Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Was Waterford A Precursor To Arkansas Nuclear One?

June 12:
REPORT 05000313/2013011 AND 05000368/2013011

Basically the temporary crane was supposed to be tested with 125% of the weight of the stator...it wasn't.

You get it; the crane company isn't participating with the Entergy investigation...
You see how the Waterford event covered all the bases of the Arkansas event?

What i see is, they made the complexity of the heavy lift rules so massive...that no one can understand the extremely infrequent lift rules or follow them. The extreme complexity of the rules basically makes the heavy lift rules unenforceable and inherently dangerous.

So this caused the death of one employee, the injuries of eight, and rumors of the amputation of a leg.

Is the 2012 Waterford Inspection Report actually the 2013 dropped stator...

Is this how they game rules for short term advantage?

I suspect May 9 would go like, we overly depended on the contractors to do the heavy lifting...

November 14, 2012


Heavy Lifts and Failure To Perform Proper Risk Assessment.

"Description. On August 15, 2012, the licensee conducted heavy load lifts over the B train of the dry cooling tower area in order to assemble portions of a temporary work platform (TWP) used to support steam generator replacement maintenance activities. The licensee used procedure EN-WM-104, “Online Risk Assessment,” to perform an initial risk for this activity while at-power and determined that the risk was a normal level with no additional risk management activities needed. The inspectors reviewed the online risk assessment and noted that the risk assessment associated with the lifts failed to identify that some of the activities associated with the assembly of the TWP met the definition of a non-standard lift. The risk assessment procedure EN-WM-104 identified that non-standard lifts should be considered as high risk and additional requirements for preparation, approval, and oversight of such activities are needed.

The inspectors noted that to determine if a lift is non-standard, the licensee should use procedure EN-MA-119, “Material Handling Program.” Numerous lifts associated with assembling the TWP met the definition of a “critical lift” given in EN-MA-119. Specifically, the lifts involved handling large equipment “over spaces in which high value or safety-related equipment or systems are located.” EN-MA-119 defines all critical lifts as non-standard lifts. However, the licensee used the contractor’s assessment of what constitutes a critical lift. The inspectors determined that the licensee did not follow processes in place to properly assess and manage the risk associated with performing non-standard lifts. Due to this failure, the licensee inappropriately categorized the activities as having normal risk, rather than high risk, when performing EN-WM-104. The licensee also noted at that time the licensee scheduled reactor trip breaker testing. However, since this activity was deemed normal, no other risk management actions were in place due to the inadequate assessment. The categorization of the activities as having normal risk resulted in the licensee’s failure to implement the more stringent risk management actions required by EN-WM-104 for high-risk activities.

The licensee entered this condition into the corrective action program as CR-WF3-2012-4195 and CR-WF3-2012-4489. The immediate corrective action taken to restore compliance was to re-evaluate and change the integrated risk classification from a normal risk to a high-risk level and implement the required risk management actions.

Nuclear Diaphragm Valve Product Line

Nov 7: Here is the update.

As with VY’s SRV’s actuator seals, a formulation had gone obsolete...so they replaced it with lesser materials.

So 10% of their customers need an equivalent or similarly durable material...ITT just threw these guys under the bus.   
What sticks out is how amazingly complex a issue this is over a simple diaphragm. Think about this with millions of components in the industry...
And a limited cycle rate or life time is mind blogging complex problem when you consider the 18 month operating time of our reactor and the limited opportunities to replace these guys while up at power in a radiation field.
How many venders are throwing the whole nuclear industry under the bus...
While the Ml test program was considered a success and the new compound was launched in 2008, there were still 10% of those conditions for which ITT was unable to meet the full qualification target of 7,500 cycles, and this was a source of some concern for certain ITT customers. Those customers had purchased the previous MI diaphragm made from the polymer that had gone obsolete, and they would contact ITT for replacement valves or diaphragms subject to those conditions. ITT would note that while the data did not permit the diaphragm to be sold for that condition, the diaphragm could be used at a restricted service life base on the limited data that did exist. This was a common practice that had been used successfully with the previous MI formulation, and customers with those certain operating conditions agreed to use the diaphragms with a specific reduced life.

May 15:
Yea, can you even imagine what a phone call by the NRC to ITT raising questions on the diaphragms. No matter what was said, it would imply the NRC is taking a interest in it and it's going into a  official investigation. They would be doing back flips trying to prepare for the upcoming investigation.


May 14:

I talked to two part 21 NRC specialist today. They were very friendly. They could have talked for months about the part 21 process. I told them I am not concerned with the radiation qualification of the diaphragms. I showed them what I thought were shortcomings in the part 21 process.     
I explained this is what I am concerned about:
Code Case N31 (250?F and 220 psi with 40 year radiation exposure of 1E8 Rad).
1)      What is code case n31?

2)      The high rads imply the diaphragms are going into containment and the 250 degrees is incongruent with containment.  More like 370 degrees.   

3)      Specifically what does 250?F mean.

4)      The fundamental question,  is there non-qualified diaphragms in containment.
Basically they told me that I should trust the process, they do…I told them where there are current holes in the agencies part 21 process…so I am testing you guys.
They explained we need to wait until the 60 day update…that is when they will specify what valves and plants are involved. They seem really hesitant to call ITT. They didn’t seem concerned the 1E8 rads and 250 degrees in the containment didn’t mix.  But they said they would get answers for me. They said they will call me back when the update came in.
I just was surprised they couldn’t immediately tell me these valves don’t go into containment or nobody knows what the 250?F means, but all diaphragms are good to 370 degrees. The best they would say is we don’t know what "code case n31 (250?F and 220 psi with 40 year radiation exposure of 1E8 Rad)” means. I was surprised they couldn’t throw some facts back at me to blow me out of the water.
May 3: SO, a Watts Bars inspector called me up about the ITT diaphragm issue.

I told him this reads as qualified for class 1 nuclear safety components and 1E8 implies it is near the core. The "250?F" implies that is the highest temperature rating. Told him it should be 370 degrees qualified. Reminded him about the Fort Calhoun, Peach Bottom and Vermont Yankee issue with putting in intentionally improper material in valves. This looks to me like to me they are putting improper diaphragms in nuclear plant containments in general. He told me they have rules and regulations to prevent this, besides it was caught in a surveillance. I told  him that was a hell of a way to run a Navy.

The only way the agency is going to Catch it is by doing a inspection on containment diaphragms and the NRC then asking a set of utilities if all containment diagrams are fully environmentally qualified. 

"It only applies to those that were sold for a particular service condition of Code Case N31 (250?F and 220 psi with 40 year radiation exposure of 1E8 Rad)."
But he seem more interested on how I got the phone number of the first inspector. It must be a secret phone number or such. This is two NRC officials that seemed to be really interested in how I got this special phone number.

He wasn't even familiar with what ASME code case N31 means...

I think it defines the quality of class I, II and III elastomer 3 or 4 inch diaphragms...
...Big picture, based on the VY safety relief valves threaded seals and current events in the industry, the NRC lost control of maintaining the design quality and environmental considerations within the containment to withstand the worst accident of design. They don't know how the plants will respond in a accident with their containment at 370 degree to 400 degree. And this is all wrapped up the TVA Watts Bar's commercial dedication crisis...the inability of vendors to provide quality replacement parts in the industry. It is in every plant in the nation.

