Fewer at Grand Gulf answer to safety audit

Published 12:59 pm Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fewer Grand Gulf Nuclear Station employees responded to a safety audit than at other nuclear plants.

The response rate to the independent safety culture survey conducted by Entergy Operations at the only nuclear plant in Mississippi was 65.6 percent of the approximately 400 employees at the Claiborne County plant.

Questions involved safety awareness of the work environment, values and practices and various other employee concerns relating to safety. Results were read at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regional offices in Arlington, Texas.

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Grand Gulf consistently scores high in efficiency and overall safety rankings. An annual safety and preparedness inspection conducted by NRC showed the plant earned favorable ratings for 2009.

Other nuclear plants in the survey were River Bend, in St. Francisville, La., Waterford 3 in Taft, La. and Arkansas Nuclear One, in Russellville. Presentations of similar surveys on other Entergy-run plants involving company staff and NRC officials were held Monday at the federal agency’s Illinois regional headquarters, with another planned April 13 at its Pennsylvania regional office.

River Bend had the highest response to the survey, at 85 percent. Grand Gulf’s response level rose less than 1 percent compared to previous surveys.

Upgrades to Grand Gulf’s power-generating capacity are expected to be approved by NRC in 2011 and begin in 2012.