A special inspection of U.S. nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster in Japan revealed problems with emergency equipment and disaster procedures that are far more pervasive than publicly described by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. While the deficiencies don’t pose an immediate risk and are relatively easy to fix, critics say they could complicate the response to a major disaster and point to a weakness in NRC oversight. The findings include deficiencies at Plant Hatch and Plant Vogtle in Georgia.
Atlanta’s Office of Code Compliance manipulated inspection data to inflate the agency’s caseload and vastly overstate its performance, city auditors say. Its files were such a mess that workers often couldn’t even find paperwork for a particular case. Auditors said the office staff was told to record inspection dates even if no inspection had occurred. For one month, the faulty data made it appear the average inspection was conducted 14 days after the complaint came in; auditors calculated it really took nearly six months.