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Special Inspection Planned for Largest Nuclear Plant in U.S.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials will begin a special inspection of the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station’s core safety injection valves next week.

NRC officials have scheduled a Nov. 20 meeting with the executives of the triple-reactor plant west of Phoenix to discuss ongoing repair issues, the Houston Chronicle reports. The plant supplies electricity to about 4 million customers in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.   

Palo Verde already is under heightened scrutiny due to a 2004 safety violation for a “dry pipe” that had the potential to disrupt the flow of water to the core’s emergency cooling system.

Only two of the nation’s 103 nuclear reactors have poorer ratings. Commission officials said that another rating downgrade for Palo Verde would take the plant years to recover from, likely would involve spending millions of dollars for fixes.

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