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NRC raises concerns about Dresden nuclear plant flood plan via the Chicago Tribune

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Friday that it has asked Exelon Generation to address concerns over how the company would handle a catastrophic flood at the Dresden Nuclear Station in northern Illinois, after recent inspections indicated potential problems.

Among the concerns is how the company would refuel diesel pumps that circulate water to cool the reactor and how it would keep equipment from becoming clogged with flood debris, NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng said. The commission sent a letter to the company Thursday, and Exelon has 30 days to respond.

“We’re not saying their plan won’t work, but we have raised questions,” and Exelon must demonstrate that it would work, Mitlyng said.

She said there is no immediate safety risk, but the goal is to keep the site’s two reactors safe in the event of a worst-case flood, like the one that swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan last year.

Although that is highly improbable, the company must be prepared, Mitlyng said.

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