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NRC: Blame mane, not machine

09/18/03


The Nuclear Regulatory Commisson yesterday said operator error, not equipment failure, stopped the "heat-up" of the Davis-Besse nuclear reactor Tuesday and delayed a crucial, seven-day pressure and leak test of the reactor. The company said an electrically-operated valve in a pipe to emergency cooling water opened when an operator powered it up. But the NRC, which has observers in the plant and the control room, ruled the operator did not follow procedures and that the procedures may not have been clear enough. Engineers revised the procedures and are now retraining operators. The incident will figure into the agency's decision about allowing Davis-Besse to restart. Another problem cropped up yesterday involving a short circuit in pump. It had not been solved last night, further delaying the test.


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