Nuclear regulators plan to significantly increase inspections at a reactor near Cleveland where four contractors were exposed to radiation last spring.
The plant along Lake Erie violated several safety regulations and failed to provide sufficient instructions to the workers, leading to low to moderate safety concerns, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Friday.
The plant's staff didn't do enough to protect the contractors from being exposed to higher levels of radiation than are normal, said Mark Satorius, an NRC official who oversees plants in the Great Lakes area.
The agency said there was no danger to Perry Nuclear Power Plant or the public.
In addition to the stepped up oversight, the NRC said the plant's operators also must develop corrective and preventive measures.
The four workers were exposed to radiation on April 22 while they were trying to remove a monitor for measuring nuclear reactions. They had been brought in to help the plant shut down to refuel and were in a containment building underneath the reactor.
They had to avoid a 6-foot-deep hole in the floor when increased radiation levels forced them to flee the area, the NRC said last month. The workers also failed to follow procedure, according to the report.
Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp., which owns the plant, said the highest radiation exposure to any of the workers was the equivalent of two or three chest X-rays.
Company spokesman Todd Schneider said Friday that new safety procedures have been put in place and the plant was increasing oversight of contract workers. It also will develop a plan to improve human performance in all areas, he said.
FirstEnergy will be required to pay for the increased inspections, Schneider said.
The nuclear plant, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland, had several safety problems several years ago, which led the NRC to monitor its safety operations every three months in 2005, when the plant was forced to shut down briefly because of problems with pumps that circulate coolant through the reactor's core.