The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has set dates for two of the three phases of an inspection at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth. Pilgrim's owner Entergy was notified of the dates in a letter dated December 18.
Inspection Procedure (IP) 95003 inspection was made a requirement following the NRC's mid-cycle performance review of the Plymouth power station. Based on the outcome of the review, NRC announced in September that they would be stepping up oversight at the plant.
The inspection will be done in three phases (A, B & C). Phase A will be conducted during the week of January 11, 2016. Phase B will be conducted during the week of April 4, 2016. The results of Phases A & B will determine the final scope and scheduling for Phase C.
According to the NRC, Phase A will "review various aspects of the station's corrective action program to determine whether continued operation of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is acceptable". Phase A will also determine if additional regulatory actions be necessary if plant performance has continued to decline since the mid-cycle review.
During Phase B the three NRC inspectors will review overall corrective action program performance since the August mid-cycle review.
On October 13, Entergy announced it would be closing the Plymouth plant by June 2019. In their announcement, Entergy cited poor market conditions, reduced revenues and increased operational costs for the closure. The company did not cite increased NRC oversight or the slide from Column 3 to Column 4 of the NRC's Action Matrix as reasons for closing the station.