KILLONA, La. (AP) — A nuclear power plant west of New Orleans will be getting extra inspections because an offsite radiation monitor was miscalibrated for more than a decade, federal regulators said Tuesday.
The error at the Waterford 3 plant in Killona — roughly 25 miles (40 kilometers) from downtown New Orleans — had low to moderate safety implications, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission news release said.
It meant that off-site radiation might be overestimated and – if a steam generator tube had ruptured — could have led to unnecessary evacuations, said NRC spokesman Victor Dricks.
The calibration error began January 1, 2011, when the monitor was installed. Entergy corrected the problem on Feb. 4, 2022, according to a June 11 letter from the agency to Entergy.
“It’s important to note that Entergy both identified and reported the issue to regulators, and the finding had no actual consequences on safety, as stated in the NRC’s inspection report,” company spokesman Michael Bowling said in an email.