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NRC Fines Kewaunee Power Station, Says Fire Drills Not Properly Conducted

The Kewaunee Power Station is being fined $70,000 by federal regulators who say the nuclear plant failed to properly conduct fire drills and falsified fire drill records.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced the proposed civil penalty against Dominion Energy Kewaunee Inc. on Wednesday, less than a week before the plant's May 7 shutdown.

According to the NRC, an inspection and investigation by the NRC found that between August 2009 and December 2011, a former fire brigade trainer had conducted training sessions instead of actual fire drills. The former trainer then falsely claimed on required forms that the drills and response activities were completed.

The NRC determined that even though the plant failed to meet the regulations, the onsite fire brigade had the necessary experience, knowledge, and resources available to capably combat a fire.

The incident prompted Dominion to conduct an internal investigation into the fire brigade trainer’s activities, take actions against the former trainer and the trainer's former supervisor, and revise the plant's fire drill procedures.

The NRC evaluates a nuclear power plant’s performance with a color-coded process that classifies regulatory findings as green, white, yellow or red, in order of increasing safety significance. The NRC assigned Dominion’s actions a white inspection finding, meaning they had a low to moderate safety significance.

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