I asked the NRC at VY's annual public meeting and they seemed to promise me a response:
1) Does Vermont Yankee have any code case n31 diaphragms in Vermont Yankee, specifically diagrams only qualified to 250 degrees?

2) Does any plant in the USA have code case n31 diaphragms in their plant, specifically diaphragms only qualified to 250 degrees, which should be 370 degrees... 
I have complained about components in nuclear plants being not qualified for the designed accidents in containments environments.

I specially complained about pneumatic safety relief valve o rings, seals, gaskets and diagrams. I worried they wouldn't be qualified for the containment environments...specifically for temperatures and radiation.

Code Case N31 (250?F and 220 psi with 40 year radiation exposure of 1E8 Rad):

Based on the VY SRV unqualified buna-n threaded seals, 250F isn't qualified for any containment in the USA. They should be qualified for 400 degrees F.

They could be for pneumatic actuators?

Devices that measure flow and difference of pressure (d/p)...

What the hell does "250?F" mean? What does "Code Case N31" mean and are diaphrams that meet this allowed in containments.

So why is the requirements 250 degrees and 40 year radiation exposure of 1E8 Rad?
ASME Section III Component Replacements 

N31 (1540-2)
Elastomer Diaphragm Valves, Section III, Class 2 and 3
7/18/85-Each applicant who applies the Code Case should indicate in the referencing safety analysis report that the service life of the elastomer diaphragm should not exceed the manufacturer’s recommended service life. This recommended service life should not exceed 1/3 of the minimum cycle life as established by the requirements of paragraph 3 of the Code Case. In addition, the service life of the elastomer diaphragm should not exceed 5 years, and the combined service and storage life of the elastomer diaphragm should not exceed 10 years. 
Class 1Components (III, Subsection NB)-Those components that are part of the primary core cooling system 
Components (III, Subsection NH)-Those components that are used in elevated temperature service

Class 2Components (III, Subsection NC)-Those components that are part of various important-to-safety emergency core cooling systems

Class 3Components (III, Subsection ND)-Those components that are part of the various systems needed for plant operation
When you worry about this kind of  rads for1E8, you are talking about power operations near the core and the potential of nuclear meltdown. That be 400 degree F.

Sounds like this comes from TVA, Watts Bar and not qualified nuclear parts...

Region: 1
License #:
Agreement: Y
Notification Date: 04/26/2013
Notification Time: 17:25 [ET]
Event Date: 04/26/2013
Event Time: 13:54 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 04/26/2013
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
Person (Organization):

Event Text


The following report was received from ITT Engineered Valves, LLC via facsimile:

"It is my duty as the Responsible Officer of ITT Engineered Valves, LLC (ITT) to inform the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of a defect with certain items of our nuclear diaphragm valve product line which may be considered Basic Components. The components are ITT's Nuclear M1 diaphragms, sizes 3 inch and 4 inch that may have been sold to certain customers for specific design conditions. The defect does not affect all 3 inch and 4 inch M1 diaphragms that have been sold. It only applies to those that were sold for a particular service condition of Code Case N31 (250?F and 220 psi with 40 year radiation exposure of 1E8 Rad).

"The nature of the defect is best described by 10 CFR Section 21.3 Defect Definition #5, as 'an error, omission or other circumstance in a design certification or standard design approval that... could create a substantial safety hazard.' In this case, ITT inadvertently qualified the 3 inch and 4 inch M1 diaphragms for a design condition that includes the effect of radiation when in fact our recommendation was erroneously based on diaphragm testing that did not include irradiated diaphragm test results for those sizes. The potential safety hazard stems from the fact that if one of these diaphragms sees radiation in this particular service, there is no data to indicate that the diaphragm will perform its function in that service condition. Until such time that we can conduct additional irradiated diaphragm testing to additional sample diaphragms and test for this condition, we need to consider the parts that are in this service as potentially unsafe.

"ITT is in the process of identifying all facilities for which the diaphragms were sent, either as spare parts or diaphragms incorporated into valve assemblies. We are also preparing to do further verification tests of the 3 inch and 4 inch M1 diaphragms in an attempt to ascertain the true performance rating at the noted condition.

"Per 10 CFR 21 policy guidelines, this initial notification will be followed by a written notification by May 27, 2013."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Exelon-LaSalle's Two Plant Trip Is A Mess Over A Lightening Strike (really, lightning)

I am just saying...a known not corrected defect in the industry just lead leads to worst and worst outcomes.   

Vermont Yankee switch yard insulator defect was a precursor to the double hitter Byron insulator failure.  Think about how much money this cost by not forcing a industry wide response.

Vermont Yankee Switch Yard Insulator Defect LER 2005-001-00

 "A root cause investigation team determined that the MOD failure was caused by the failure of a porcelain electrical insulator as a result of a manufacturing defect. A laboratory examination of the insulator was performed by an off-site lab. The examination revealed a void area in the cement that attached the failed section of the insulator to the metal flanges and a geometric off-set in the placement of the insulator in the flanges. Close examination of the void surfaces showed that this void was pre-existing and occurred during the manufacturing of the assembly. These conditions caused a stress riser to occur on the northwest side when wind and other cyclic loads were applied to the insulator. The repeated cyclical loading and unloading produced a stress crack in the porcelain, weakening the insulator and ultimately leading to failure, prior to it's design lifetime of 40 years. The insulator was original plant equipment."

Byron Switch Yard Insulator Defect LER 2012-001-01
Cause of the Events Event l
The Unit 2 SAT-1/2 insulator failure was caused by service propagation of a large manufacturing material defect that covered approximately 40% of the fracture cross-section in one section of the insulator stack. The defect was characterized as poorly vitrified porcelain, which contained a high density of porosity and micro-cracks. 

Additionally design vulnerabilities existed in the protective relaying schemes regarding the lack of single open phase detection that complicated plant and operator response by not automatically isolating all three phases on the affected line.

Event 2
The Unit 1 SAT insulator failure was caused by service propagation of a large manufacturing material defect that covered approximately 25% of the fracture cross-section in one section of the insulator stack. The defect was characterized as poorly vitrified porcelain, which contained a high density of porosity and micro-cracks. Moreover, a second insulator section, which fractured as a result of the fall, exhibited the same poor vitrification as did the section that initially fractured.
Sounds like a thunderstorm wind could undermine the structure of a defective switch yard insulator?
VY: "These conditions caused a stress riser to occur on the northwest side when wind and other cyclic loads were applied to the insulator. The repeated cyclical loading and unloading produced a stress crack in the porcelain, weakening the insulator and ultimately leading to failure, prior to it's design lifetime of 40 years."
Can't start the plants up sequencually ...what not try and start them up at the same time?
Exelon Illinois LaSalle reactors 1 And 2 ramped up early Wed.

