Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Indian Point is Turning Into Junk

Pretty pathetic excuses the failed paper insulation  and the faulty valves. How come, asking coming from such a expensive and invaluable reliability piece of gear, why was it paper?
I could make the case the intense activity forcing Entergy to spend money on Pilgrim, Fitz and Indian Point is diluting the resources from Entergy's Region IV plants. 
These are closely related components: why isn't this indicative of the maintenance and reliability quality problems plant wide. The idea of two problem and especially closely related components jumping out failing in one event is very worrisome. There are over 5 million parts in one plant, and this is a aging obsolete two plant facility... only a teeny percentage of component going bad can wrought terrible trouble to a plant and a fleet of plants. I think this site is getting insufficient maintenance funding just like Pilgrim, River Bend, Grand Gulf  and Waterford. Entergy is in trouble!!!

  • Entergy, the nuclear plant's operator, announced Tuesday the failed insulation — made of special paper — caused a short circuit in a high-voltage coil.

  • The company concluded that some sprinkler valves malfunctioned and didn't automatically close as designed. 

Faulty insulation caused Indian Point fire, oil spill
Ernie Garcia, elgarcia@lohud.com 5:02 p.m. EDT June 30, 2015The company regularly inspects its insulation for signs of degradation, but no problems were seen before the fire.

A tanker goes past Indian Point on May 11, two days after a transformer explosion released oil into the Hudson River.(Photo: Ricky Flores/The Journal News)Buy PhotoStory Highlights
  • About 3,000 gallons of transformer oil spilled into the Hudson River
  • Transformer oil is similar to mineral oil or baby oil

An insulation failure in a transformer caused the May 9 fire at the Indian Point Energy Center that spilled about 3,000 gallons of oil in the Hudson River. 
Entergy, the nuclear plant's operator, announced Tuesday the failed insulation — made of special paper — caused a short circuit in a high-voltage coil. The company regularly inspects its paper insulation for signs of degradation, but no problems were detected before the fire near the Unit 3 generator. 
No radiation was released during the fire and the generator automatically shut down as designed; it resumed service May 25. Entergy said it will continue its analysis of the paper insulation. 
"We have been working closely with independent engineers, and with federal and state agencies, to address issues surrounding the May 9 transformer failure, and corrective actions are well under way," said Bill Mohl, president of Entergy Wholesale Commodities, the Entergy business unit that owns Indian Point. 
"These actions reinforce our commitment to environmental responsibility and transparency, as well as the continued safe, secure and reliable operation of Indian Point," he added. 
The transformer contained 24,300 gallons of dielectric fluid, a clear mineral oil that serves as a cooling agent and insulation. About 8,300 gallons of oil have been recovered from the moat beneath the transformer, inside the transformer, drains and areas around the transformer yard, or were burned in the fire. 
Contractors are investigating the transformer yard and other areas on site to see if more transformer oil can be recovered and prevent any potential migration. Six shoreline locations required environmental cleaning, which was completed June 5. 
In another investigation related to the fire, Entergy staffers looked at why water from fire sprinklers accumulated in a building that contains electrical equipment powering some of the plant's safety systems. The company concluded that some sprinkler valves malfunctioned and didn't automatically close as designed. 
None of the electrical systems were damaged by the water. Entergy is modifying its preventive maintenance and testing to ensure the sprinkler valves operate properly.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission began a special inspection of Indian Point related to the accumulated water on May 19. That inquiry continues.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Fort Calhoun going nuts on Us.

June 29, 2015

You would think after spending all that money post flooding they would stay out of trouble. Remember they restarted after three years of shutdown. They continue to have a poor record.

Why did it take some twenty some odd days to decide they need a special inspection?

Did the vendor provide unsafe materials or did employees purchase unsafe material...   
NRC to Begin Special Inspection at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant to review circumstances surrounding a June 5 reported failure of an auxiliary feedwater valve that controls water flow to the steam generator. The plant, operated by Omaha Public Power District, is located 19 miles north of Omaha, Neb. During a refueling outage, workers replaced seal material in a valve that controls cooling water flow into one of the steam generators. During testing, the valve failed to open as designed. Workers discovered that the new seal material was not adequate for the operating temperature of the valve. The seal material was replaced with a material rated for higher temperatures. Following successful testing, the plant resumed start up activities.
Originally Posted 6/19/2014

June 23:

They never required a shut down...

June 22:

Advance Hydrological Prediction Service...last 30 day precipitation levels 

So the ground is saturated. How long should Fort Calhoun be shutdown. Say they start up in a few days...will they then have to shut down by the end of the week because of new flooding? Remember the industry says every shutdown damages non safety and safety components in a nuclear plant...they been bragging about their plant damage for decades as a excuse for not shutting down when required or for limiting safety regulations.

