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NRC schedules public meeting to discuss performance of Brunswick Nuclear

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ATLANTA, GA (NRC NEWS RELEASE) -- The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a meeting for Thursday, June 21, to discuss the agency's assessment of safety performance during 2011 at the Brunswick nuclear power plant. The plant, operated by Progress Energy, is located near Southport.

The meeting, in the Brunswick Media Center Auditorium, 8520 River Road SE in Southport, will begin at 6 p.m. with a brief presentation followed by a question and answer session.

NRC staff members will be available to answer questions on the safety performance of the Brunswick plant, as well as the NRC role in ensuring safe plant operation.

"During 2011, our inspectors spent many hours ensuring that the Brunswick plant met NRC safety requirements and protected both people living near the plant and the environment," said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree.

NRC inspectors also looked at whether there were immediate safety concerns at Brunswick and other US plants after the March 2011 events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. Those reviews found that the units continued to operate safely.

A letter sent from the NRC Region II office to plant officials addresses the performance of the plant during 2011 and will serve as the basis for the meeting discussion. It is available on the NRC website at: www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/bru_2011q4.pdf.

Both Brunswick units are currently subject to increased NRC oversight and inspection based on a "white" inspection finding in late 2011 associated with the fuel oil tank rooms for emergency diesel generators. The NRC plans to conduct a supplemental inspection this year to review the company's actions to address those issues.

An emergency response staffing issue identified in September 2010 led to increased oversight in the first half of 2011, but an NRC inspection found the company had addressed that issue and the plant was returned to normal oversight until the diesel generator issue was identified. That finding led the NRC to again increase inspection and oversight of the plant.

The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess plant performance. The colors go from "green," which has very low safety significance, to "white," which means low to moderate safety significance, to "yellow" or "red," based on the significance of the issues. Inspection findings and performance indicators are updated on the NRC’s web site ( www.nrc.gov ) each quarter.

Current performance information for Brunswick Unit 1 is available on the NRC web site at www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/BRU1/bru1_chart.html. Current performance information for Unit 2 is at www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/BRU2/bru2_chart.html.

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