Regulators Increase Oversight of Nuclear Power Plant in Palo

The Duane Arnold Energy Center Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 near Palo.

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By Aaron Hepker

PALO, Iowa (AP) — Federal regulators are imposing tougher oversight on Iowa's only nuclear power plant after finding two problems with back-up equipment there in the past year.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday that the Duane Arnold Energy Center near Palo will face more scrutiny and inspections now.

The NRC and the plant's majority owner, NextEra Energy Resources, say public safety was never threatened by the concerns at the plant about 8 miles from Cedar Rapids.

NextEra Energy spokeswoman Renee Nelson both problems were discovered by plant employees conducting inspections and fixed promptly.

In one case, a diesel generator had an oil leak in March 2013. The other violation related to a back-up reactor cooling system that wouldn't start automatically but could be operated manually.

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