Do we want them shutting down and restarting all the time on a weekly bases...popping up and down all the time?

Should they remain shutdown until there is good proof this abnormally wet period is over...

Break in storms should keep Missouri River from flooding Omaha and Bluffs
Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2014 12:04 pm
By Kevin Cole / World-Herald staff writerThe Omaha World-Herald
A meteorologist said Sunday that an expected break in the recent cycle of thunderstorms should keep the Missouri River from reaching flood stage at Omaha and Council Bluffs.
"I’d expect the river to go up a little bit over the next 24 hours before starting to decline fairly quickly," said Tom Kines of AccuWeather.
"Monday will be kind of a transition day as the river holds steady for a time."
The National Weather Service in Valley reported the river at 27.8 feet Sunday morning for Omaha and Council Bluffs where flood stage is 29 feet. The weather service is predicting the river at Omaha will be at 24.8 feet by Wednesday and down to 18 feet Friday.
"The wide spread storms that we’ve seen are probably done with for awhile," Kines said. "There is a chance of a pop-up shower on Monday, but most of the day will be dry."
That’s good news for college baseball fans as Virginia and Vanderbilt begin their best-of-three championship series Monday night at 7 p.m. in TD Ameritrade Park. The teams will meet again Tuesday night, and if necessary, on Wednesday.
A weak front dropping down from the northwest is expected to bring drier, less humid air to eastern Nebraska and western Iowa on Tuesday, Kines said. He said Tuesday’s forecast is for a "really good day" with drier, less humid air and temperatures in the mid-80s.
"I suppose the grass will grow 20 feet, but Tuesday will be about perfect for anything you want to do outside," he said.
By mid-week the front is expected to push back north, creating a chance for the return of rain showers, Kines said. As the humidity returns, he said, the chances for rain will increase.
"There will be chances of thunderstorms both Wednesday and Thursday," he said. “How much rain we’ll get and how wide spread the storms will be is hard to say right now."

One could look at the number of LERs a plant gets per year to give yourself an idea of how far out of licensing the Fort Calhoun plant has been…

Normally a plant gets 3 or 4 LERs per year, maybe less….

2014: 12
2013: 35
Once you get onto the north side of 2005 till today,  it is amazing the escalation of the numbers of LERs. I wonder what has changed?
Do you see how abnormal this is…two shutdowns within 3 years because of flooding?  Most plants don’t challenge their flooding limits through the life of their license. Obviously today it is a siting design defect. The plant isn’t designed for the climate. How many more shutdowns will this plant face in the future?
It is a Fukushima siting thing…2000 feet west of the plant the elevation rises 100 feet.  

The Ongoing 2011 Accident at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

Event Notification...Is this part of a strengthening El Nino?

"The National Weather Service predicts that the Missouri River level at Fort Calhoun Station will exceed 1004 feet above mean sea level on 6/20/14 at approximately 2300 CDT. Fort Calhoun Station will begin a ramp down in power to satisfy technical specification 2.16 which states, 'When the Missouri River level reaches elevation 1004 feet mean sea level, the reactor shall be in a HOT SHUTDOWN condition [Mode 3] and in Cold Shutdown [Mode 4] within 36 hours following entry into Hot Shutdown.' The river level is currently 998 feet 3 inches and rising approximately 0.5 inches per hour. At time 0001 CDT 6/20/14 Fort Calhoun station will initiate a plant shutdown to Hot Standby and will proceed to a Cold Shutdown condition within 36 hours following entry into Hot Shutdown, as required."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

