Monday, October 28, 2013

Worst In Nation: Pilgrim Nuclear plant

Nov 7:

Plymouth nuclear plant receives lower performance ratin

PLYMOUTH – The news has not been good this week for Entergy Corp., the owner-operator of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. www

On Monday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced a performance rating drop for the Plymouth plant due to shutdowns with complications, placing it among 22 in the country requiring more oversight.

Two days later, federal regulators sent Pilgrim officials written notice that the plant’s standing will likely fall even further within the next couple months, placing it among the nation’s eight worst performers.

And on Thursday, a union representing Pilgrim plant workers, publicly condemned Entergy’s plan to lay off eight employees next month, saying the company shouldn’t be cutting staff at a time when the plant is rapidly dropping to the bottom of the country’s list of 100 reactors.

The NRC’s Wednesday letter to John Dent, Entergy’s site vice-president at Pilgrim, warned that the plant was headed for a further downgrade at the close of the year’s fourth quarter, based on the number of unplanned, forced shutdowns over the last several months.

Pilgrim, in fact, led the country in the number of shutdowns.

The letter fell just short of stating Pilgrim’s upcoming drop to the bottom eight was a certainty, and comments from the NRC’s spokesman Thursday were also just shy of a definite confirmation.

“Until we finalize the data, it’s not 100 percent,” Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan said. “But we wouldn’t have put it in the letter if we didn’t think it was a good possibility it was going to occur.”

Entergy spokesman James Sinclair said the company did not wish to add anything to the statement it issued Monday. In the statement, Entergy said: “Operating Pilgrim at the highest levels of safety and reliability is our highest priority and we have conducted rigorous reviews of the plant shutdowns to identify needed improvements.”

Meanwhile Daniel Hurley, president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 369, criticized his employer when contacted shortly after the union issued a press release.

The Pilgrim employees targeted for layoff are administrators, technicians and technical specialists.

“These employees write the procedures for everything being done at the plant,” Hurley said. “The facility is safe and reliable as long as it’s run by men and women trained to do it – all of them.” “There are no non-critical workers in a nuclear power plant,” the union president continued. “If anything, they should be hiring more workers.”

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., joined the protest via a press release Thursday. “We know the best team at Pilgrim is the team that is there now, and has been there for years,” the senator said. “Entergy shouldn’t make cuts to that team, They should keep everyone on the job so Pilgrim is safe and operating smoothly.”

Meanwhile Sinclair defended the company’s decision. “The determination of positions that could be eliminated was based on careful consideration not to impact plant safety, security or reliability,” he said.

In light of this week’s development’s at Pilgrim, Diane Turco, a Harwich resident and founder of the anti-nuke group Cape Downwinders, repeated her group’s message that the time has come to shutter the plant.

“Entergy is criminally negligent for operating the Pilgrim Nuclear power reactor for profit over public safety, as is the NRC for recognizing the dangers and just giving lip service and labels to the real and serious threat to the population and environment,” Turco said. “We already know there are lots of issues there. We need to call on our legislators to shut Pilgrim down now.”

Pilgrim No. 1 in U.S. for shutdowns

This is the first installment of a two-part series about the future of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, which was published on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013.

PLYMOUTH — From broken water pumps, leaky valves and steaming pipes to elusive electrical problems, it's been a tough year for Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.

Related Links



Part 1:Pilgrim No. 1 in U.S. for shutdowns


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2013 Pilgrim shutdowns and glitches

Jan. 10-17: Both recirculation pumps tripped, followed by a head drain valve leak

·         Jan. 20-24: Leaking safety valve

·         Feb. 8-16: Winter storm, 169 hours down

·         Aug. 22-26: All three main water pumps shut down

·         Sept. 8-17: Steam pipe leak

·         Oct. 14-21: Off-site power to plant unavailable because of NStar problem, which caused initial shutdown. Plant remained closed for two days after power restored because of faulty mechanical pressure regulator, which caused water levels in the nuclear reactor to become too high.


·         July 15: Loss of control room alarms. Plant stayed online. Alarms came back on with no explanation. Reason for malfunction never found.

·         July 16: Heat wave warmed seawater temperatures, forcing the plant to power down to about 85 percent intermittently. Federal regulation required seawater, used for cooling the reactor, to be no warmer than 75 degrees.

Source: NRC website and Entergy press releases

Entergy, Pilgrim's owner and operator, has poured $500 million into the 41-year-old plant since buying it from Boston Edison in 1999, yet mechanical problems and off-site power outages have forced the operation to shut down six times since January, making it No. 1 among the U.S. fleet of 100 commercial nuclear reactors for shutdowns this year.