Wed May 1, 2013 9:03am EDT

May 1 (Reuters) - Exelon Corp's 1,118-megawatt Unit 1 at the La Salle nuclear power plant in Illinois ramped up to 70 percent power early Wednesday from 22 percent power Tuesday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a report.

Its 1,120-megawatt Unit 2 at plant was operating at 28 percent power, up from 1 percent power on Tuesday.

...Originally posted on April 18...

Exelon's Guatemala and oligarchy fleet of nuclear plants...  
NRC: “When we looked at all lightning-related events at U.S. nuclear power plants from 1992 to 2003, we identified a total of 66 such events, he said. “Twenty-one of those involved a loss of one or more offsite power sources but no equipment damage. There were no events that involved a loss of offsite power that resulted in plant equipment damage. Of the 66 events, 48 (or about 73 percent) involved no reactor trip, or shutdown.”Sheehan added, “Most lightning strikes do not cause a plant to shut down.”

So let me get this straight...the LaSalle facility has two nuclear power plants. They got a so called lightning strike on April 17 leading a special NRC inspection. It tripped both plants. The special inspection team is on site right now. They first attempted to start-up Unit 2 last week (April 25). They had a bad circ water pump or something, it took out the plant. Over the weekend with the NRC on site, they attempted to start-up Unit 1. They had a RCIC steam line leak in the containment and it caused them to shut down on Saturday. 

So Thursday Unit 2 was shut down, then within two days Unit 1 was shut down for a steam line leak. Today both plants are shut down again while the NRC is on site for a special inspection. Buddy, the heat is on. Is Exelon collapsing like they did in the middle and late 1990s...   

It is kind of amazing, on restart both plants had to be shut down before they even reached 100% power...within just hours of the startup. Two plant startups within the last few days and double 0% power in today's NRC's current reactor status report. 

Sequentially in early 2012 both Byron 1 and 2 tripped within a month of each other on bad switch yard insulators, led to LOOPs...a bad protective safety circuit created a severe vulnerability for both plants. The NRC issued a serious Guatemala engineering style warning to all plants to check their LOOP protective circuits. This is how a two nuke plant facility would behave if they were located in Guatemala?   

Exelon issued a recent severe financial warning over wind and natural gas making their nuclear fleet extremely vulnerable. Huge nuclear plant budget cutback and extreme employee disillusionment! Had to cut their dividend also! And Exelon is home-ported in Chicago Illinois and its one of the most politically corrupted states in the USA.    

Japan Times wrote a article about severe and dangerous employee issues at Byron...the culture of intimidation at Exelon. What crap these employees have to go through to make more than $100,000 a year. If they were making minimum wages. they could just say fuck this stuff and quit. They are all slaves to feeding their families and making money...having a career.     

For eight minutes, you’ve raised your middle finger to the meltdown gods,” one reactor operator said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If anything else happened in that window — and it’s a safe bet one problem causes another — you’re screwed.”

“Those eight minutes symbolize over a decade of abuse,” said a plant source. “And you can never undo it. And it’s never forgotten.”
So in a LOOP over the failed insulator without diesel generators, Byron failed to automatically start up their emergency diesel generators for eight minutes. You get it, the extremely technical Exelon employees are pleading and crying for help? 

Gets you wondering if Exelon and Entergy are exhausting and overwhelming the NRC? 

Power Reactor Event Number: 48977
Facility: LASALLE
Region: 3 State: IL
Unit: [1] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-5,[2] GE-5
Notification Date: 04/28/2013
Notification Time: 00:48 [ET]
Event Date: 04/27/2013
Event Time: 21:24 [CDT]
Last Update Date: 04/28/2013
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(i) - PLANT S/D REQD BY TS
50.72(b)(3)(ii)(A) - DEGRADED CONDITION
Person (Organization):

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 N Y 6 Startup 0 Startup

Event Text


"This notification is being provided in accordance with 10CFR50.72(b)(2)(i), Plant Shutdown required by Technical Specifications, and 10CFR50.72(b)(3)(ii)A, Degraded or Unanalyzed Condition.

"At 2245 CDT on 04/27/13, LaSalle Unit 1 commenced a Technical Specification required plant shutdown, due to identification of pressure boundary leakage. At 2124 CDT on 04/27/13, a through-wall leak was identified in the body of 1E51-F076, Reactor Core Isolation Cooling system steam supply inboard isolation bypass warmup valve. This qualifies as pressure boundary leakage, which requires entry into Technical Specification 3.4.5, Reactor Coolant System Operational Leakage, Required Action C, to be in Mode 3, Hot Shutdown, by 0924 [CDT] on 04/28/13, and Mode 4, Cold Shutdown, by 0924 [CDT] on 04/29/13. This leakage is significantly less than 10 gpm and therefore does not meet the threshold for entry into the Emergency Action Plan. At the time of discovery, Unit 1 was in startup mode following a forced outage. A unit shutdown has been initiated. A repair plan is being prepared at this time, and the unit will remain in Cold Shutdown until repairs are complete."

The leak is located inside the primary containment and was visually identified during a containment walk-down.

The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

April 26:

Special investigation and another trip on unit two?
They are sticking with the lightning  strike...
The issue involved a lightning strike that resulted in the loss of external power to Unit 1 and 2. Both units automatically shut down and all control rods were inserted.
April 19:
“When we looked at all lightning-related events at U.S. nuclear power plants from 1992 to 2003, we identified a total of 66 such events, he said. “Twenty-one of those involved a loss of one or more offsite power sources but no equipment damage. There were no events that involved a loss of offsite power that resulted in plant equipment damage. Of the 66 events, 48 (or about 73 percent) involved no reactor trip, or shutdown.”
Sheehan added, “Most lightning strikes do not cause a plant to shut down.”
"So what would prevent all the defective switchyard insulators from breaking and shorting in a heavy storm, tornado or earthquake and then causing another LOOP..."

The LaSalle Nuclear Plant Cooling Lake and NRC Idiocracy
 I meant to say, what would prevent more strategic insulators from breaking in the weather causing more LOOPs?

It would have been nice to included thunderstorms...

Another two plant LOOP...Loops going on all over the place. On-site disconnection of off site electricity.

Right, whatever happens to their nuclear plant no matter what the evidence, it is always a total act of god.

Based on Exelon,  Briadwood and Byron, I'll bet you it was high voltage switchyard bad insulators... a thunderstorm wind came up and broke a defective insulator. The winds shook the lines/insulators and then broke the lines. Then a humorous short damaged the rest...

The theme is these plants aren't designed for the climate and the poor maintenance that doesn't address obsolete and defective component.

Towers and lines get hit all the time by lightening...and there is not much plant trips on lightening and damaging insulators nationwide.

I'll will bet a protective switchyad relay didn't work....
"This was caused by an apparent lightning strike in the main 345kV/138kV switchyard during a thunderstorm. 138kV line 0112 has been inspected in the field, and heavy damage has been noted on the insulators on two of the three phases on a line lightning arrestor line side."

