Friday, July 22, 2016

To my Russian Friends

The vast amount of recent interest on my site comes from Russia. Is USA interest pinging to Russia, then onto my blog? It’s all a great mystery to me.

Junk Plant Salem 2, Grand Gulf and Fitzpatrick Power Ascension Program Update

Are we really in the middle of the summer?

The state of nuclear power today.  
Tiptoeing up to 100% power hoping they found the turbine ground? They can't survive another mysterious plant scam on a turbine not discoverable intermittent short.
Salem 2  28% power

They will be lucky to get up 100% power before the next outage at this rate.  
Grand Gulf 37% power

Stuck at 83% power until Coumo's billion dollar check clears.  
FitzPatrick 83% power


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Junk NRC: Worst Case Flooding Beyond the Height of the Turbine Building at Fort Calhoun

The NRC's Criscione Cornicles

Goggle Larry Criscione and flooding to know this guy.

He is NRC to go-to guy on flooding risk.

I doubt anyone outside the NRC would be able to catch this but me. Remember this picture of the plant flooding. This is probably-he talking about the maximum precipitation rate and a dam or cascading dam failure(s)accident. Here is our Fukushima: the flooding level would exceed the level of the Fort Calhoun turbine building elevation. The whole system has been keeping this secret. It is a cover-up.

BWR_My guess is the flooding would exceed the level of the torus in the reactor building. All cooling would be lost to the core like Fukushima very quickly. Offsite and onsite electrical power
PWR-Basically the core would overheat and water would be released out the pressurizer operated relief valves. It would flood into the rad waste building just like TMI and then end up in the river. We would eventually figure out a way to put water in the core, but the cooling water would go out the PORV valves, flooding the radwaster building and leaking into the river. It would be unstoppable for many months and years.   

would be lost. I image the flooding in the reactor building would continue to cool the torus somewhat. Core water would get discharged out the SRVs. The core water would empty and the fuel would melt and catch on fire. So only the upper level of the reactor building would be the available collection area of the explosive hydrogen. The problem is, the reactor building is electrically dead, what would ignite the hydrogen? I still give it a 90% probability of exploding.

This above is the typical BWR analysis. But this is a PWR. Would the PWR play out the same way?  

The meltdown would go on a lot longer than Fukushima's is my guess. If containment failed, where would the giant plume of radiation go? Certainly the melted core would burn through containment. We'd have to figure out a way to cool the core just like Fukushima. The reactor water would overflow the core, exit the reactor building with the flood water, and go down the Missouri river. It would be really high level contamination and radiation. This stuff wouldn't go to sea until New Orleans.

NRC's Lawrence Criscione:

“I realize that the fact that Fort Calhoun could be flooded to beyond the height of the turbine building is embarrassing to both the NRC and the USACE, but if you lived in Omaha would you not like to know this?”
The below is a picture of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Can you imagine the contamination fears from just above Omaha to New Orleans? That is a 1000 miles of contaminated river in our heartland and mother river. Think about the towns and city drinking water withdrawals? All the business water withdrawals. Fort Calhoun radiation laden water would flow down the Missouri and Mississippi River onto New Orleans. The Cooper nuclear plant is about 50 miles down river from Fort Calhoun. Would they survive?

This would be a national catastrophe and flip us into a giant national emergency. Can you even imagine the worldwide news media. We'd overthrow our government. 

We would emediately shutdown all nuclear power plants for many years. What would the worldwide ramifications be? Twenty percent of electrical capacity would just disappear. The is a enormous amount of electricity. We wouldn't be able to replace this power for a decade. We couldn't quickly expand the other sources of electricity. The coal deliveries by railroad would overload the rail system. Same for natural gas with the pipelines and new pipelines. We would have exorbenent prices of electricity  and frequent blackouts for a decade. It would drive us into a deep depression for a decade.

We do more damage to the nation shutting off all out nuke plants than the core meltdown. Does our nuclear plant risk analysis take this into consideration? Believe me, there would be no rational thinking in Washington for a decade if there ever was rational thinking in Washington. How would our weak financial and Wall Street respond to the heartlands howling radiative winds?  It would be a stampede or serial cascade accident over many different systems.  

If the system is playing such dangerous games with worst case flooding at Fort got to know the system must be riddled with similar dangerous games!!!  

My guess is the worldwide financial fallout would be 100 times to 1000 times to 10,000 times worst or more than Fukushima.

Junk NRC: Baffle Bolts Just Discovered In All NRC Executive's Heads

We live in a very volatile political environment. I contend a rather small core damage is just marginally less worst than the worst case core meltdown. Stick this in your risk calculation. Talk to me about the worst case fuel damage here and its societal ramifications to it in our interconnected world? The outsider would term it a nuclear plant meltdown or its precursor to a near big meltdown. There would be a terrible public and political overreaction to this event. It would lead to massive unnecessary overregulation of the nuclear industry. In the extremely shaky financial condition of the nuclear industry indicated by all the recent plant permanent shutdown, I bet you over 75% of the USA nuclear fleet would quickly permanently shutdown (or more).

