Washington, May 11 (AFP) Federal regulators said today they will increase oversight of a southern US nuclear power plant after a low pressure coolant injection valve failed in October 2010.
The failure at the three-unit Browns Ferry nuclear plant near Athens, Alabama was of "high safety significance," the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a statement.
The problem however was fixed and "the public was never endangered because no actual event occurred," the NRC said.
The valve system is important for core cooling "during certain accident scenarios and the valve failure left it inoperable, which potentially could have led to core damage had an accident involving a series of unlikely events occurred," the NRC said.
Although Browns Ferry now is operating safely, "significant problems involving key safety systems warrant more extensive NRC inspection and oversight," said Victor McCree, an NRC regional administrator.