River Levels on the Rise – The NRC At The Ready

by Moderator
Lara Uselding
Public Affairs Officer
Region IV
Three years ago this month marks the anniversary of the record Missouri river floods. Now, due to heavy rains, the NRC is once again watching rising Missouri River levels impacting Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, north of Omaha.
Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville is not anticipating a major impact this weekend.
Fort Calhoun’s procedure requires them to declare a Notice of Unusual Event and be shut down by the time river levels at the site reach 1,004 feet mean sea level. Thursday afternoon, river levels were at 998 and rising. Normally, river levels at the site range from 980 to 990 feet mean sea level.
Over the past week, NRC’s Region IV in Arlington, Texas, has been engaged in routine calls with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, states, and local response organizations to understand changes in the predicted river levels and assess potential impacts on the plants.
Simultaneously, the NRC has been overseeing actions that Omaha Public Power District (Fort Calhoun) and Nebraska Public Power District (Cooper) are taking to protect the plant against impending flood waters. At this time, river levels at Cooper are not projected to be high enough to require a plant shutdown.
OPPD’s actions involve the use of sand bags, flood doors, and readying mobile pumps as river levels are projected to rise. They have also ordered equipment to protect certain buildings on site. NRC resident inspectors, who live in the area and work at the plant, have been monitoring the flood preparations.
The NRC is sending more staff to the plant to support the resident inspectors and provide around the clock coverage. During the 2011 flood, river levels at Fort Calhoun reached about 1007 feet and the plant remained in a safe shutdown condition. The plant restarted late last year only after extensive flooding improvements and other safety upgrades mandated by the NRC. Fort Calhoun remains under increased NRC regulatory oversight.
Region IV will continue monitoring the situation for both plants over the weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The WENRA Findings in Doel-3 and Tihange-2

The question I have is:

1) If they would have just had a paperwork search in Doel-3 and Tihange-2, would they have discovered the flakes in their reactor vessel or inadequate inspection methods questioning if flaws were there?

2) In the USA, is the hydrogen concentration in the metal of such a concentration it would question if flakes could be in US reactors? 

3) What is the status of cladding flaws or corrosion in all USA vessels... 

Why hasn't the NRC required this from our licencees:  
"In response to the findings in the Belgian reactors, WENRA recommended in 2013 the nuclear safety authorities in Europe to request the licensees to verify the material quality and integrity of the RPV in a 2‐step approach: 
1.        A comprehensive review of the manufacturing and inspection records of the forgings of the RPV. 
2.        Examination of the base material of the vessels if considered necessary." 
The NRC stance to date has been, the licencees has scrupulously followed the 1970s NRC new vessel codes and regulations proving they have no flakes. It's as if the agency believes following any old rule or code proves the vessels are safe. I saying, are the 1970s codes and regulation adequate to disclose similar hydrogen flakes in USA vessels?
The NRC believes it is not limited to the Belgium vessel manufacturer...it is a similar forging process worldwide.  
 September 22, 2013: While the forgings in the European NPP were manufactured by Rotterdam Dockyard (using ingots supplied by Friedrich Krupp Hüttenwerke (Krupp)), there is no evidence of any factors unique to the forging practices of the Rotterdam Dockyard, or the practices used by Krupp in making the ingots, which suggest an increase in the likelihood of developing quasi-laminar indications during the fabrication process in comparison to other forging manufacturers.
This crux of the issue with my 2.206: The NRC didn't specifically state the licencees would have positively detected hydrogen flakes in new forgings (1970s) and they did a full safety analysis saying there is no safety issues. Course, now we have new inspection technology and we have massively increased our knowledge of metallurgy since first startup. 

I am saying also, it is a unacceptable with our aging fleet of nuclear plant vessels we aren't doing UT inspections in areas outside the weld strips. This might include a representative sample of the vessel walls in the end, after we understand what is going on. I think having greater than 99% of the vessel walls not ever being ud't once operations began is not acceptable.      
2013-19: ASME Code, Section III, requires the UT examination of all forgings during the fabrication process and specifies the acceptance criteria. Per Section III, a forging is considered to be unacceptable if the UT examination detects the presence of reflectors that produced indications resulting from discontinuities in the material accompanied by a complete loss of back reflection from the far side of the structure. The applicable Codes required that the examinations be performed in accordance with ASTM SA-388; this document defines the recording criteria implemented for the RPV forging examinations. Licensees are required to maintain all fabrication records, including NDE and acceptance records; therefore, licensees should have records of the NDE performed on RPV forgings during fabrication. If recordable quasi-laminar indications were detected during the fabrication of any RPV, Section III of the ASME Code would require the indications to be compared to the examination acceptance criteria.