Facility: LASALLE
Region: 3 State: IL
Unit: [1] [2] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-5,[2] GE-5
Notification Date: 04/17/2013
Notification Time: 16:59 [ET]
Event Date: 04/17/2013
Event Time: 15:11 [CDT]
Last Update Date: 04/18/2013
Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT
10 CFR Section:
50.72(a) (1) (i) - EMERGENCY DECLARED
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(A) - ECCS INJECTION
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) - RPS ACTUATION - CRITICAL
Person (Organization):

Unit SCRAM Code RX CRIT Initial PWR Initial RX Mode Current PWR Current RX Mode
1 A/R Y 100 Power Operation 0 Hot Shutdown
2 A/R Y 100 Power Operation 0 Hot Shutdown

Event Text


"LaSalle Unit 1 and LaSalle Unit 2 have both experienced an automatic reactor scram, in conjunction with a loss of offsite power. This was caused by an apparent lightning strike in the main 345kV/138kV switchyard during a thunderstorm. 138kV line 0112 has been inspected in the field, and heavy damage has been noted on the insulators on two of the three phases on a line lightning arrestor line side.

"The plant systems have all responded as expected. All five diesel generators started, and have loaded on to their respective buses as designed. All rods went full in on both units during the respective scrams. HPCS [High Pressure Core Spray] system was started on each unit and automatically aligned for injection for initial level control."

The MSIVs [Main Steam Isolation Valves] are shut on both units with decay heat being removed via the safety relief valves. Suppression pool cooling is in progress.

The licensee will notify the NRC Resident Inspector and has notified the State.

Notified DHS, FEMA, USDA, HHS, DOE, NICC, EPA, and Nuclear SSA via email.


"In addition to information [previously provided], LaSalle Unit 2 received a high drywell pressure signal [1.77 psig] due to loss of containment cooling from the loss of power. At the time of this high drywell pressure signal, high pressure core spray pump and 2B residual heat removal [RHR] pump was already in operation, the low pressure core spray system and 2A residual heat removal system was secured and [placed] in pull to lock. When the signal was satisfied the ECCS [Emergency Core Cooling Systems] signal was processed but only the 2C RHR pump would have started. In this case, the 2C RHR pump tripped when the signal was received. There is no evidence of reactor coolant leakage. There was no additional ECCS systems discharging into the RCS [Reactor Coolant System]. As [initially stated], level was controlled using High Pressure Core Spray and level control is now being maintained using the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling [RCIC] systems. The 2C RHR pump trip is under investigation.

"Due to the initial loss of offsite power for both Unit 1 and Unit 2 reported at 1511 [CDT], multiple containment isolation valves isolated and closed as expected. Once initial containment isolations were verified, two Unit 2 primary containment vent and purge valves were opened to vent the Unit 2 containment. Once Unit Two containment pressure reached 1.77 [psig], these two vent valves isolated as expected.

"Due to the loss of offsite power, the Station Vent Stack Wide Range Gas Monitor (WRGM) and the Standby Gas Treatment Wide Range Gas Monitor (VGWRGM) also lost power. Manual sampling has been implemented and power is restored to the VGWRGM, however the VGWRGM has not been declared operable yet. Normal radiation levels have been reported from the manual sampling. [This is being reported in accordance with 10CFR50.72(b)(3)(xiii).]"

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector and the State of Illinois.

Notified the R3 IRC, NRR EO(Skeen), IRD MOC (Grant).


"After the Unit 2 primary containment vent and purge system isolated on the Unit 2 containment High Pressure signal, Venting of the Unit 1 primary containment was commenced. At 2005 CDT, Unit 1 primary containment pressure reached the Group 2 primary containment isolation system setpoint (1.77 PSIG) causing the primary containment vent and purge valves being used to vent the Unit 1 containment to isolate. Unit 1 primary containment venting was being performed through the Standby Gas Treatment system which is a filtered system.

"In addition to the primary containment isolation signal on high drywell pressure, an ECCS initiation on high drywell pressure also occurred. The ECCS signal resulted in an auto start of the 1C RHR system. The 1B RHR system was already running in suppression pool cooling mode. 1A RHR and LPCS had been secured to prevent overloading the common diesel generator for division 1. The common diesel generator supplies both Unit 1 and Unit 2 division 1 ESF busses."

The licensee informed the NRC Resident Inspector. Notified NRR EO (Skeen), IRD MOC (Grant) and R3IRC (Louden).

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mindless Gods Of Nuclear Nonproliferation

April 28:

Hmm, where does GE get its uranium from today's newspaper article about Vermont Yankee starting up....
Rob Williams, spokesman for the plant, declined to say how much money Entergy Corp., the Louisiana-based owner of the plant, invested in the latest refueling. The uranium was purchased through General Electric Co., he said. Two years ago, Entergy spent $100 million to refuel the plant

So what is going on here?  
We had a tremendous loss of need with U235 for nuclear plants over Fukushima. The USA is having issues with keeping their plant in operation consuming U235. Are the Russians moving their U235 over to China? There is no trustworthiness with the USA's disclosures where they are geting their U235. None!

I'll bet you the USA will make a deal with the Russians by the end of 2013...this is all negotiation going on.  
Where does China get U235 for their nuclear plants anyway... 

How about Japan, where does their fuel come from? They were thinking about recycling it. Does it come from Europe? To them French Basterds...
April 28:Trying to blackmail the USA?
"This program is due to expire at the end of 2013. The American government has been very active over the past few years in attempting to extend the contract – all without success. The current Russian powers view former President Yeltsin’s submission to the M2M program as a betrayal of Russian sensibilities, and of her national security. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the program will expire, and will not be renewed in anything resembling its existing form.
A new contract has been devised and entered into, between TENEX and USEC. Announced in March 2011, by USEC, the so-called “Transitional Supply Contract” stipulates that USEC may purchase from TENEX a quantity of LEU, which is roughly half of the amount that was being delivered through M2M. However, this material has one very important difference: it is expressly stated in the contract that the uranium may NOT be derived from the Russian military or government stockpile. Furthermore, USEC must provide TENEX with sufficient natural uranium to replace any Russian mine supply used to produce this LEU. Hence, the Americans must source all the uranium that is used to supply all their own LEU. This contract is effectively nothing more than a purchase agreement for Russian enrichment capacity."
 What this article means, with one flick of a finger Russia could turn off the source fuel for 20% of our electricity nationwide...

This is a new kind of energy, financial and GDP "mutually assured destruction" (of two nations or ideologies) of a different kind. They recently blackmailed Europe in an energy crisis with throttling natural gas.

If you want to get some scam going on an unimaginable USA and international level...you got to dress it up in our most primal evil fears of mass death to all of us. You got to persuade the world you are trying to prevent the deaths of millions of people and the devastation of whole nations. You got to really dress this up in political credibility and PhD educational credentials.

Green washing and other saving the world ventures are of the same deal...
Altruism or "do gooding" is a huge business in the USA over the skankyest profit ventures. 
It seem in our times: the more altruism we do, the more we destroy ourselves!  
Can news be altruism washing...
So I originally published this on Dec 17, 2004. Right, we were in the  mother of all financial bubbles. I am talking a mania in all of us.

In 2004 I drastically miscalculated the amount of Russian U235 that was powering up our domestic nuclear industry. I thought it was 20%, but it was more like 98%...

