The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled an open house for Monday, March 11 to provide information about the agency's inspections and assessment of the Farley nuclear power plant during 2012. The Farley plant, operated by Southern Nuclear Operating Co., is located near Columbia, Ala., about 18 miles south of Dothan.
The informal open house and poster session is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. CDT in the Alabama Midland Railroad Depot, 312 Midland Street (intersection of 3rd Avenue and Midland Street) in Ashford, Ala. The NRC staff will be available to answer questions about the safety performance of the Farley plant as well as overall NRC oversight and inspection.
Overall, the NRC staff concluded that both units at the Farley plant operated safely in 2012. Both units at the Farley plant were subject to increased oversight during the first three quarters of 2012, but the NRC determined that the plant staff has adequately addressed a security inspection finding. There were no additional inspection findings or performance indicators that would cause the NRC to increase its level of oversight and inspection. During 2013, the NRC staff will continue the detailed routine inspections at the Farley plant that all nuclear power plants receive.
In addition to those inspections, the NRC staff plans to conduct initial operator license examinations during 2013.
Inspections are carried out by the NRC resident inspectors assigned to the plant and by specialized inspectors from the Region II office in Atlanta.
"The NRC inspects nuclear plants and monitors their performance on an ongoing basis," said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree. "We issue inspection reports throughout the year and we hold these meetings near each plant to discuss our oversight and answer any questions local residents may have."
The NRC evaluates inspection findings and performance indicators at commercial nuclear power plants with a color-coded system which classifies them as green, white, yellow or red, in increasing order of safety significance. As the significance increases, the NRC increases the level of oversight. If a plant takes corrective actions and improves safety performance, the agency returns to its normal, but still extensive, inspection schedule. Inspection findings and performance indicators are updated on the NRC's website (www.nrc.gov http://www.nrc.gov) each quarter.
The annual assessment letter for Farley Units 1 and 2 will be available on the NRC website at www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/far_2012q4.pdf
Current performance information for Farley Unit 1 is available on the NRC website at www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/FAR1/far1_chart.html