For the third time in 18 months, inspectors have uncovered missing flood seals at the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, a problem which could compromise the plant’s ability to operate electrical safety systems. Inspecting for flood seals has been a Nuclear Regulatory Commission priority since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, when flood water from a tsunami inundated several nuclear plants similar in design to Vermont Yankee. The most recent problem was discovered Wednesday during an annual inspection of the manholes at the Vernon plant, according to NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. In last Wednesday’s instance, Entergy Nuclear failed to correct missing and faulty flood seals that were discovered last spring in underground pipes, Sheehan said. He said Entergy Nuclear had hired a contractor to replace the missing seals, but the contractor had failed to do the job. He said Entergy was held accountable for the work of the contractor.
A significant problem was identified, and work was ordered, no one at the plant checked to see whether the work was done. Thank goodness there was not a significant flood on the nuclear reactor, sitting on the flood plane.