At that time, 98% of the electricity being produced from our domestic nuclear plants "came from Russian uranium  sources...

I questioned if it all of it came from the Russian nuclear weapons program...but from their current mining, and centrifuge sources.

It is as if 98% of all our gasoline came from Saudi Arabia for the nuclear industry...

As a concern with national security in Russia...how can we remain independent with our domestic nuclear fleet being totally powered up on Russian uranium and 20% of our electrical power being supplied them...

They are our the Saude cheap gasoline of the 1960s,70s and 80s and on.They dominate our market and the world with their cheap uranium prices...

I thought the clever "Magatones to Magawatt" program was always a cover to dominate with the fuel into the American nuclear power market. It is the primary means to keep our domestic nuclear power industry viable in the 1990s and up to today. Maybe it was a national security scheme to keep Russia dependent on American foreign currency and allow us access to Russian insider information?

  Machiavelli: 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer'

So the question, is there an event on our horizon with Russia being so unstable that can drastically affect us?  The US could find we lose the viability of our domestic nuclear industry. This is a more plausible nuclear industry meltdown than what is known...a meltdown of a different kind. We might find Russia has been using American utility industry funding (uranium fuel) in a way that undermines us or creates terrorism. Then we get off the American addiction of using Russian fuel...

What would we look like if we didn't purchase Russian uranium for our domestic fleet. How do our onshore supplies look like? What would the world situation look like if Russia didn't didn't export nuclear fuel to the USA. Just think about if Russia kept these supplies for their own nuclear fleet...the fuel cost would just about be zero for the foreseeable future.

The USA electricity price within a short lag would spike to extraordinarily high levels. We certainly would go into nationwide blackout within a short period. This would be exactly like Fukushima accept without the nuclear meltdown on a much grander scale. Our nation would be battling blackouts and electricity shortage...extraordinary high priced electricity for a decade. I bet you they modeled this out on computer simulation program. I'd like to see that baby...

Do you see how hard it is to get the information on how much of our domestic nuclear fleet is sourced by Russian uranium and creating any internal debate. It is a classic cover-up and they are using energy and fresh money to maintain the cover-up.

If we look at the Vermont Yankee plant 2 miles from me right now with new eyes....they produce Russian electricity. The whole nuclear industry is just a middle man with distributing Russian energy.

But everyone calls me crazy!

2004: Mindless Gods Of Nuclear Nonproliferation
From:"Michael Mulligan" Add to Address Book
Subject:Re: [Know_Nukes] Russian nuclear fuel
To:Know_Nukes@yahoogroups.com--- Mike Mulligan
Russian nuclear fuel> >

You got to remember that here in the USA we've got a tremendous Russian community that is now living in our country. They come here for something.

The question is -what is the morality of using Russian nuclear fuel? So what are the conditions of the employees who have worked on making the bomb material? What is the condition of the current employees who are refining and concentrating the uranium ore? The flip side of this, and I think it's hugely important –what happens if we lose Russia? 
Are we overly dependant on Russian fuel and is that leading into weakening the rest of the companies who are in the uranium business. So the problem becomes like natural gas, we start increasing the use of nuclear power and then we lose Russia –that leads to a spike in Uranium price.

So the big question is: Would it have been moral of us to import cheap shoes from the Jewish WWII Nazi slave camps -that allows our poor to be shoe'd because that is the only price they could afford? Have we become so hungry for energy and profits –that we'd do anything for it? Where is the money going from the sale –is it doing good in Russia -is it going to the Russian gangs?Believe me, this proliferation rationale rings hollow.

You see those Russian workers who mined, centrifuged and manufactured nuclear weapons, much like our own nuclear employees, are owed something for their national sacrifice in serving national security. These people's lives aren't like red meat on a table ready to be sold to the highest bidder...to the mindless god's of nuclear proliferation!

Even in servicing this god of nuclear nonproliferation -we end up paying off the elites(nuclear engineers) and letting the lower level employees starve.


mike mulligan
Hinsdale, NH

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Such a great title: "Mindless gods" etc.

That's actually 90% of a good blog---a snappy and brainy-sounding title. When real-life paid authors have to choose a book title, they search for just such a phrase.Without an actual book , though, the title by itself ain't much of a creation.

Reading the "mindless gods" blurb, you suddenly get the feeling of "Oh...it was just a good title and reading on , its confirmed by the stumbling for an ending,
or for a point, or for anything smart to say.

So the Russian smelt workers were ripped off by the"mindless" engineers?

Lemme analyze this.

The engineers computed & designed the process.They set the size, shape, power level and
duty cycle of all the machinery involved. They arranged the process so no unwanted criticality events could emerge (as happened in Japan),and then they trained the good proletarian smeltwoiker show to run the stuff.


Not hardly.

Very, Very "Mindy" indeed.

The Vodka-swilling smelt woikers then showed up, lit a cigarette, turned on their transistor radios, agreed who would get to sleep on that shift, and who would stay awake to watch for the boss,and pulled the lever to start the centrifuges. In between filling out soccer pool cards,
and viewing porn magazines, they would run the machines until the end of their shift.


Who is mindless here?

Did you mean to write as a title:

"The Mindless Proletarian Dogs of Radioactive Smelting
April 28: I was trying to use the below in current events in 2004 that ask us the question, could we get unpredictable results from the Russians and their closed society within our national dependence on using Russian uranium. Imagine if through CIA or NSA means, we learned a Russian political faction wanted to disconnect the Russian-USA relations over our domestic use of their fuel. So in truly Machiavellian fashion, they egged on the  Chechens to attack us and the whole deal was uncovered by our CIA or NSA means.  It was financed by nuclear industry monies through purchasing fuel.

Back to 2004:
 A Message From The Future
Letter to the Editor:

I am speaking from the year 2106. Our planet has just begun to recover from the modern dark ages. They say truth is stranger than fiction –who would have thought airplanes could be used as political guided missile messages that destroyed two skyscrapers, witness the Twin Towers in New York City in 2001. These are the astonishing events that led to depopulating of half the planet. Modernity dropped back a century in time on average to 1900 throughout the world by 2020.

Ironically, this modern Dark Age holocaust saved the planet. We were heading over the unrecoverable cliff if we kept going the way we were. Human life would have ended on this planet earth without this nuclear exchange. What did we say about that life and evolution always protects itself? All of a sudden , the planet wide political pressures of global warming, energy and resource shortages were drastically reduced because of the planet wide human and industrial die-off.

As we sit in 2106 on a global level -all of our political and educational processes have been drastically changed.We have developed a planet wide ethical and moral code. This came through a catastrophe of enormous proportions and the death and sufferings of billions of people. The way we look at our children today is so different than in the year 2004.

We know that any child born on this planet has the potential and the requirement –to change the course of history of this planet. We give our poorest and disadvantaged children the finest educational tools that money can buy in the hopes that one child will change the course of our future history. Every child on this planet gets educated like this –and every child is our own child!