Pilgrim has spent 79 days in shutdown since January, although company officials are quick to attribute 46 of those to planned refueling last spring.

Even when Pilgrim has been operating, the reactor has frequently been kept below peak level while workers address mechanical glitches. Between Aug. 22 and Sept. 21, for instance, the plant underwent two complete shutdowns and never reached peak power.

During July, a heat wave forced plant operators to frequently drop below peak levels because of the rising temperature of sea water used to cool the reactor. Federal regulations won't allow use of seawater above 75 degrees.

Bill Mohl, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, agreed in a recent interview that Pilgrim has had more than its share of problems.

"We've had our challenges with that facility this year," Mohl said. "But we are very focused on improving that operation."

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, after a five-year review process, agreed to re-license the plant for another 20 years just 16 months ago, despite considerable outcry from anti-nuclear groups and local and state officials, including the governor and attorney general.

"The issue is that the NRC has never truly met a plant it didn't like," said Jeffrey Berger, a former longtime chairman of the Plymouth Nuclear Matters Committee. "Many people, including me, quite pointedly question whether the NRC is the guard dog over the industry that it's supposed to be or simply the lapdog."

Darrell Roberts, director of NRC's Region I Division of Reactor Projects, in King of Prussia, Pa., countered that his agency did "an exhaustive review" of Pilgrim before granting Entergy a new license. "Pilgrim was the longest license renewal process of any plant," Roberts said.


The operation's stuttering performance since its re-licensing, coupled with Entergy's recently announced plan to shutter its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant for financial reasons, has caused some to wonder about Pilgrim's future despite the decision by federal regulators to license it until 2032.

The plant's frequent unplanned shutdowns since January, with four of those related to mechanical problems, will probably also affect its level of oversight, once the NRC finishes its review of third quarter performance records, expected to wrap up next month.

"Shutdowns like that would get our attention," Roberts said.

More than three forced shutdowns in 7,000 operating hours (there are 8,200 hours in a year) will lower a plant's "performance indicators."

Pilgrim, now in a category that requires only standard oversight, may end up joining 22 other plants that must undergo more intense scrutiny.

Thomas Kauffman, spokesman for Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, an advocacy group for the nuclear industry, argues that Pilgrim has a good operating record. The plant's three-year average for being at full operating level is 91 percent, Kauffman said, "several points higher than the U.S. nuclear fleet's national average."

Not surprisingly, Entergy officials also say Pilgrim is just fine, although a company spokeswoman refused discuss plant financial specifics.

"Pilgrim is about 10 percent larger than Vermont Yankee," said Entergy spokeswoman Joyce McMahon in an email. "In addition, Pilgrim is located in a region of the electrical grid where there is a stronger and growing demand for electricity. Those two factors provide Pilgrim with a significant economic advantage over Vermont Yankee."

In its announcement of Yankee's planned closure, set for the end of 2014, Entergy cited the low price of natural gas, increasing cost of meeting federal standards, particularly for smaller single reactors, and maintenance costs as reasons to shutter the 41-year-old plant.

Dave Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Vermont Yankee has performed at 90 percent capacity over the last three years, "a tad below Pilgrim."

"It's hard to believe that such minor differences yield a red light for Vermont Yankee and a green light for Pilgrim," Lochbaum said. "At best, it would seem a yellow light for Pilgrim, cautioning about another premature retirement due to unfavorable economics."


Pilgrim has stirred up considerable public opposition over the years, particularly during the plant's re-licensing process, as well as since then.

Residents of the Cape are concerned about the plant's safety and the lack of an evacuation plan should there be an accident. That latter problem has prompted items such as T-shirts emblazoned with slogans like "No Escape from the Cape" and "Cape Evacuation Plan: Swim East."

Fourteen Cape towns, through town meeting or ballot votes, approved petitions last spring asking Gov. Deval Patrick, as the state's top official, to call for Pilgrim's closure because the safety of Cape residents can't be guaranteed.

Barnstable, the final town to vote, will consider the petition on Nov. 5.

"We've been concerned over public safety, but the decision has always been in Entergy's court on whether they operate or not," said Diane Turco, a Harwich resident and founder of the Cape Downwinders, the group that penned the petitions. "It will probably close down over company profits, not public health and safety."

Mary Lampert, a Duxbury resident and founder of Pilgrim Watch, has called Pilgrim "an antique."

"The plant was built when leisure suits were in style," Lampert said. "I think we're in a particularly dangerous period with an old reactor and no investment. People are thinking, 'Should I live here?'"

There is also some worry in the plant's host town. "Every time I get a shutdown notice, it makes me more concerned about their operating system," Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said. "I think there's a townwide desire they improve safety and security. Fukushima made us all sit back and say, 'Do we have enough in place to protect our residents?'


