor, or shut it down if necessary.”

Alyson Fuqua is with Southern Nuclear Operating Company, the subsidiary of Southern Company that operates Plant Hatch:

“At this time the problem has been resolved.  There are five of these timer cards at Plant Hatch, all of which have been refurbished.  We’ve also put-in a new monitoring program and the cards are being monitored more frequently.”  

NRC officials agree the problems have been fixed. 

According to the NRC and company officials, Plant Hatch has never had serious issues since going into operation in the mid 70’s.