You are right, there would be very little release of radioactivity outside the plant boundary. How do you think the next Gallop polling on nuclear power approval ratings would look like. It is at historic low levels right now. Would this affect the industry?      
NRC initial conclusion is that susceptible plants do not need to immediately shut down: 
–The consequences of baffle plate detachment during normal operation would be limited to localized fuel damage, detectable by periodic coolant activity monitoring required by the TS 
Look at how these bastards just minimize every threat. Tell me how the detaching of baffle plate would effect the large LOCA. Got any testing proving the benign results of detaching the baffling plates.
–Only certain events (large LOCA, medium LOCA, or seismic events) have the potential to rapidly detach the baffle plate due to baffle-former bolt degradation
–In such an event, the detachment of a baffle plate is not expected to pose a significant challenge to the ability to shutdown the reactor and cool the core
–Initial assessment is that the frequency of such events does not rise to the level of an “imminent safety concern” and does not require any immediate shutdown

Evil Incarnate: USA Using the Fruits of Fukushima to Reduce Safety in USA

This is not a surprise. The terry turbine was almost designed to handle water, concrete and pieces of metal. It is a extremely sturdy design, that why it was chosen.

Basically the theme here with research, is it serving the public good or unethically bolstering corporate profits? 

If we got into the hole like Fukushima...think adaptive intelligence. If the procedure no longer worked for us, we would just wing it. These guys want to extend RICI beyond their initial component design. You would need no written rules or guidance to conservatively operate equipment beyond its design limitation based on the control rooms collective knowledge in a grave emergency. 

The way this plays out is if they can "take credit" for pump operation way beyond the design of the component and current licensing. The RCIC research does no good for the control room operator. We'd piss on the core if there was nothing else available. They are going to flip the extended pump operation into risk calculations. It will turn into the meltdown accident is less frequent across the board. What comes out of risk calculations with be any violation level would be the violation level would smaller and it will justify the plant to operate with more degraded equipment and longer at operation.

Bottom line, with high academic research funded by the US government for nuclear safety, do you want to put your money into making better components for the licensed operators or do you want your money creating the justification for poorer quality equipment and reduced regulations.

I want the RCIC to generate its own control power and make the machine as autonomous as possible from the plant. Basically start and forget it. Place all the control functions in the RCIC room and make the control a remote station. Ditch all the electrical cables except for normal non emergency operation. We could do this with a very small computer circuit or cpu. Maybe bullet proof wifi for the connection to the control room with controlling the machine.

Research based on making a better component for the control room operator or research solely based on extending corporate profits and interest? 

Where do I got this wrong? 

Didn't unit 3 still meltdown with a so called very good operating RCIC? This is crazy talk by the Academics. What does "take credit" for mean?    
Dr. Karen Vierow,
If there is one system that worked very well in Fukushima, it was the RCIC system. We'd like to take credit for the system.

Team conducts ongoing research to evaluate performance of reactor cooling system

Texas A&M

Randy Gauntt, manager of Severe Accident Analysis Dept. 6232
July 21, 2016 by Robert (Chris) Scoggins

Read more at:
On March 11, 2011, Japan was rocked by an earthquake and tsunami that caused the shutdown of the Fukushima Daiichi plant's active nuclear reactors, disabled all sources powering core cooling systems and caused three of the reactor cores to overheat. The resulting meltdowns caused the release of radioactive material into the surrounding area, a disaster that has spurred investigations and research into the performance of the safety systems installed in these reactors.
Despite the effects of the disaster, the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling (RCIC) system performed much better than expected within reactor units two and three, operating in unit three up to eight times longer than intended in those conditions. Understanding the cause behind the RCIC system's performance and applying it to U.S. reactors is where Sandia National Laboratories and the Department of Nuclear Engineering's Dr. Karen Vierow come in.
"I'm looking at the system from a couple of viewpoints," Vierow said. "One being, how did it run for so long without power and two, can we take credit for the system in our U.S. reactors to operate for extended times without power? The two times the safety system was called upon, it operated far beyond what we currently take credit for."
Vierow is collaborating with researchers at Sandia National Laboratories on this project, which was initially funded by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission until Vierow later received a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Vierow's particular research application to discovering the secret of the RCIC System's performance lies in studying the cooling of the system in relation to thermal mixing in the containment. Vierow began to look at the thermal mixing and the condensation of steam in the reactor's suppression chamber to see where the thermal energy is distributed and how it effects the RCIC System.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Junk Nuclear Industry worldwide: Why is Falsification of Documents So Easy

I can't begin to tell you how much resources, money and reputations have been ruin worldwide by the falsification of documents in the nuclear industry. Why is this so easy? Why can't it be detected and eradicated immediately. 