The extremist Islamic Iranian wilayat al-faqih eventually got a series of nuclear bombs in 2006. They detonated two bombs in Israel, one each over downtown Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The Israelis never knew if it came by missile or was sneaked in through the boarders of a destabilized Iraq. Israel within hours immediately retaliated. They devastated Iran through a series of atomic detonation. The Israeli military destroyed the capitals of China, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia (and Holy City of Makkah (Mecca) and Russia. You have no idea what this did to the price of oil –this was devastating to the global economic system.

The majority of the financing of the Iranian nuclear bombs came from a surprising source. There is evidence today that there was an Al-Qaeda plot involved with the Russians and Iranians. It also seems that a few Russians generals held a grudge with the American involvement in the Afghanistan Vietnam. This led to the downfall of the old Soviet Empire. At the 2004 timefram Russia didn't have a real government –it was ruled by mafia don like figures.

The majority of the financing of the Iranian nuclear program came from the American electric utility rate payers. By 2004, the electricity in one out of ten households (update in 2013: one in five homes) was being supplied from the Russian weapons grade nuclear material through the "Megaton to Megawatt program". We were purchasing HEU grade Uranium from the Russian nuclear bomb building program and fueling up American nuclear power plants in the hopes of reducing the nuclear proliferation problems to the tune of one half a billion dollars a year. There was just too much money to be made at all levels of the production and manufacturing with this Russian nuclear material for anyone to have any moral qualms with this.

A large proportion of the American monies got diverted into the Russian covert nuclear proliferation program that created the Iranian nuclear weapons. There was a theory that it was Chinese rocket technology that propelled the bomb to Jerusalem. It was common knowledge throughout the American political and intelligence establishment that the American nuclear electric monies were disappearing in the Putin regime. We knew the Russians would sell weapon technology without a hint of morality –likewise most of the countries on this planet would sell weapons without a hint of morality, including and especially the Americans.

To this day, we wonder why the American CIA and intelligence community didn't inform the American public of this impending catastrophe. It is recognized that the American intelligence community was going under historic reorganizations because of the intelligence failures of 9/11 and the WMD failures in Iraq. It was discovered the American intelligence community had gotten even more blinded than the lead up to 9/11 because of the failure of the American public's responsibility to manage their political system by 2006. This became another item on a long list of American institutional political failures of recent.

We wonder to this day did the American intelligence community work for the particular political regime or did they work for the people at large? Why wasn't the American intelligence community working for the people's of the planet. What it discovered, was a common relationship throughout the planet is the elites had transcended into competing for wealth and power among themselves –special access to markets and capital. They had forgotten that they were given this privilege in order to create stability and progress for the whole planet

It was a huge planet wide educational failure of theirs!

Thank You,
mike mulligan

Hinsdale, NH
NOVA doesn't get what is behind the USEC scam. What is fueling this sham. USEC is the portal in which all the Russian nuclear fuel from the USA's Megatons to Megawatts program gets funneled into our domestic nuclear industry. These are the brokers who divide Russian power plant uranium up to our utilities and then send it along to the nuclear fuel pin manufacturers. These are an extraordinarily connected set of dark shadowy national and international political players mixed up in the morality of our nonproliferation and national security issues. There are using the false "altruism"of nuclear weapons nonproliferation as a weapon to make profits and have influence.

NOVA Calls for End of "American Centrifuge" Hoax

Updated 16 hours ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Neighbors for an Ohio Valley Alternative – an alliance of formerly nuclear-dependent communities stretching from Piketon, Ohio, to Paducah, Kentucky – today called for an end to the ruse of an “American Centrifuge” commercial plant at the Piketon site. The non-materializing plant has been promised to the jobs-starved area in one form or another since 1976, when Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter campaigned for the presidency on the promise that they would deliver a new uranium enrichment plant to southern Ohio voters.

The first centrifuge project at Piketon was terminated by the Reagan Administration in 1985, after a test-run contaminated the site and produced erratic assays of uranium in a manner deemed not commercially viable. The same technology was revived in 2001 by the privatized USEC Inc., which promised workers and investors completion of a commercial facility by 2009. But in 2013, four years after the promised completion date, USEC has yet to even complete a test of the technology, or to propose a financing plan to support a commercial plant. About $500 million in bonds issued in 2007 to finance commercial construction are due for repayment in October of 2014, before construction of a commercial plant can even begin.
“It’s time to end the charade,” says NOVA executive director Geoffrey Sea, who also is a fence-line neighbor of the Piketon project. “At this point, all parties including USEC know that no commercial centrifuge plant will ever open at Piketon. The play-acting is continued for political reasons:
  • because the age-old backers of an Ohio centrifuge plant will not acknowledge the scandal,
  • because neither USEC nor the federal government have set aside the funds required by law to pay for the site’s full decommissioning and cleanup,
  • because ACP’s continuance is used to justify a 100-acre radioactive waste dump that Fluor-B&W and the Department of Energy would like to put at Piketon, (Fluor and B&W are also ACP partners)
  • because industrial interests wish to reserve the Piketon site as a storage location for spent nuclear fuel, as they actively attempted to secure in 2006.”
NOVA issued its call at a public meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Piketon on Thursday evening, at which NRC purported to certify the “safety” of USEC’s centrifuge operation. “It’s not too difficult to certify the nuclear safety of an operation that hasn’t, in fact, been operating,” said Geoffrey Sea. “NRC pulled this ruse twice before. Once when it used the period of USEC’s 'operation' of the gaseous diffusion plant at Piketon to certify its safety record, even though the plant was closed during that period. And again when NRC certified USEC’s 'safety' after the horrendous centrifuge crash of June 2011, even though the machines that crashed were running no uranium. NRC isn’t certifying USEC’s safety. It’s certifying USEC’s continued sham of non-production.
If NRC used USEC’s record of operation at the working Paducah plant as a basis for analysis, NRC would conclude that USEC has the worst safety record in the nuclear industry. The Paducah plant is scheduled to close at the end of May, one month from now. After Paducah closure, USEC will have no operating production facilities and will be reduced to what some have called a “uranium broker.”  
(NOVA doesn't understand the magnitude of the phase they used for this article of "what some have called a “uranium broker". It means USEC is currently the  Russian uranium broker to 98% of our nuclear plants and only god knows how much Russian uranium is sold to the rest of the nations.)

