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NRC schedules open house on Brunswick Nuclear Plant performance

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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- For the second time in 13 months, federal regulators will hold an open house to discuss the Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will provide information May 7 on the agency's assessment of the Duke Energy facility during 2013. The informal open house and poster session is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. in the Brunswick Media Center Auditorium, 8520 River Road SE, in Southport.

The NRC says staff will be available to answer questions about the safety performance of the plant as well as overall NRC oversight and inspection.

Overall, the NRC staff concluded that the Brunswick plant operated safely in 2013, but NRC inspectors identified an apparent violation related to the protection of some plant equipment during certain flooding scenarios. The NRC staff plans to continue the detailed routine or baseline inspections all nuclear power plants receive, but the agency's final decision on the apparent violation may affect the plant's assessment and the level of NRC oversight.

"Our resident and region-based inspectors spend many hours monitoring plant activities to ensure that the plant operates safely," NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree said in a news release. "We hold these meetings every year to make our staff available to people who live close to the plant and answer questions about our oversight."

The NRC held a similar meeting in April 2013 to discuss safety issues from 2012. During the first three quarters of 2012, both Brunswick units were subject to increased NRC oversight for an inspection finding related to the possibility of flooding in the emergency diesel generator fuel oil tank rooms. An NRC inspection found that the problem had been corrected and both units returned to normal oversight in the fourth quarter.

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