APS agrees to corrective action at Palo Verde nuclear plant - East Valley Tribune: Business

APS agrees to corrective action at Palo Verde nuclear plant

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Posted: Monday, October 22, 2007 11:35 pm | Updated: 6:12 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Arizona Public Service Co. has agreed to revise training for operators at its Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station after a falsified-record incident last year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday.

Under the agreement, which was reached through a mediation process, APS will provide special training for its reactor operators focused on reporting their own errors and on having someone else check each person’s work.

The NRC also reached a separate mediated agreement with a former APS employee who was at the center of the November 2006 incident during a maintenance procedure.

According to the NRC, the senior reactor operator mistakenly misrecorded a number during the procedure.

The key issue was the ex-employee’s failure to report his mistake.

The mistake caused the plant’s computers to underreport thermal power by 0.3 percent, but it did not pose any safety or public health threat, the NRC said.

“That number is important because it’s used to ensure that the correct procedure was performed,” said NRC spokesman Victor Dricks.

About an hour after the mistaken entry, the senior reactor operator realized his error, scratched out the original number on a logbook and wrote in the correct number, Dricks said.

But the man failed to report his mistake.

APS spokesman Jim McDonald said the error was discovered the next day through the system’s checks and balances and the operator was relieved of his duties immediately.

Arizona Public Service reported it to the NRC, which triggered an investigation.

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