Peter Friedman, a retired naval nuclear engineer and current chairman of the mechanical engineering department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, said Pilgrim and other U.S. nuclear plants are strictly regulated and safely operated.

"People should realize that a statistical analysis of base-load power generators like coal, natural gas and hydroelectricity, nuclear power is by far the safest, and that includes accidents at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl," Friedman said.

None of glitches that caused Pilgrim's shutdowns or power downs this year posed any risk to the public, he said.

Nuclear plants in the United States are staffed with personnel who are more highly trained than their counterparts at Fukushima, according to Friedman.

Meanwhile, five reactors are slated to close within the next year: Crystal River 3 in Florida, Kewaunee in Wisconsin, Vermont Yankee in Vermont and two reactors at San Onofre in California. Kewaunee and Yankee will close for financial reasons. San Onofre and Crystal River are closing because of mechanical problems that proved too expensive to repair.

All five are shutting down before their licenses were set to expire.

Lochbaum said it's not uncommon for plants to close before the expiration of their licenses. "To date, about two dozen nuclear power reactors have been permanently closed in the U.S.," Lochbaum said. "Only one (Big Rock Point) shut down at the end of its operating license period. All the rest shut down unexpectedly ahead of the license expiration date."

Entergy's Mohl remained vague when asked recently whether any consideration was being given to closing Pilgrim anytime soon.

While he said there were no current plans to shutter the plant, Mohl added, "We're always looking at holding and optimizing an asset, selling it or shutting it down."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Eastern Metro New Hampshire Centric

Bottom line, if your bridge isn't red is a political decision wholly controlled by the fraudulent bridge inspection, are shit of of luck.

 The whole 10 year transportation plan is scam to make us feel better with NH doing nothing around our route 119 1921 bridges...

Give us the appearance of movement, when there is not a chance in the world.

State House Memo: We need a 21st-century transportation network

Every two years the Executive Council updates the state’s 10-year transportation plan, structuring funding for roads, bridges, airports, buses and rail for the next decade. As the council holds more than two dozen hearings across the state to solicit public input, two facts are becoming abundantly clear: New Hampshire’s transportation network is in need of repair and expansion, and there’s not enough money available to get the job done.
The public has done an excellent job identifying the state’s substantial transportation needs. In Londonderry, I heard about the need to finish Interstate 93 and develop Pettengill Road south of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. In Hooksett, residents shared important traffic and safety concerns on major state roads going through town. In Manchester, I heard about the need to reconstruct Exits 6 and 7 on Interstate 293 and for the state to invest more in mass transit. There’s widespread concern about delays to the Route 101 widening project in Bedford. In Loudon, residents made a compelling case for safety upgrades on the Route 106 corridor and the expansion of the Bow-Concord stretch of I-93.
Statewide, there are nearly 500 red-list bridges and 5,000 miles of state roadway to repair and maintain, not to mention a backlog of important new road projects that are languishing on the shelf.
Some communities are underserved by transit, and the overall network lacks connectivity for many people and economic centers.
Transportation projects are economic generators, infusing our state with much-needed construction jobs and lasting economic, public safety and quality-of-life benefits.

The I-93 widening project, currently under way from Windham to the Massachusetts border, is the state’s most critical one. This artery is a lifeline for our economy, but the state is still $250 million short of completing the project. If left unfinished, an inadequate I-93 will be a detriment to New Hampshire motorists and our economic fortunes.
Finding money for new projects is particularly challenging because of years of flat federal transportation aid and the shrinking purchasing power of our state’s gas tax.
Unless something changes, we will not have the capacity to look far beyond I-93 and basic maintenance over the next decade.
Guided by metrics on condition, safety, mobility and economic impact, the council is working with the Department of Transportation to finalize a plan that prioritizes our many local, regional and statewide needs. This will have to be done within the confines of current funding realities and will be sent to the governor and Legislature for their consideration next year. At that point, it will be up to legislative leaders to have a full discussion about whether the 10-year plan is adequate in terms of its breadth and scale.
If they have listened to what the public has said at the Executive Council’s hearings and the data provided by DOT, they will know that we run the risk of shortchanging communities and our future if we do not expand the scope of this plan.
New Hampshire must develop a 21st-century, intermodal system of transportation that connects our people and our economy. Currently, we are struggling to simply patch up the one we inherited from last century. This 10-year plan should not be a catalog of projects that will never be initiated; it must be a road map for long-term success.
If the legislative and executive branches can set aside ideology and assemble a robust and responsible plan, I’m confident New Hampshire’s future as a place to live, work, and do business will be better than ever.
(Executive Councilor Chris Pappas is a Democrat from Manchester. His district includes the local communities of Allenstown, Bow, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Hooksett, Loudon, Northwood, Pembroke, and Pittsfield.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Congressional Study Finds Inconsistency in Nuclear Safety Enforcement

