An independent contractor last year failed to identify a small flaw in the reactor vessel head of Duke Energy's Shearon Harris nuclear plant in North Carolina, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said during a public meeting. The flaw prompted Duke to shut down the facility May 15, as the company couldn't immediately verify whether there was a leak. "Once they shut down and were able to perform the needed and required examinations, they were able to confirm there was no leakage," said Robert Williams, an NRC reactor inspector.

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