The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) reports that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a "white finding" of "low to moderate safety significance" at the Limerick nuclear powere plant's Unit 2, owned and operated by Exelon Nuclear, regarding faulty valves “resulting in one of the plant’s safety systems, known as the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling system, being inoperable from April 23 to May 23." The faulty valves also rendered a Primary Containment Isolation Valve inoperable during the same time period, which “would be used during an accident to close off the plant’s containment building during a significant event in order to prevent the release of radioactivity into the environment.” As mentioned in NRC's press release on the safety violations, regulatory inspections will be increased. “Because the valves in question failed to fully shut, the majority of the cooling water from one of the plant’s safety systems would have diverted to the condenser rather than flow to the reactor,” NRC Region I Administrator Bill Dean said.
On Nov. 22nd, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted a petition to NRC to intervene against Limerick's proposed 20 year license extension. An NRC commissioned report from 1982 found that a major accident at Limerick Unit 2 could cause 74,000 "peak early fatalities," 610,000 "peak early injuries," 34,000 "peak cancer deaths," and $197 billion in property damage. However, in the past 30 years, the surrounding population has grown to a whopping 8 million within 50 miles. Those property damages, adjusted for inflation, would now top $434 billion.