Inaccurate documents are just as bad as falsified documents. Inaccurate documents should be treated identical to falsified documents. There is never any excuse to depend on a incomplete or inaccurate documents in the nuclear industry.  

I can tell you what is going on here, we have terrible degraded the global immunity system that is supposed to catch this when it first immerges. It is basically a no fault system for document falsification and the gross industry's tolerance of inaccurate documents.
It's all profits and paychecks before truth.

I think any component coming from the French Forge should be assumed to be inop.

They way to stop this is to knock heads together. Guys, it is the too big to fail philosophy. Any one plant or giant corporation like Areva is to big too shutdown or fail. The regulatory authorities worldwide have been made to weak to maintain standards, control document falsification and inaccurate documents. The giant nuclear corporations with their enormous power and influence has made government too weak.

You get it, all these guys are angling for the privatization of the regulatory function. It is the independent oversight authorities mostly disconnected from the community. These independent commission are too susceptical for the corporate to install their "yes men" as the heads of the independent commissions.

If we lived in a healthy world, Areva would have been banded from doing any nuclear power plant work worldwide. Right, Mitsubishi is in the same light. Mitsubishi should have gone directly, made a early complaint to the NRC, saying the steam generators are dangerous to the industry. Everyone is in this giant intimidation game and they can't say boo if they want to get a paycheck!!!

***Why is intimidation of employees too easy in the worldwide nuclear industry.*** Why is everyone so insecure?       
Steam generator anomalies to extend Fessenheim 2 outage
20 July 2016
A serviceability certificate for one of the three steam generators installed at unit 2 of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, currently offline for maintenance, has been suspended by the French nuclear safety regulator. A number of anomalies were discovered last month in the steel of the component's lower shell.
Last month, EDF informed the ASN that parts of some steam generators at 18 nuclear power units in France may have anomalies similar to those found in the steel of Flamanville EPR vessel. At Fessenheim 2 this includes the steam generator's lower shells. Steam generators are heat exchangers between the water circulating in the primary circuit - at a temperature of about 350°C and a pressure of 155 bar - and the water in the secondary circuit that supplies steam to the turbines. There are three steam generators in 900 MWe pressurized water reactors, while the larger ones feature four.  
Outages impact production target
EDF yesterday revised its nuclear electricity generation target for 2016 to reflect expected extended outages at some of its plants.

The utility said output last month totalled 28.6 TWh, down 2.1 TWh compared with June 2015. Total output over the first half of 2016 was 205.2 TWh, 5.2 TWh less than in the first half of 2015.

EDF said it needs to demonstrate in the second half this year that "some components, mainly steam generators ... can operate in a fully safe mode". It added, "Taking into account ASN's examination schedule, extensions of part of the outages are expected over the second half of 2016".

As a result, EDF has revised its 2016 nuclear output target down from 408-412 TWh to 395-400 TWh.
An analysis in May of the internal production record for the component "established a divergence from the nuclear pressure equipment manufacturing standards", Areva said. They were forged at Areva's Le Creusot facility in 2008 and the ASN certified the component's conformity to safety standards in 2012.
EDF took Fessenheim 2 offline on 13 June for a scheduled maintenance outage and two days later sent an initial analysis of the detected anomalies to ASN which announced yesterday that it has suspended the test certificate for one of the Fessenheim 2 steam generators as its forging "had not been conducted in accordance with the technical dossier" submitted to it by Areva. These test certificates - issued following multiple inspections and hydraulic testing - are required for commissioning, ASN noted. The regulator added that, had it been aware of this non-compliance, it would not have originally issued the certificate.
ASN has requested Areva submit a file detailing the approach it intends to take in order to demonstrate the steam generator meets regulatory standards.

Junk Plant Grand Gulf: Nuclear Industry Becoming Increasingly Chaotic

Update 7/21

This is way cool. Grand Gulf just started up last night. It was about a 21 day preventable outage.  I'll be watching these guys closely now.
***It's like a junk unreliable 3 year old $100,000 dollar Cadillac CTS-V. It is now the largest single plant in the USA?*** 
*Call me stupid, but why has Grand Gulf been down in the extreme of the summer? Its where they can make the most money? But they are a regulated plant. They have been down for weeks. You don't have a scheduled outage during the middle of the southern summer.
Of course, its a increasingly unreliable Entergy plant. It's Mississippi's only nuclear plant.  

Basically for months or more River Bend and Grand gulf has been alternating each other with scrams and power restriction. It is a disgrace for the industry. Normally a plant gets funded to maximize capacity factor. Can they make more money someway by funding a plant to a 90% capacity factor?