Oct 22: So i saying the south and west NRC region's enforcement is perfectly consistent...hear, see and speak no evil. That is why there are so many plant in such serous condition without much chance of the NRC pushing them into being good nuclear corporate citizens. Are they playing up to our regional difference with our individualist and extremist anti government and free market political philosophies? What it the best interest of the rate payer and our nation. The west and south just portrays events inaccurately different to their public for the same reason...congressional and presidential campaign contribution distorting federal over site.

 The GAO is a paper tiger.
You can clearly see this in this report where they don’t identify particular plants and corporations. Like is there any relationship with lost power operations, scrams, unscheduled shutdowns and down-powers? The GAO is basically a paper tiger where our legislators have pulled away from these guys the power to enforce truth telling and full disclosers or you go directly to jail. These guys should be like the FBI or other federal agencies, in that if you are in a  investigation and you lie or withhold information, then you sit in jail for many years. 
You get don’t you...the GAO has the ability to be very influential...but they have been defanged many years ago by both the Dems and Republicans at the behest of campaign contributions.  
The New GAO Report: Or maybe the GAO just got its head up their ass.

Basically I think the GAO has been captured by the extremist republicans and the nut bag teabaggers over anything nuclear. That how i see it over the years and they are part of the problems with our nuclear industry, as we can't see accurately the real problems and fix it. The GAO is basically a function of congress and they have become highly sensitive with the powerful southern and nuclear political contingent. These guys stick together and they are very potent. The GAO has been intimidated for years and they really got no transparency with the agency and certainly within a nuclear. They got minimal skills and education with understanding anything nuclear power plant.   

Congressional Study Finds Inconsistency in NuclearSafety Enforcement
The number of safety violations at U.S. nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses, according to a congressional study awaiting release.
The Southeast, with the most reactors of the NRC’s four regions, had the fewest such violations, according to the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press
The study also says that the NRC’s West region may enforce the rules more aggressively and that common corporate ownership of multiple plants may help bolster maintenance in the Southeast.
The west and the south generally have plants that have horrific and uncontested known long term violations with NRC regulations. The NRC might ignore a NRC region or slap them with a horde of insignificant violation...but these powerful coalitions of nuclear plant owners in the south and west are totally immune with changing their horrific behaviors. The southern and western NRC regions are a hubris/arrogant nontransparent and stubborn group.  The upper west is just about as bad but they haven't been caught with their pants all the way down to their knees because of huge exelon. These huge energy companies got congress and the president completely in their pockets!
Region 4 has San Onofra who has been known for many years with running totally out of control with not following regulations and ending with a two plant shutdown over new bum steam Generator. Fort Calhoun has been shut down for many years and they were discovered with a horde of many long term undiscovered violations of NRC regulation until a mid west flood got their attention. It take a terrible incident to change the heart of the NRC if we are are doesn' t come from the heart of this agency to do what is right for our nation.I think the NRC knew a horde of nuclear plants were running like this and they just ignored it as a favor to the industry. Wolf Creek is in the same boat.

One of the worst plants and nuclear corporations in the nation is Brown Ferry and TVA. Again the NRC has turned their eyes away from confronting the powerful south political  contingents...tolerated long term violations of regulation that lead to a valve failure. A tremendous amount of safety equipment was degraded or broken at the same at one Browns Ferry plant...basically TVA knowingly created this with the long term complacency of the agency. Their whole fleet has become suspect and the current issues today indicate with all the NRC's and TVA's effort...the fleet is still overwhelmed with past and new problems.  
The game over and over with the NRC, is the agency turns their eyes away from numerous long term known rules violation caused by political intervention and then  the agency discloses an unimagined shocking incident that just shows up out of nowhere. This forces the agency to out massive mounts of plants known rules violation over many years to regain their credibility.  This hide-and-seek  and purge cycle happens over and over again.
Basically, if you don't rock the boat we will close our eyes to rules violation no matter what they are...if you draw attention to yourselves we will violate any of you if you burp. This is he result of massive corporate political pressure...  
... Basically the south and western NRC regions got the same problem but handle it in different ways.  Their inspectors are intimidated by their managers and potent political pressures generated by the powerful electric utilities. The got the NRC in their pockets.

