The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has begun a special inspection at Southern Nuclear Operating Company's two-unit Farley nuclear power plant (NPP), located near Columbia, Alabama.

Carried out by a two-member special inspection team comprising senior resident inspector and a region-based inspector, the inspection will assess the circumstances surrounding the failure of some electrical circuits on the Unit 2 during testing earlier this month.

The failure of circuits, which are designed to automatically start one group or train of equipment that would cool the reactor during certain accident scenarios, led to the shutdown of the Unit 2.

NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree said the failed test raise some questions that need to be addressed even though there was no immediate safety issue.

”Our special inspection team will gather information to assess the failure and the company’s actions,” McCree added.

The inspectors will also inspect the company’s actions, the plant’s maintenance practices for the circuits and any history of related failures.

The on-site portion of the inspection will last several days, and a report documenting the results is scheduled to be issued within 45 days of the completion of the inspection.