Updated: What is this saying below?

*Scram 6/17/2016-6/19

*Scram 7/30-?

6/17 scram: what a horrible month for Grand Gulf. Basically two scrams 13 days apart. What a industry embarrassment. Look at all the big component not properly maintained...failing and causing multiple scams in a short period of time. The last scam causing a 20 day unscheduled outage. More than one big component failing in one scram. These poor control room operators. Like I said, this is how the engineers and NRC screws the licensed operator with setting up this plant with poorly maintained equipment. Guys, this in the future of the industry in front of us. They are wrecking the nuclear industry!!!

"During planned stop and control valve testing, two main turbine high pressure stop valves closed instead of the expected one (stop valve 'B'). This caused the main turbine control valves, power, reactor pressure to swing and a division 2 half SCRAM. Control rods were inserted to reduce power and the power swings. At 0257 [CDT] the reactor automatically SCRAMMED. Reactor SCRAM, Turbine Trip [procedures] ONEPs and EP-2 were entered. Reactor water level was stabilized at 34 inches narrow range on startup level control and reactor pressure stabilized at 884 psig using main turbine bypass valves. No other safety related systems actuated and all systems performed as expected."

The plant is in its normal shutdown electrical lineup using normal feedwater and turbine bypass valves for decay heat removal. Reactor pressure is slowly trending down. The licensee is investigating the cause of the second stop valve shutting.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.
6/30 scam: leading to a plus 20 day outage.

In the industry's history of loss of service or instrument air, this causes plants to spin widely out of control. It has traditionally caused very expensive plant damage. Most plants have a diesel generator air compressor stationed outside the turbine building for just this reason. It automatically starts on low air pressure and saves the asses of the control room employees. Is Entergy abandoning Grand Gulf. The normal air compressors are not maintained as safety related equipment. Basically they lost control of neutron flux shape in the core and had to scam for safety. I wonder if they just let it go without operator action what would have happened. Aren't plants design for hands off operation for the first 10 minutes of a scam?

Did they have a spare transformer on site or was one readily available? Or did they have to order one from China?  

*Oh what a disgrace, they just upgraded the plant to the tune of hundreds of millions to a billion dollars. And they got a much poorer plant reliability and capacity factor. What a junk/ drunk billion dollar nuclear plant upgrade :) 

"On June 30, 2016 at 1715 CDT, Grand Gulf Nuclear Station (GGNS) experienced an electrical power supply loss from Service Transformer 21 which resulted in power supply being lost to Division 2 (16AB Bus) and Division 3 (17AC Bus) ESF buses. This resulted in a valid actuation of Division 2 and Division 3 Diesel Generators on bus under voltage. They both automatically started and energized their respective ESF buses as designed.

"During this event, the loss of power to the Division 2 (16AB Bus) resulted in a Division 2 RPS bus power loss, which actuated a Div 2 RPS half SCRAM signal.

"The power loss also resulted in a loss of the Instrument Air pressure resulting in some Control Rod Scram Valves to drift open. This in turn caused the Scram Discharge Volume to fill to the point where a Div 1 RPS half SCRAM signal was initiated from Scram Discharge Volume level high on Channel 'A'. This resulted in a valid full RPS Reactor SCRAM while not critical. Instrument Air pressure was restored and the SCRAM signal was reset at 1733 CDT.

"Appropriate off normal event procedures were entered to mitigate the transient. No ECCS initiation signals were reached. All safety systems performed as expected.

"GGNS was in Mode 4, Cold Shutdown, with MSIVs closed at the time of the event. Reactor water level was maintained in the normal water level band by Control Rod Drive system throughout this event. RHR 'A' was maintained in Shutdown Cooling operation and it was not affected by this event."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.
That is the problem with the philosophy of spending all your money on a big power uprate. Then you have to deal with all the obsolete components breakdowns you never spent money on. The typical Entergy uprate only changes out a small proportion of the components in the plant. It like throwing money away. VY and Fort Calhoun did the same thing and they had to quickly permanently shutdown because the plant then became unprofitable.   

