Feds Plan More Oversight for Millstone

Move follows power surge in reactor last February

Federal regulators plan to impose more oversight at the Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford after accidental increases of power.

Operators at Millstone failed on many levels while testing turbine control valves on Feb. 12, which contributed to an unanticipated reactor power increase from 88 to 96 percent of rated thermal power, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

According to a report the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission released in May,  as the pressure of the turbine first stage increased, the increase load button was pushed four times rather than the "decrease" load button, then the decrease button was pushed.  

The result was an rapid unintended power surge in a reactor. 

Public safety was never compromised during the incident but regulators say they hold operators to the highest standards.

A Millstone spokesperson said the plant has disciplined six workers and has since corrected the problems.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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