Salem nuke plant to get more monitoring

February 5, 2008 12:39:20 PM PST
Balky emergency diesel generators have earned the Salem Unit 1 nuclear reactor closer oversight from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The agency recently changed its performance evaluation rating of the reactor from green to yellow.

That's due to one of the plant's emergency diesel generators failing to start in the fourth quarter of 2007, and two similar previous incidents.

Emergency diesel generators provide backup power in the event of an off-site power loss. The Salem Unit 1 and Unit 2 reactors in Lower Allows Creek Township are each equipped with three of the generators.

Color-coded performance indicators and inspection findings are used by the NRC to evaluate plant performance. They start with "green" and decline through "white," "yellow" or "red," depending on the severity of safety issues involved.