The Grand Gulf Behemoth

In fall 2012, work was completed on the extended power uprate project at Entergy's Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station, near Port Gibson, Mississippi. The project increased the energy output of the plant by more than 13 percent, making the Grand Gulf Nuclear Generating Station the most powerful nuclear reactor in the United States and one of the most powerful in the entire world with a total capacity of 1443 MW.
CB&I (then The Shaw Group Inc.) won the EPC contract for the EPU project and oversaw most of the work, with the exception of the steam dryer and turbine components. The uprate of the BWR plant involved replacing the heat exchanges, main feedwater heaters, moisture separator reheaters and main transformers, as well as enhancing the plant's cooling capacity. The main generator and high-pressure turbine rotor were both replaced as well, which was completed by Siemens.
Uprates have become a popular method of expanding nuclear power in a cost effective and efficient way. According to the NRC, the regulatory body has approved uprates adding up to 6,862MW of electricity generating capacity in the United States, equivalent to constructing a handful of brand new reactors from the ground up. -Ed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Junk plant San Onofre and Junk NRC

There is special interest agendas on everything San Onofre. This seems to be a too blatant cover-up by the NRC designed to fail. The NRC is too sophisticated with cover-ups for this kind of thing.
It was a global 4.7 Billion dollar deal with all the parties
Certainty the NRC is up to their eyeballs with incompetence on Songs for a decade, they might be trying to cover-up that. They might feel if they told the truth, there would be a severe integrity hit on the agency with a "once every hundred year" fracting cheap electricity storm approaching the electric industry. 
Is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries more sophisticated than I believe, to be feeding the NRC with secret confidential SCE internal documents in defense of the legal suite? Is this a cheap legal suite as a negotiating tactic to get better terms. 

It is very plausible...
The NRC had/has the experienced engineering PhDs to quickly uncover "the steam generators being deliberately run too hot, too hard and too fast to make a quick profits. Too many NRC employees would have had information as such and a conscientious odd ball employee would have stuck up his head by now. I don't think a senior fire safety or electric engineer would have the professional skill to ferret this out.

(New) One wonders if SCE engineered intentionally tanking the plant through the improperly designed steam generators, then thought they could corruptly make a big bungle over killing the plant, decommissioning, paying for the improper steam generator job and purchasing replacement power. This guy was a profit dog for a decade or more and it tremendously ate up top SCE executive resources. Wasn't this a 3.5 billion dollar deal to hang on the ratepayers. There is no doubt the interveners and SCE were in bed with each other. The first swipe of the settlement was exactly that. I don't think anything about this revolves around stupidity. Its actually the opposite. It is the immoral use of high intelligence for a amoral purpose.        
If this is true, this is a breathtaking NRC cover-up...
Report: San Onofre Shutdown Due to Steam Generators
The cause of a leak in 2012 that led to the permanent shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was steam generators being deliberately run too hot, too hard and too fast, according to a report released Tuesday by an independent watchdog organization.
But Southern California Edison countered that the source of the report was misinformed.
The analysis asserts that operators of the plant in northern San Diego County intentionally red-lined the system beyond its breaking point until it was overloaded and began to shake itself to pieces, according to the Public Watchdogs organization.
The study was conducted by Vinod Arora, a former fire protection engineer at SCE, co-owner of the power plant with San Diego Gas & Electric, according to a statement released by Public Watchdog.
The group said the conclusion was based on confidential documents that were released by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under the Freedom of Information Act.
“Edison knew they were pushing San Onofre’s steam generators past the original design limit, but did it anyway for the sake of short-term profits and to correct other design deficiencies as a result of SCE’s unverified analytical assumptions,” Arora alleged.
“SCE was forced to make those assumptions because of time pressures to deploy the generators quickly,” Arora said. “As a result, SCE failed to perform the necessary research or ask the critical questions required to understand the impact of their design changes between the original and replacement steam generators.”
Shaking steam tubes, or what SCE called “critical in-plane vibrations” from tubes filled with superheated pressurized radioactive water, caused the tubes to bang together violently as a result of dry steam, according to Arora.
He said the impact of the abrasion and metal fatigue from the tube collisions ultimately created dangerous leaks.
Previous investigations have faulted the design of the steam generators, manufactured by the Japanese firm Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Edison, which has retired San Onofre’s two reactors, is seeking financial compensation from the company.
Rosemead-based SCE released a statement saying the release issued today by Public Watchdog “relies on comments by a former SONGS employee that is simply misinformed.”
“As far back as September of 2013, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission identified flaws in how Mitsubishi Heavy Industries used its computer codes to design the failed steam generators at SONGS. The NRC further issued a ‘Notice of Non-Conformance’ against MHI for its flawed computer modeling in the failed design,” the statement said.
“In particular, the NRC reports indicated that MHI’s use of its computer codes in the design of the steam generators inaccurately predicted thermal hydraulic conditions in the steam generators, leading to tube vibration and wear, and a steam generator tube leak,” the statement continued. “The NRC inspection findings reinforced an NRC Augmented Inspection Team report in 2012 that identified MHI’s computer modeling errors.”
Update 7/20

When I was under the same kind of gun in 1992 just before I got fired for raising a host of safety issues, the big dog executives were coming to me with their secrets. I was continuously in the media at the time and everyone at the plant thought I had a special "ins" with the sitting governor (I did). If the big dog executives had a grudge on their boss or wanted to get promoted, they would leak damaging documents or secrets to me trying to get their targets fired. I took out numerous big dog executives through these leaks and I knew most of it was sour grapes and settling long past grudges. I was a pariah at the plant at the time. I was frightened when these executives approached me. They would begin a dizzying friendly conversation, then begin "I know you have powerful friends outside the plant". Believe me, I got it, the leak to me was settling a grudge or wishing promotions. But it conformed with the revolution I was trying to do. I always felt dirty after the deed was done. I mean, as a whistleblower, I never fully understood the exact agenda of the approaching executive, I did the best analysis as I could, then would say what the hell. This stuff was always very dangerous to me if I got it wrong and there was a huge legal/jail risk to me. But what the hell? 

