Palisades Nuclear VP – A degradation of safety culture principles led to performance deficiencies

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Palisades nuclear power plant is waiting on the NRC to make a final review for two safety-related incidents, which may further drop their plant safety status.   Palisades would be considered by the NRC to be one of a handful of worst-performing nuclear plants in the country.  

The plant was cited for a federal regulatory violation, and an additional NRC inspection was ordered at Entergy‘s expense.

NRC regional spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said, it only takes one “white” finding to trigger the downgrade.

“It means we no longer trust the company to find and solve the safety issues on their own,” Mitlyng said. “So we are increasing our oversight.”

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Entergy’s Tony Vitale has been site vice president at Palisades since July 2011. He is quoted, “Our site leaders, starting with me, had not established a sufficiently sensitive culture or risk management. It was not what is expected for a professional nuclear organization. A degradation of safety culture principles has led to site performance deficiencies. We need to fix and find our own problems at Palisades. A plan is just a plan. It’s nothing without action and implementation, and it runs all the way up to me.”

David Hamilton, Palisades’ general manager of plant operations, said staff is changing the way it does business.

“We were not correcting behaviors on the spot. We were not following processes. We had a weak accountability model. It’s a leadership issue. We must raise our standards, and we must really hold people accountable.”

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Source: Herald Palladium

 

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