The South...the inspector just turns their eyes away from massive rule breaking because the antigovernment southern political philosophy generates or forces them to behave in this way.
The West...the inspectors generates a blizzard of insignificant violation to bamboozle the population into thinking the NRC is strict. The so call western individualistic and anti-government political philosophy generates pressures to stir up meaningless paper violation while allowing the plant to be run to the ground by not following engineering codes or agency rules...
It is all massive political pressures that blind’s the public from really knowing what is going on and it turns off the NRC oversight switch for political payola...  
One blinds the public with bullshit and the other has the power to make the inspector shut their eyes at work!
The West and South just have differant ways to turn off the NRC switch...but they accomplish the same thing.
The upper mid west Region 3...the rotten Blagojevich-Exelon political influences are so intense on the bottom level NRC inspectors..everything in region 3 is a black hole. Nobody can see anything!   
Once the rules and laws were designed to control the outlaws.
Now the rules and laws are designed to control the  the police and NRC...give total permissives for bad plants and crooks to do anything....


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Out Of Control Rogue Nuclear Corporation

You see how they are still making good profits at Entergy this quarter but still starving their nuclear plant.
The first and second worst plants in the nation are both managed Entergy. Then we got the debacle of Vermont Yankee, Palisades and Pilgrim...

Report: Indian Point plant had most nuclear violations in U.S.


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — The Indian Point power plants in the New York suburbs have been cited for more violations than any other nuclear site in the country, although 99 percent were low-risk violations, according to a federal report awaiting release.

The Government Accountability Office report, using figures from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said four of the 384 citations between 2000 and 2012 were for "higher-level" violations. Many plants around the nation have more in that category.

But no plant site had more total violations. The closest to Indian Point's total was at the Cooper plant in Brownville, Neb., which had 374 violations. Eleven of those were "higher-level" violations, the report says.

Cooper has just one reactor, while Indian Point has two.

Lower-level violations are those considered to pose very low risk, such as improper upkeep of an electrical transformer.

Entergy Nuclear, owner of Indian Point, issued a statement saying it "has received the most regulatory scrutiny of any plant in the country." It said, "Entergy's commitment to address even minor issues and enhance safety is unrelenting."

1968 Springfield Ma Elevated I-91 Crumbling

1968 Springfield Ma elevated I91 Crumbling

Massachusetts approves study to overhaul Interstate 91 through Springfield

BOSTON — In a step forward for a massive transportation project in Western Massachusetts, the state has chosen a consultant to study possible alternative alignments for Interstate 91 through Springfield, while highway officials proceed with a plan to replace decks on a deteriorating elevated portion of the highway in the city.

The transportation department on late Friday said that it has picked the Cheshire, Conn.-based consulting firm Milone & MacBroom Inc. to evaluate alternatives for a section of Interstate 91 including possibly depressing the highway section to ground level or below ground.

At the same time, the state highway division will be moving forward with a plan to replace decks on the crumbling Interstate 91 viaduct, a spokeswoman said.

"We have an immediate need to replace the decks that are elevated," said Cynthia Roy Gonzalez, the transportation department's assistant secretary for communications, on Tuesday.

She said she could not say when construction would start on the deck replacement, other than to say it would be soon.

She said that Milone & MacBroom would study a section of Interstate 91 south of the most elevated portion of the viaduct near the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.

At the same time, the state highway division will develop a plan for replacing the decks of the existing Interstate 91 viaduct, which has raised safety concerns. In April, after a big chunk of concrete fell from the section, Gov. Deval L. Patrick said the state would have "a big, big problem" if the Interstate 91 viaduct falls down.

Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette said it is important to find a solution to the I-91 viaduct. Bissonnette said if it continues to crumble, it might need to be shut down. He said it's the most important transportation priority in Western Massachusetts. "We have to have a plan," he said.

While $400 million is the estimate for replacing the viaduct, the cost could run to $1 billion if part of the highway is depressed to ground level or a tunnel, Bissonnette said.

The upcoming study by Milone & MacBrooms, which has an office in Springfield, is aimed at taking up some longtime concerns that Interstate 91 hurts access to the Connecticut River and to attractions such as the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.

The study also comes while MGM Resorts International is planning an $800 million casino in the South End of Springfield that would front Interstate 91 and would draw most of its traffic from the highway. MGM is competing with Mohegan Sun Massachusetts in Palmer for a single state casino license for Western Massachusetts.

Timothy W. Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, which had a representative on a panel to select the consultant for the study, said the deck replacement needs to happen soon, but it's a good idea to look at future alternatives for aligning the highway.

According to an overview of the study provided by the transportation department, the depression of the highway section to ground level or below ground could be less disruptive to Springfield than the current design. In the long term, it might also be better for the environment and the economy than the existing configuration, the overview said.