It is highly plausible to me a disgruntled steam generator specialist or senior engineer buddies trying to save Mr. Arora's  job would be leaking documents or derogatory information to Mr. Arora. Least told him were the bones were buried to get even. They all knew he was heading out the door.
The "in charge" senior engineer at Songs in control of the steam generator job and all engineering at the huge facility...he was known by the lower employees as a monster from the years prior to this. He'd fire you on a dime to keep everyone else in line. I was coached secretly by insiders about the  songs steam generator job months ago trying to understand why it happened. The top engineer at the site was jumping serially from one plant or faculty for years with this reputations until Songs.             

Vinod Arora: Was it sour grapes or something else?
Safety Concerns at Shuttered Nuke Plant

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - Southern California Edison forced a fire inspector to quit after he raised concerns about the safety and security of its San Onofre nuclear power plant, the man claims in court.
     Vinod Arora, an inspector and engineer, claims SoCal Edison, majority owner of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, constructively fired him in 2012 after he raised concerns about plant safety amid disharmony between Edison and Mitsubishi - the company hired to design and deliver two replacement steam generators.
     Edison announced last summer that it would permanently retire two nuclear reactors at the plant. Decommissioning the plant cost thousands of jobs and estimated losses of $10 billion.
     In a July
lawsuit , minority shareholder San Diego Gas & Electric blamed Mitsubishi for the shutdown, claiming the Japanese multinational sold the plant $135 million steam generators that began leaking radiation in their first year of service.
     Arora worked for Edison as a fire inspector for almost six years before he resigned in 2012.
     Under the Energy Reorganization Act, Edison was forbidden from retaliating against him for reporting his concerns, he says in the lawsuit.
     Arora's troubles began, he says, when he wrote a report critical of the plant's maintenance director Bob Sholler, after longstanding concerns about fire risks associated with welding, grinding and cutting work at the plant.
     That was in January 2012, around the time when the leak and cracks in the generator tubes were discovered. The plant stopped generating power shortly thereafter.
     Arora claims that rather than address his concerns, Nuclear Oversight Director Oscar Flores marched him over to Sholler's office and demanded that he apologize.
     Arora says that a few days later he warned supervisors that their failure to monitor a reactor was increasing the risk of a fire. Though a 2001 fire had shut down one of the reactors for 5 months at a cost of $100 million, the supervisors ignored his warnings, Arora claims.
     Later in 2012, Arora says, Flores and his immediate supervisor Russ Nielsen confronted him with "insults and harassment" after he pointed out "competing priorities" over safety between Edison and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
     Arora claims he wrote a notification seeking to resolve the issue, but his superiors forced him to cancel it.
     When he tried to take action after an anonymous report stated that 1,300 workers had not completed cyber-security training, Flores and Nielsen again admonished him, according to the complaint.
     The harassment continued, Arora says, when he wrote emails to Mitsubishi and Edison warning about potential problems in one of the reactors. For his trouble, he claims, Flores and Nielsen tried to drum up phony charges against him by forcing him to take psychological and drug tests.
     When those efforts failed, Edison ramped up its efforts to discredit him, Arora says.
     "It was no coincidence that Arora begin receiving employment write-ups entered into his personnel file containing false accusations of missed work and being late to work without permission from his superiors. SCE [Southern California Edison] corporate investigators began to monitor Arora's actions and watch him carefully throughout his daily activities," the lawsuit states.
     Arora had injured his right arm and elbow when he fell from a turbine deck during a January 2012 inspection. Though the injuries did not interfere with his work, Edison used them as a pretext to force him to resign, writing him up and setting "unreasonable deadlines" for his work, according to the complaint.
     Arora seeks damages for constructive termination, breach of implied contract, breach of faith, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
     He is represented by Thomas McIntosh.
     Edison, the only named defendant, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment after business hours Wednesday. 


Make EPA like the NRC?

Now you can see the extremist structure the NRC is modeled for? It is Republican model and un-American. It disenfranchises the peoples of the USA. The Republicans floated this same model for Deep Water Horizon. Its structure is designed by the corporations. I am sure the Democrats gain benefits for allowing it?    

