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Safety Measures Taken at Iowa's Nuclear Power Plant

PALO, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--Federal regulators say Iowas only nuclear power plant will face more inspections.

This comes after the nuclear regulatory commission discovered two problems with the plant's back up equipment last year.
   
The fact that there's a Nuclear Power Plant about eight miles from Cedar Rapids can be mind boggling.

Take a ride into Palo, and at some point you'll notice water vapor in the sky and a few towers, all signs of the Duane Arnold Energy Center.

"Our main purpose is to produce electrical power and there's a lot of different ways to produce power, you can use coal, gas, but we do is we use nuclear so we're a little bit different in that aspect, said Site President Richard Anderson.

Last year though, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission found two violations at the plant site.

"They have four levels of violations within the regulatory process. The green which is of very low safety significance or minor, the white which is the low to moderate, said Anderson.

Both violations, one being an oil leak in a diesel generator, the other a backup cooling system that wouldn't start automatically were a white finding.

Richard Anderson says there are procedures in place to help ensure safety.

"It could still be started from the main control panel simply by the operator walking up identifying this valve taking it to the open position and verifying that the lights change, Anderson said.

The key is redundancy through multiple safety and backup systems.

Anderson says all of their plant operators go through training, just like college programs.

This mock control room is a training site.

Its part of making sure employees and the public are safe.

"It's kind of the we live here too. Were part of this community from every aspect to safe operation, Anderson said.

The two violations have been addressed and all work

Anderson says they did not present a risk to the health, or safety of the community.
 
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