On April 29, NOVA will present the Commissioners of the NRC a letter detailing USEC violations of NRC requirements for maintenance of a construction and operating licence, and will call on NRC to suspend USEC’s licences at both Piketon and Paducah, as a matter of public safety, until such time as the deficiencies can be rectified.
Numerous factors make it highly unlikely if not impossible that a commercial ACP plant will ever be completed:
  1. 1. USEC’s technology is forty years old, dating to the 1970s. While USEC’s technology has stagnated, its competitors have forged ahead. URENCO now operates a state-of-the-art centrifuge plant in Lea County, New Mexico, and GE-Hitachi is moving to commercial-scale implementation of SILEX laser technology that will render centrifuges obsolete. GE-Hitachi has expressed interest in locating its SILEX plant at the Paducah site.
  2. 2. USEC missed every deadline for demonstration of the viability of its technology, which was due by contract in October of 2005. That demonstration has yet to occur, and USEC now relies on 80% federal financing to accomplish it, contrary to provisions of the USEC Privatization Act.
  3. USEC has terminated its power contract at Paducah after May 31, even though no firm closure date has been announced, suggesting that USEC’s financial capacity is severely strained.
  4. There are strong indications that USEC’s dire financial predicament led to shortcuts that caused the multiple-centrifuge crash in June of 2011. Neither NRC nor DOE takes responsibility for investigating that situation, leading to a potential safety calamity of the kind that just led to the fertilizer plant explosion in West Texas.
  5. USEC has proffered no plan to pay off its bond holders before the 2014 due date, and the schedule for ACP construction start after that date appears to anticipate that the company will no longer be around to make good on its present commitments.
  6. USEC’s stock has declined from a 2007 high of $23.91 to the current all-time low value of between 29 and 32 cents per share, a total depreciation of about 99%. 99% losses are frowned upon by investors.
  7. USEC stock is selling at less than one third of the required minimum for listing on the New York Stock Exchange and NYSE issued a delisting warning in May of 2012. If delisted, USEC bonds would immediately be due for repayment. USEC has delayed its 2013 shareholders meeting , at which measures to prevent delisting must be voted upon, without explanation.
  8. There is no indication that USEC has met or can meet the Financial Assurance requirements to cover the costs of decommissioning for either the “Research, Development and Demonstration” facility or a commercial ACP plant, indicating that no party has an expectation that a commercial plant will be built.
  9. USEC has proffered no credible financing plan for a commercial plant. USEC continues to say it will obtain $1 billion of additional needed financing, on top of a $2 billion federal loan guarantee, from a “Japanese Development Bank,” even though such financing is considered out of the question following the Fukushima disaster, which involved uranium fuel supplied by USEC.
  10. The Department of Energy took an ownership share of USEC’s operation in the summer of 2012, suggesting that DOE knows that USEC is in danger of liquidation under various planned or unplanned scenarios.
Given these and other factors, NOVA contends that continued government support for ACP in any form constitutes a hoax perpetrated on the people of southern Ohio and all Americans. Ohioans deserve real jobs and real development, free of legacy waste dumping, at the Piketon federal “reservation.”


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Update: South Texas Project Fiasco

This reminds of the 1970s with multiple crazy component failures, much damage and then extended plant outages. Is this going to be vendor related? Region IV is a mess and the NRC is not holding all these plants to engineering standards. Crazy god damn southerners? This reads like comic books full of "million dollar" (embellished on April 29) screw ups.

These guys are a gold mine for the outage vendors and service providers...

This preliminary notification supplements information in PNO-IV-13-001, issued to describe the event that occurred at South Texas Project, Unit 2 on January 8, 2013 (ADAMS ML13009A362). A fire in main transformer 2A, which was caused by an internal electrical fault, resulted in an automatic reactor trip. South Texas Project Unit 2 declared a Notice of Unusual Event (NOUE)due to the fire.

Update: On April 19, 2013, South Texas Project commenced restart of Unit 2. The event resulted in an extended outage to complete repairs to the turbine and replacement of the main transformer. The main turbine repairs were necessary due to a loss of proper lubrication to the turbine bearings during the plant’s shut down, which required replacement of the bearings. In addition, there was some damage to the turbine blades which required repair. The NRC resident inspectors monitored the licensee’s actions during repair activities, corrective actions and performed a review of the root cause determination for the trip. South Texas Project, Unit 1, remains at 100 percent power. 
The State of Texas has been informed. This information presented herein has been discussed with the licensee and is current as of 2:00 p.m. (CDT) on April 23, 2013.
What Junk!
Published December 29, 2011 at 10:27 P.M. 
WADSWORTH - A month after South Texas Project Unit 2 reactor automatically shut down due to a main generator issue, the unit remains offline. 
The shutdown happened days after the unit returned to 100 percent power following a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage in November. 

"We continue to make excellent progress working through restoration efforts associated with the shutdown of unit 2," said Buddy Eller, general manager of corporate communications and public affairs for South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co.
The preliminary inspection of the generator indicates damage to stator coils, Eller said. The ground fault appears to have occurred in one of the coils on the non-nuclear side of the unit and did not affect safety related equipment. Unit 1 continues to operate at 100 percent power.
An outage team of about 400 people have worked through the Christmas holidays to repair the problem, he said.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Counterfeit and Fraudulent Parts All Over The Nuclear Industry

Originally published on Jan 15, 2013...

TVA cited for not testing nuclear parts

published Friday, March 29th, 2013

Federal regulators have cited TVA with three more apparent violations at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant — this time over thousands of parts the utility purchased that are not documented as nuclear-grade quality.

Tennessee Valley Authority officials and engineers then failed to maintain a quality assurance program to test and certify those parts as nuclear grade, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and TVA.

Now TVA must hire a contractor and pay for 30 or 40 experts to backtrack at least 6,200 shipments and purchases of different parts -- some already installed and some dating back to 1995.

What's more, the undocumented parts may not be installed or stored only at Watts Bar, but also at the Sequoyah and Browns Ferry nuclear plants. What began as a Watts Bar issue has been "escalated" to include all of TVA's seven reactors at three nuclear plants.

It was not clear Thursday, and TVA had no estimate, of how much it might cost to check all the parts, ensure their quality and replace any as necessary.

In 1995, the NRC recognized that nuclear operators were having increasing problems finding nuclear-grade parts as the industry's growth lulled in the United States after the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. So regulators enacted rules requiring that parts obtained from non-nuclear-certified vendors must receive special and strict industry testing to be performed and documented by the operators.

But TVA apparently missed the memo.

TVA officials who met Thursday with NRC regulators in Atlanta acknowledged that their engineers didn't notice the new rules and didn't make the change.

TVA spokeswoman Gail Rymer said the nuclear plants are safe and the public is not at risk.

The parts review -- now about 11 percent complete -- has not identified any defective items, according to Joe Calle, TVA's manager for what the agency is calling the "recovery project."

Calle told NRC officials that TVA officials have confidence in the parts based on the utility's historical relationships with the commercial vendors and the specifications of their purchase orders. The quality of the parts is not the problem, he said. Rather, the trouble was in TVA's record-keeping for quality control.

"Latent organizational and programmatic shortfalls within engineering, supply chain and procurement engineering did not account for monitoring or assessing [the] ... commercial grade dedication program weaknesses and industry changes," Calle told NRC experts.

One example he gave was the database TVA used to catalog parts. He said it had drop-down windows for information entry, rather than areas that allowed for more information.

So TVA's procurement engineers "did not always provide sufficient documentation for the critical characteristics" to ensure quality parts. "Neither the software template nor the procedure contains direction for capturing critical thinking and justification," states a TVA slide provided to explain why many parts do not have adequate quality control documentation.

"We created our own perfect storm," Calle told NRC officials.

That quality control testing and documentation would vary from part to part, he said, but in many cases it should involve measuring sizes and testing hardness.

NRC officials Thursday seemed not so sure when Calle said at least one undocumented part has failed, but not because it was not a nuclear-grade part.

