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1998-02-05 10:47:11


Nuclear Power Plants at Risk



This newspaper report on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission points to a likely scenario: the NRC's decision to shut down noncompliant plants in 1999.

This appeared in the VIRGINIA-PILOT (Jan. 30).

* * * * * *

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is questioning whether the problem is a threat to the country's nuclear power plants. The federal watchdog agency plans soon to send a letter to all of its nuclear power plant licensees -- including Richmond-based Virginia Power -- requiring that they've "effectively addressed the problem" by July 1999.

"The Y2K problem is urgent because it has a fixed, non-negotiable deadline," reads a draft of the proposed NRC letter. . . .

Virginia Power began addressing the problem companywide in 1996. Its individual business units, including nuclear, have teams assigned to supervise resolution of the problem. . . .

"There are some components affected by Year 2000 that we are evaluating," said Rick Zuercher, a spokesman for Virginia Power's nuclear division.

The utility did not offer specifics on what components might be affected. "We're confident we'll be able to solve any issues in time," Zuercher said.


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