Allegations of Poor Construction Practices on the North Anna Nuclear Powerplants

EMD-77-30: Published: Jun 2, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 2, 1977.

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In response to allegations of poor construction practices, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigated North Anna nuclear powerplants and inspection practices. GAO observed or monitored NRC activities throughout the investigation.

Inspectors found 32 instances of failure by the Virginia Electric and Power Company and its contractors to meet acceptable construction criteria or specifications, but concluded that they had no direct safety significance. The Commission fined the utility $31,900, required corrective action, and required the utility to strengthen its management and quality assurance efforts. GAO found that inspectors were thorough but did not find justification for the conclusion that safety significance was lacking. GAO also questioned the NRC requirement for the utility to audit engineering judgments since vested interests are involved.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The NRC should: (1) expand investigations to include other North Anna units; (2) require that audits of engineering judgments be made by independent experts; and (3) issue regulations to protect individuals who notify NRC of problems from reprisals.

    Agency Affected:

 

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