Twenty-eight of the 185 hydraulic shock absorbers designed to protect the Surry Nuclear Power Station's Unit Two from earthquakes were found to be "unacceptable" during an April inspection, according to officials of the Virginia Electric & Power Co. and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
An inspection report submitted to the NRC by Vepco, however, listed only two of the "snubbers" as not meeting federal standards.
Both NRC and Vepco officials said the problem did not create a safety hazard, but the NRC said it was investigating the discrepancy in the report.
Vepco Vice President W. L. Proffitt said that the inspection found that 26 of the snubbers had fluid levels below the 25 percent of capacity minimum requirement, and that two snubbers had leaking seals and were dry.
Proffitt said a foreman filled the low snubbers and interpreted the reporting requirement to mean the status as he felt the snubbers, not as he found them.
The leaking snubbers were later replaced and listed on the report, he said.
Proffitt said the low fluid levels, "in no way compromised the safety of the station" and that the 26 snubbers with low fluid were operable.
He said a Vepco investigation had found no attempt to falsify the report and blamed the failure to list all 28 on a misunderstanding, which he said has now been corrected.
According to an NRC spokesman, an anonymous person alleged that the Vepco unit had a snubber problem in May and an investigation was ordered.
He said Vepco shut down the nuclear unit and a reinspection found the snubbers to be in good shape.
The NRC spokesman said that the situation was still under investigation and that no decision had been made on whether further action would be taken. He said the snubbers in Unit One were now being inspected also.
"We believe if there had been an earthquake, the unit still would have been adequately protected," NRC spokesman said.