Arkansas Nuclear reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission this morning that recent engineering analysis showed that the Spent Fuel Handling Machine for the facility’s Unit 2 reactor did not meet seismic standards for a design basis earthquake. Arkansas Nuclear said that the data indicated “a lack of margin for several structural parts of the machine.”
The result: “The Spent Fuel Handling Machine (2H-3) is currently parked and de-energized in a safe position and administratively prohibited from being moved over any irradiated fuel assemblies in the spent fuel pool. Until further engineering evaluation or modifications can occur the Spent Fuel Handling Machine (2H-3) will remain in its current position and de-energized.”
Two unanswered questions remain: When is Unit 2 next scheduled for a refueling outage, and what happens if there is a need to retrieve anything from the Unit 2 fuel pool?