GOP platform proposes turning EPA into a commission

With help from Alex Guillén, Bernie Becker, and Elana Schor
REPUBLICAN PLATFORM TRANSMOGRIFIES EPA INTO A COMMISSION: The Republican Platform 2016 offers a fresh plan for an old GOP target: it calls for converting the EPA into a bipartisan commission. As Pro's Alex Guillén writes, the platform says that air and water has been getting cleaner over the last few decades, and that trend will continue with no further regulatory action. Republicans are proposing a "modern approach to environmentalism ... We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science."
To remedy this conflict of interest, Congress should create an independent agency with enforcement authority to oversee all aspects of offshore drilling safety (operational and occupational) as well as the structural and operational integrity of all offshore energy production facilities, including both oil and gas production and renewable energy production. The roles and responsibilities of BOEMRE should be separated into three entities with clearly defined statutory authorities.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Junk Plant Palisades: 21 Employees Falsifying Fire Watch Inspection.

This site has gotten in trouble with security officer paperwork falsification in the past. Entergy nuclear is riddled paperwork falsification violations nationwide and many sites have had similar problems. Over this, fleet wide they had a host of mandatory training on employee integrity and falsification issues. Say a plant gets caught with falsification issue, in special mandatory fleet wide training, they comprehensively go over the details with a particular plant's falsification issues and fully discuss the violation. They have repeatedly in "Confirmatory Letters" have been required to have this special training. One thing absolutely proven in these Confirmatory Letter integrity training sessions fleet wide, this confirmatory letter and mandatory fleet training has been proven over and over to be absolutely ineffective with preventing new Entergy fleet falsification issue. 
More Palisades nuclear plant security workers expressing worry  
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Several security officers placed on leave at one of the country's oldest nuclear reactors say they're being treated as scapegoats by plant management.
This comes after the Newschannel 3 I-Team first uncovered an active investigation at the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station revolving around what plant officials describe as "fire tour anomalies."
"I'm on paid leave right now, and I have been for almost a month," said one of the plant workers, agreeing to speak with Newschannel 3's I-Team on the condition of anonymity.
"Now the company [Entergy] lawyer is asking us questions, saying the NRC will be speaking with us…and that we could be criminally liable," the worker added.
The officer also claims security workers at the plant were never trained to do fire tours.
"The training department never once trained us on fire tours," the officer said. "Security used to have a fire brigade that had a certain number of security members on shift, but when Entergy bought the plant they got rid of that…there's a whole fire brigade staff at that plant right now that have never trained anybody on how to do the fire tours."
22 security officers have been placed on paid administrative leave according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
According to a source with knowledge of previous Palisades labor issues and investigations, physical paperwork indicated that fire inspections had been completed by the plant's security officers, however, electronic records tracking movement in the plant showed the opposite, a discrepancy putting the fire inspection paperwork in doubt.
That source, tells the Newschannel 3 I-Team the supervisors at the plant who signed off on the paperwork were not placed on leave during the investigation, adding concern about the seriousness of the investigation.
"There's a significant lack of leadership in the security area there, that's for sure," said the source.
Beyond Nuclear, a group known for its opposition to nuclear energy, is not mincing words about the current Palisades investigation.
"Fire itself is 50% of the risk in terms of a meltdown," said Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste watchdog for Beyond Nuclear. "It's as much of a risk as all the other risks put together, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and accidents."
Kamps said he is also concerned about the Palisades track record, referencing several incidents in the 40 year old plant's recent history.
"We have such collusion at Palisades, in large measure we've got the NRC covering up for Entergy (owner of the plant), and the NRC has allowed for fire risks to go unaddressed for decades now."
The NRC, however strongly defended its actions at Palisades, and elsewhere.
"The NRC initially identified the discrepancies while conducting safety inspections and continues to closely monitor the plants investigation in response," wrote Prema Chandrathil, a Public Affairs Officer for the NRC. "We look at records, analyze the data, review the plants actions and are having daily discussions with plant personnel."
Chandrathil added the NRC does not have an immediate safety or security concern about the plant.
Some of the security officers, however, disagree, worrying about security at the plant with 22 people on paid leave.
"It's the supervisors who penciled in the security checks…they're all cleared I guess," said one of officers about the investigation. "But the head security supervisor has told officers on shift that a good chunk of people will not be coming back," the worker added.
Entergy, owner of Palisades, said the plant, says the company is taking the investigation seriously, and disputing those both inside and outside the plant critiquing the current state of security.
"Fire tours at Palisades are periodic visual inspections conducted by plant personnel to identify any early indications of fire," wrote Val Gent, a Senior Communications Specialist for Palisades. "These visual inspections are simply one component of our comprehensive  
fire protection program."
According to Gent, Palisades officials first became aware of the fire tour anomalies in early June, and began an internal investigation shortly thereafter.
New: It sounds to me like the NRC is taking credit for work they didn't do. A falsification in their own right. It is a clumsy act to protect a whistleblower and this policy is withholding vital information from the public. Basically I believe a whistleblower forced the agency hands by making a complaint. This implies the agency was knowingly allowing Entergy to violate fire safety rules, or worst, wasn't situationally aware of events on going at the plant. Weren't aware of the fire requirements and never inspected it. Basically paperwork oversight instead of 360 degrees of  real situational awareness.  
"The NRC initially identified the discrepancies while conducting safety inspections and continues to closely monitor the plants investigation in response," wrote Prema Chandrathil, a Public Affairs Officer for the NRC. "We look at records, analyze the data, review the plants actions and are having daily discussions with plant personnel.""