Roy Gonzalez said below ground could mean a tunnel or "a boat section," where the road is below grade with retaining walls.

"The study will entail the development and analysis of a full range of alternatives including interchange, highway and non-highway improvements as well as options and design elements that improve access in all modes," said the overview, which was provided at the request of The Republican.

The state is starting contract negotiations with Milone & MacBroom with a goal of starting work in January, Roy Gonzalez said.

Milone & MacBroom will coordinate with the state highway division as it moves forward with its proposal to replace the decks on the viaduct.

The planned Milone & MacBroom study is another step toward deciding the future of the highway.

Francis DePaola, administrator for the state highway division, has said the decks on the viaduct could be replaced in two years.

At the end of June, Richard A. Davey, secretary and CEO of the transportation department, said the Interstate 91 project is a priority and the state is "very committed" to getting it done. Davey has said that the overhaul of the viaduct could cost $400 million. Davey has said the elevated section is in terrible condition, but it is safe and it is being monitored by the state.

Roy Gonzalez said the transportation department likely will secure funding for the Interstate 91 project if state legislators, as expected, approve a transportation bond bill filed by the governor in March.

Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Severely Uneconomic

Posted: Oct 15, 2013 6:51 PM EDTUpdated: Oct 15, 2013 6:51 PM EDT

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — The Indian Point power plants in the New York suburbs have been cited for more violations than any other nuclear site in the country, although 99 percent were low-risk violations, according to a federal report awaiting release.
The Government Accountability Office report, using figures from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said four of the 384 citations between 2000 and 2012 were for "higher-level" violations. Many plants around the nation have more in that category.
But no plant site had more total violations. The closest to Indian Point's total was at the Cooper plant in Brownville, Neb., which had 374 violations. Eleven of those were "higher-level" violations, the report says.
Cooper has just one reactor, while Indian Point has two.
Lower-level violations are those considered to pose very low risk, such as improper upkeep of an electrical transformer.
Entergy Nuclear, owner of Indian Point, issued a statement saying it "has received the most regulatory scrutiny of any plant in the country." It said, "Entergy's commitment to address even minor issues and enhance safety is unrelenting."
Phillip Musegaas of the environmental group Riverkeeper, an Indian Point critic, said of the plant's violations, "Even if they're low-level violations, they're still safety violations, and the NRC does not have an effective system for tracking them. ... The people of New York should wonder why Indian Point has twice as many as any other plant in the Northeast."
What a dog...this is a widespread collspe with plant reliability. Anybody who watched them last year with repetetive loss of power event in a blizzard last year realized the grid don't have the quality to support a nuclear plant. Entergy, the grid and Nstar have repetedly talked about plant trip after storms never allowing this to happen again...and it keep happening over and over again.
Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station offline again
October 15, 2013
PLYMOUTH – The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is operating on generator power today after one of two power lines went down last night.
At 9:21 p.m. yesterday, the plant automatically shutdown after it lost one of its two 345-KV lines, owned by NStar, which provide offsite power to the plant, according to a statement from Carol Wightman, the spokeswoman for Entergy, the company that owns and operates the Pilgrim plant, said.
Last week, NStar removed the other line from use for planned maintenance, Wightman said. She would not comment on the operating level of the plant while it was under maintenance.
But a spokesman for the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission told the Times he believed the plant reduced power output to below 50 percent while it flushed organic material off the water condensers for the reactor in a process called “thermal back-washing.”
The plant is now running on its emergency diesel generators, which “immediately started and are safely powering the plant,” Wightman's statement read. There is no impact on the health and safety of employees or the public from the shutdown, she added.
While the plant is shutdown, workers will “take advantage of this time to perform maintenance that cannot be done while the plant is operating,” she said. The plant will return to service after NStar restores offside power and completes maintenance.
Pilgrim has been shut down several times in the past few months for various reasons.
A heat wave in July reduced the plant's output by 15 to 25 percent when water temperatures in Cape Cod Bay, which is used to cool Pilgrim's systems, went over those allowed under the plant's federal license.
Then, starting Aug. 22, there was a monthlong trend of shutdowns and partial power-downs. The plant wasn't restored to full service until Sept. 18.
9/9/13: Basically I told neil, why is their so many different reports on the goings on at the Pilgrim Plant post outage.

Why can’t the agency write or force Entergy to write a concise report of these events. Why no event report? I know the rules.

I think the object is the NRC and Entergy give incomeplete information...they want the media to make mistake in reporting issues with nuclear power. That way, the editors will ask for perfect information, thereby mismizing reports in the media. It is a stratory to disrupt communication.

And the NRC has the power to make have to call in to the public relation office. Thus the media owes a favor to the NRC for a free story.