"You can't really tell why it failed, because you haven't really investigated it completely, right? You haven't completed all the reviews," countered Richard Croteau, the region's director for construction projects.

"No, we have a long way to go," Calle replied.

NRC inspectors first noticed the problem in a Watts Bar inspection in September 2011. When it was not resolved within a year, regulators in February 2012 handed TVA what is called a "noncited violation" notice.

Then in additional inspections in December 2012, January and February 2013, NRC inspectors decided still more attention was needed, and now the regulators have "escalated" their oversight.

"Based on the results of this ... three apparent violations were identified and are being considered for escalated enforcement action," states a new NRC letter to TVA dated Tuesday.

During Thursday's meeting, Calle and Don Jernigan, TVA's senior vice president for nuclear support, said that of the 6,200 unique parts orders (an order may contain multiple identical items) TVA now has reviewed 728, about 11 percent.

Of those 728, at least one part from each order package is installed already in at least one TVA nuclear plant.

Those reviews, to date, found:

• 374 parts packages were found acceptable as they had been recorded.

• 354 packages were "determined to require critical characteristics reverification, which includes actual testing of items in some cases," according to TVA.

Jernigan told the NRC that TVA will have developed a prioritizing approach for rechecking already installed undocumented parts by April 30, and the utility will complete its "comprehensive evaluation" of all undocumented commercial-grade parts that have been installed between 1995 and 2011 and correct any identified deficiencies by Dec. 31, 2014.

The Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor already is $2 billion over budget, and its completion date has been extended from 2012 to 2015.

Spokeswoman Rymer said the new problems will not drive up the cost or slow construction.

"We anticipate issues with a complex project like completing Watts Bar 2," she said. "The [parts certification] work is being integrated into ongoing activities at the site, and the project remains on schedule for completion by December 2015 and within a total cost of $4 [billion] to $4.5 billion.


So I began YouTubing this two days ago...My first Jan 13 about noon time.

....Jan 12: added new videos at the bottom and now I can have vedeos long than 15 minutes.

TVA nuclear parts scrutinized

A problem that surfaced 18 months ago at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant's still-under-construction Unit 2 reactor has resulted in the safety reviews for 500 packages of TVA-purchased parts.
The discovery that not all of the parts -- everything from bolts and fan belts to cables and electrical breakers -- had been tested adequately to assure they would meet nuclear plant safety and quality standards was first made by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during a September 2011 Watts Bar inspection.
But just over a week ago, TVA filed an event report with the NRC stating that more than 500 packages of parts -- some already installed -- must be evaluated.
"Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2 has determined that certain equipment components have been installed that may not meet the requirements of the commercial grade dedication process. This condition has the potential to create a substantial safety hazard had it remained uncorrected. Evaluations are being performed," TVA said in the event report.
TVA officials said no hazards have been found so far, but they acknowledge that their new parts reviews must be spread to all of the utility's six operating reactors.
That could involve "thousands more" parts packages, according to TVA spokesman Ray Golden.
"We've determined the cause of why this happened to us. And it's essentially a failure on our part to incorporate an industry update," Golden said Monday.
Work to evaluate the parts, which includes TVA and contract lab testing, has been ongoing at Watts Bar for more than a year, according to Ric Wiggall, head of nuclear engineering for Watts Bar Unit 2 construction.
"All the materials testing done to date has given us acceptable results," Wiggall said. "We've tested about 30 percent of the [Watts Bar] packages."
He said the additional work will not delay completion of the new reactor or drive up expenses.
The reactor is expected to be complete by December 2015 and cost about $4.5 billion. The reactor originally was expected to be complete in October 2012 at a cost of just under $2.5 billion.
When work began on Watts Bar's Unit 2 in 2007, it marked the construction start of the only new reactor added to America's nuclear fleet in the past 25 years.
But the safety of reactors begins before the building, and the components for reactors have to be nuclear worthy, according to NRC spokesman Joey Ledford.
"Worthy" components have "gone through an 18-step process for quality assurance before they are certified as nuclear grade," he said.
But finding certified parts has gotten tougher.
"I think what happened is that over the years, it has gotten more difficult for some of the [nuclear plant operators] to get components, so they've gone out on the market to get them themselves," Ledford said. "What we don't know yet is how complete [TVA's] work had been [to assure the purchases were nuclear worthy], Ledford said.
Joe Williams, TVA's general manager for nuclear power engineering, said the problem for TVA was one of rules interpretation.
"We performed an investigation and concluded that the TVA experts who were in charge of the process some years back misinterpreted their procedure as fully meeting the requirements when it did not," Williams said.
He said he knows of no other utilities' nuclear plants in the country with such concerns.
At the time the NRC initially noticed the problem in 2011, inspectors gave TVA what they called a "nonstated violation" -- essentially a warning and a suggestion that TVA recheck its parts purchases.
Wiggall said the NRC came back this past December to look at TVA's progress on the matter and raised more questions that caused utility officials "to re-evaluate."
"That was when we decided we would conservatively report it [in the Jan. 3 event report]," Wiggall said. "We do not at this point believe there will be any problems. ... What we expect is that when we complete the work and there are no problems, we'll retract it."
Williams said key difference in what TVA had done versus what it now is doing "is an additional level of rigor in verification tests."
Wiggall and Golden said much of the problem is just missing paperwork, and that's what TVA's new tougher testing will provide.
"There are some parts that when you buy them they don't come with the paperwork that would come with them from a nuclear component supplier. So it's incumbent upon TVA in that case to fill that paperwork, do any testing and provide ourselves the assurance that that part would perform its intended function," Wiggall said.
"And that's common in the industry," Wiggall said.
Ledford said it is too soon to say if the NRC will take further action.
"Obviously this is going to take a lot of work on the part of TVA and the NRC to sort out," Ledford said. Our concern is that many of these noncommercial-grade components could be installed in safety-related systems."
Contact staff writer Pam Sohn at psohn@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6346.

Of course, the other possibility is insiders and whistleblowers are leaking to me?

Counterfeit and Fraudulent Parts Throughout Nuclear Industry
Mike’s commentary 1

18 months and they haven't found the time to check their operating plants: "TVA officials said no hazards have been found so far, but they acknowledge that their new parts reviews must be spread to all of the utility's six operating reactors."

If you can't prove it with documentation and its pedigree...it is inop.

Counterfeit and Fraudulent Parts Throughout Nuclear Industry
Mike’s commentary 2

"Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2 has determined that certain equipment components have been installed that may not meet the requirements of the commercial grade dedication process."I think what happened is that over the years, it has gotten more difficult for some of the [nuclear plant operators] to get components, so they've gone out on the market to get them themselves,"Ledford said.

Counterfeit and Fraudulent Parts Throughout Nuclear Industry
Pentas Control INC CEO convicted of lying to NRC At Peach Bottom.
"He said he knows of no other utilities' nuclear plants in the country with such concerns."

Counterfeit and Fraudulent Parts Throughout Nuclear Industry
TVA 1 

Counterfeit and Fraudulent Parts Throughout Nuclear Industry