Junk Dead Ender Fitzpatrick: Power limitation Caused By Secret Damage To Equipment During Hard Plant Scram

So the plant can't exceed 85% because of some secret damage that occurred during the recent plant scram. They broke a huge component during the scram. The Fitze senior resident told me this today.

The NRC resident got a little antsy as I asked him; "I hear the plant broke equipment during the scram leading to the current 85% power restriction." 

Bet you its too expensive to replace just before the permanent shutdown.

Dead Ender FitzPatrict: Damage From Plant Trip llimiting Power

Basically Fitz started up from a very hard plant trip on about July 7. The control room after the trip became very confused. Fitz has been stuck at 85% for about 10 days. Does it say something about the industry and region 1 with Salem 2 and Fitz being stuck in the unprofitable power (13% and 85% power) zone due to equipment troubles.

The second largest nuclear three plant facility in the USA (Hope Creek and Salam 1 and 2) are turning grossly unprofitable with all their recent equipment troubles and enormous idle capacity. It is a gross embarrassment with a enormous capacity being power restricted or shutdown during the vital public service summertime operations. I don't understand why the PJM ISO doesn't disqualified Salem and Hope Creek as being a reliable base load unit for the grid?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Junk Plant Salem 1 Stuck At 12 % since Thursday

Update 7/18
I remember the troubles I had with my first car. It was a 1965 two door Ford Comet. I loved this car. I was always repairing the dam thing. The end came when I kept blowing out alternators. I was on my third one. I had a short and nobody could find it. That is how I took it to the junk yard. It was the only car I cried over junking it.
Basically two plant shutdowns and a prolonged period of 12% power over a undiscoverable intermittent large electrical generator short. They are going to go broke if they keep it up!!! That is what is keeping them at 12%. They have already reached the special inspection threshold over scams and down powers for the quarter. This is startling incompetence over detecting what caused the resulting trips and figuring out where the short is coming from.
Bet you they are at least losing a million dollars a day plus the expensive contractors!!!  
The chickens are coming home to roost at the second largest nuclear facility in the USA...
Update 7/15
So Salem 1 has been stuck at 12% for a week. I don't think prolonged operation at low power is safe. They got unit 2 in a prolonged baffle bolt shutdown. We are going to see a lot more problems from these guys. They are not taking care of their plants sufficiently.  
So this is after their double header leak and:
The Salem 2 reactor automatically tripped off-line on June 28 after its generator shut down because of an alarm indicating some sort of problem.
After extensive troubleshooting, it was determined that rainwater had leaked through gaskets on the electrical system for the generator. The area where the problem was found is located on the plant site between the generator and the main transformer.
Operators installed an enhanced monitoring system to detect any future problems before they cause the plant to shut down.
Operators initially brought the plant back on July 4 for about eight hours, but when there was an indication there still might be a problem in the generator, the plant was shut down and new inspections conducted, according to Delmar. 
Unit 1 at Talen Energy's Susquehanna nuclear power plant has returned to the regional power grid after being shut down for three weeks to address a water leak.
Operators reconnected Susquehanna Unit 1 on Monday, according to a Talen news release. The Unit 1 reactor was manually shut down June 6 to address a water leak inside the unit's containment structure.
During an inspection of the area, Susquehanna staff identified and subsequently reported a second minor leak from a pipe beneath the reactor vessel to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
"Throughout the maintenance outage, our nuclear professionals maintained their primary focus on keeping each other and the surrounding community safe," said Jon Franke, site vice president. "We have worked effectively with our equipment vendors and other industry experts to develop and implement the plan to complete repairs to return the unit to reliable service."
Unit 2 at the plant remained fully operational, Talen said.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said Tuesday that Unit 1 had been experiencing "very minor leakage" from a tube guide at the bottom of the reactor vessel. A tube guide is where a device used to measure power levels is inserted into the vessel.
Talen completed a weld overlay to repair the leakage, and Sheehan said agency officials did not identify any concerns with the fix.
Both Sheehan and Talen previously said