They agency is playing the media becuase they don't have the independant skills and knowledge to understand the complex terms of nuclear power...

Region I says it is a leaking feed water heater and generally it is in restricted and isolated area. Certainly because of the high radiation around the heaters...people pass this area quickly. And stay times are limited.
It is absolute disgrace...they don't clearly tell us why they shutdown. All these tricky words. Now it is a safety relief valve...

Did they use it during the feed pump scram...
Monday morning around 5:25 a.m. the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth was shut down again to investigate a minor leak on one of the plant’s four safety relief valves.
You get it, they are still don't fully understand what happened to the power supplying those feed pumps...there is nothing more reckless than you don't know what is going on in your systems and starting up...

Sept 10: They don’t say where the leak comes from…the worst nuclear power plant accident in the USA comes from the Surry nuclear plant...which scalded to death 4 workers and severely injured two more in 1985...

You get that don't you, it hot water water under very high is only steam when it is released to the air.
A big pipe at 400 degrees broke apart…

Mechanical Malfunction
PLYMOUTH – A series of mechanical difficulties at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station has kept the plant from operating at peak for more than two weeks.
Currently Pilgrim is completely off the electric grid, shut down Sunday evening because of a steam leak in a pipe supplying hot water to the nuclear reactor.
Spokesmen for both the plant and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stressed the problem did not pose a safety risk for the public, but Pilgrim opponents say such ongoing mechanical problems show the time has come to shutter the 41-year-old plant.
Diane Turco, a Harwich resident and founder of the Cape Downwinders, said recent events at Pilgrim make it the perfect time to deliver to the Statehouse a citizens advisory calling for Pilgrim's closure. The advisory was penned by the Downwinders and approved by town meeting or ballot votes in 14 Cape towns last spring.
“It calls on Gov. Patrick to request the NRC uphold their mandate and close the Pilgrim nuclear plant because the public safety cannot be assured,” Turco said. “We're supposed to be given a time and date to meet with the governor on Wednesday.”
Both Gov. Deval Patrick and Attorney General Martha Coakley opposed the relicensing of the plant in June 2012. The NRC subsequently renewed the license for another 20 years.
The governor's office did not return a request for comment on an upcoming meeting with the Downwinders.
Dave Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, tracks nuclear plant shutdowns in the U.S.
Pilgrim has had “more than its share,” leading with seven shutdowns between January and June 30, Lochman said.
“Overall there have been 94 shutdowns at U.S. nuclear power reactors in 2013 through June,” Lochbaum said. “With roughly 100 reactors, that's an average of less than one shutdown per reactor. Pilgrim has had seven times that.”
Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said his agency categorizes shutdowns into unplanned forced shutdowns and controlled shutdowns to make needed repairs. Since January, Pilgrim has logged four forced shutdowns, according to NRC records.
One of those occurred on Aug. 22. Workers forced a rapid shutdown when an electrical malfunction caused a loss of power to the three massive pumps that supply water to the reactor.
When the plant was being powered back up four days later, the motor on one of the three main water pumps failed. The plant stayed at 76 percent power while Entergy, the owner-operator of the power plant, secured a replacement motor. The replacement was installed last weekend, but the plant never made it back to full power.
Plant operators had been keeping an eye on a small leak in a steam pipe joint, according to Carol Wightman, spokeswoman for Entergy. On Sunday, workers noticed the leak was getting worse, and they decided to systematically shut down the reactor and address the problem.
Sheehan indicated issues with the electrical power to the water pump may not yet be fully resolved. “Troubleshooting activities are continuing.” Sheehan said in an email. “Further investigation involving the electrical supply system for the motor are ongoing.”
Meanwhile Plymouth officials, who recently signed a three-year agreement for $28.75 million in lieu of taxes from Entergy, are also closely watching power plant operations.
“It's very concerning,” said Selectman Belinda Brewster. “There seems to be an increase in the number of shutdowns over the last year.”
Plymouth Selectman John Mahoney, who also serves on the Plymouth Nuclear Matters Committee, said, “With a plant entering its fifth decade of operation, these problems are bound to happen.”
“The only thing we can do is keep pressure on with the NRC and our federal officials,” Mahoney said.
It sounds like they been watching the leak for days and they screwed up big time by not fixing it when they were shutdown for the feedpump trip.
"She said plant personnel had been monitoring the leak while they decided whether it needed an immediate repair. The plant was taken offline when the amount of the leak increased Sunday."

Sept 9: What in the hell is Pilgrim in the NRC status report at 0% power today...the NRC says they are shutdown last night... 

Originally posted 9/7

May 9, 2013
Entergy-Fitzpatrick Is Beginning To Be Unreliable?
First published on Sept 5

Believe me, Neal Sheehan gets it...I talk to him first and then the so called "foes" come in to clean up after me. Least it gives him time to gather the agency's information. Neal was kinda nice to me.

What was clear to me talking to Neal...I couldn't get a answer when was the first indication they were having troubles with the feed pump. Was it during the trip or did if fail during the startup....or weeks before? Did it have a intermittant or small ground for many days...then it failed.

Everyone including the NRC is pissing their pants wondering if Pilgrim will be next?
Pilgrim plant foes cry foul

PLYMOUTH, Sep 07, 2013 (Menafn - Cape Cod Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Two weeks after an electrical malfunction caused the shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station's reactor, the plant is still not at full power.
Representatives from Entergy, which owns and operates the plant, initially attributed the delayed return to standard procedure. Shutdowns provide opportunities to address items on a reactor's "to do" list, they said.
But federal nuclear energy officials confirmed Tuesday that a failed motor in one of three massive pumps that supply water to the reactor was keeping the plant from operating at peak.
The burned-out motor, within days of the wiring problem, had nuclear watchdogs talking.
Diane Turco, a Harwich resident and founder of the Cape Downwinders, compared the 41-year-old plant to an old Volkswagen Beetle. "You keep repairing it bit by bit until the front wheels fall off," Turco said. "This is a far too serious situation to keep having problems. They need to close the reactor."
Mary Lampert, founder of Pilgrim Watch, called the two plant problems "an example of one thing after another."
"It's indicative they're not spending the money to make sure the equipment is in operable condition," Lampert said. A replacement motor was in stock at the plant, but it had last been refurbished in about 2007. Plant officials decided to send it out for an inspection before installing it.
The motor was checked and is now awaiting installation.
"It's fair to say any power plant has operational conditions that need to be managed, and we're doing a good job of responding and getting the plant back to full power," said James Sinclair, spokesman for Entergy.
Lampert said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should be demanding better performance from Pilgrim. "The NRC doesn't seem capable of developing a backbone and making sure they're doing what they should be doing," Lampert said.
NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said feed-water pumps are a production issue, not a safety issue. They provide water for the nuclear reaction process. "Still we are certainly going to monitor the work," Sheehan said of the motor installation.
On Aug. 22, a breaker had tripped due to a faulty electric cable in the junction box, causing the three large feed-water pumps to shut down. Workers immediately halted the nuclear reaction process.
Pilgrim was at zero power from Aug. 23 to 25, then very slowly powered up over the next three days to 20 percent. On Aug. 29, power reached 74 percent and now hovers at about 76 percent.
While the lower production rate would seemingly result in lost revenue, Sinclair said Entergy does not comment on production-related issues for business reasons.
In its mid-year performance review released Wednesday, the NRC appeared satisfied with the Plymouth plant. "Pilgrim operated in a manner that preserved public health and safety and met all cornerstone objectives," the review letter said.
The NRC will continue to oversee Pilgrim at the level used for plants that meet performance standards.
Sheehan said the August shutdown, the plant's fifth unplanned shutdown in the last 15 months, wasn't factored into the mid-year review, but will be considered as part of the NRC's third quarter report later this fall.
"We are still evaluating whether there will be any changes in oversight due to the number of unplanned shutdowns," Sheehan wrote in an email.
Sept 5: Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Severely Uneconomic

I mean, last cycle with all their shutdowns and power reduction associated with the defective "new" safety relief valves…now for the last five days the plant has been restricted to 75%. How can these guys be economically healthy?

As I said, I think Entergy has lost the capability to effectively and cost effective….to keep up with maintenance and upkeep. They aren't getting a big enough bang for their maintenance buck.

They have lost the capability to maintain increasing members of their nuclear keep up at a economic high capacity factor.

One thing you can say about Vermont Yankee…they stayed out of the media’s eyes and have maintain very high capacity factor post AOG leak…

Right, Pilgrim now is on a special NRC watch because of all the shutdown issues?

...I mean, from the startup on Aug 27...they never exceeded 76% power. That is ten days at 75% power?

How has Fitzpatrick been doing?

Are we talking about the next 18 months at 76%?

Then the Palisades boondoggle with their refueling and their injection water tanks…

...Hmm, and Fitz has been at 90% since Aug 25...

...And the media and antis have been asleep about this since start-up.

...So region ii says they busted a main feed pump...they are staging the job now.

So Entergy-Pilgrim recently tripped by a botched maintenance job done during the the last outage... that shorted the pump cooling water power instrumention tripping all feed pumps. They were coming out of that screwup 10 days ago...when they discovered the bum feed pump. The moter is bad..
Don't drop the stator...