Unacceptable indications would require repair in accordance with the ASME Code, Section III.
So the material characteristics, the strength and ductility of the metal flakes though laboratory testing as we understand it, is being questioned...    
"Safety Case 
Before being allowed to restart both Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors, Electrabel shall first submit a Safety Case to the FANC in which it convincingly demonstrates that the presence of hydrogen flakes in the walls of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) does not compromise its structural integrity. This Safety Case must be structured around three major topics, corresponding each to a chapter of the action plan that Electrabel is due to implement:  
1. The ultrasonic inspection technique of the RPVs: detection, measurement and location of hydrogen-induced flaw indications.
2. Material properties of specimens containing hydrogen flakes: radiation effects and transferability of the test results to the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 RPVs.
3. Structural integrity of a RPV containing hydrogen flakes.
The results of the actions related to theme 1 and theme 2 will provide the input for theme 3."    
Next steps of the review process
After completing every action related to themes 1, 2 and 3 and interpreting the results, the licensee Electrabel will submit its Safety Case to the FANC. The FANC and its technical subsidiary Bel V will thoroughly review this Safety Case using the specific expertise of the recognised inspection organisation AIB Vinçotte (for theme 1), the International Review Board (for theme 2) and an external research team (for theme 3). The FANC will collect opinions from all these parties and take them into account to decide whether Electrabel is allowed to restart the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 units. This process will take another few months. 
Report: Activities in WENRA countries following the Recommendation regarding flaw indications found in Belgian reactors
17 December 2014
01 Background
01.1 The findings in Doel-3 and Tihange-2
In 2012 a new type of in‐service inspection (ISI) of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) by ultrasonic testing (UT) was introduced in Belgian nuclear power plants. These inspections were introduced earlier in France to search for underclad cracks that may be present in the base metal directly below the interface to the cladding. These underclad cracks, if present, have perpendicular orientation to the surface and were created by the welding process of the austenitic strip cladding onto the ferritic base metal. 
Yet, in the RPV wall of Doel‐3 and Tihange‐2 these inspections did not find any underclad cracks but a large number of flaw indications, located at different distances from the surface in the lower and upper vessel forged rings. As this technique is not suitable to find any flaws far from and nearly parallel to the surface, additional UT with straight beam (0°) was applied. With this technique, thousands of nearly laminar indications were found at larger depths of the base metal, mostly planar and nearly parallel to the surface of the RPV. 
Following a number of investigations and evaluations, the UT indications in the RPV of Doel‐3 and Tihange 2 were unambiguously assigned to hydrogen induced flaws (“hydrogen flakes“). 
01.2       Metallurgical considerations 
According to current knowledge hydrogen flakes may only form during manufacturing of the base metal. The formation of hydrogen flakes is a phenomenon well known to the steel manufacturers and may happen after cooling down the steel from high to ambient temperature, e.g. in the ingot after pouring or in the forged part after the forging operation and heat treatment. Flake formation is driven by the accumulation of hydrogen at segregations or inclusions in the metal. This accumulation of hydrogen is diffusion controlled, so the formation of flakes may have an incubation time of some days or even a couple of weeks at room temperature. 
Due to the main deformation direction during the forging operation, these segregations or inclusions are preferentially stretched in planes parallel to the surface of the forging leading to the formation of laminar hydrogen flakes of the same orientation. The formation of hydrogen flakes depends on a number of factors, the most important being the hydrogen concentration and the size of the ingot, both determining the possible accumulation of hydrogen. This makes large forgings most prone to flaking. Further important factors are a “sensitive” microstructure and the stress state. Despite these known dependences it appears difficult to exclude the formation of flakes in a large forging on the basis of these factors. Therefore, acceptance tests of the base material including appropriate UT is considered the most important step to assure that the parts are free of hydrogen flakes. Therefore the WENRA recommendations as well as the WENRA questionnaire specifically asked for the results of these tests.
Plate material is generally considered much less prone due to smaller ingot sizes and higher degrees of deformation during the rolling operation compared to forging. This results in a less sensitive microstructure. Therefore, components made from plates are outside the scope of further analyses and are not addressed in the recommendations by WENRA referred to below.  
The “flakes” are not considered as “cracks” however they represent a detachment or separation within the material that is assumed to have a similar detrimental effect on the mechanical behaviour of the component. In assessments of the structural integrity of the RPV the flakes are always modeled as cracks. 
01.3       The role of different inspections 
According to international practice, semi‐finished products, i.e. “forgings” or “plates”, are subjected to an acceptance tests before they are assembled (mainly welded) to a component. Considering the possible incubation time of the formation of flakes the acceptance tests of forgings are generally not performed before one month after completion of the forging operation and the “quality heat treatment”. According to international practice of the manufacturers parts showing clear indications of flakes are discarded and will not be assembled. 
These acceptance tests generally comprise UT with different inclinations of the beam to find flaws of any orientation or character. UT with straight beam (0°) is the most appropriate to find planar flaws parallel to the RPV surface such as hydrogen flakes. Besides, UT with angle beam, surface testing (e.g. with magnetic particles) and destructive mechanical tests are performed. This testing appears to be common practice of all manufacturers, at least since the 70ies. 
In general, more UT is performed after each welding operation, e.g. after joining the forgings by circumferential butt welds and after welding of the cladding onto the internal surface of the RPV. These post‐weld tests aim to check for flaws in the welding, including the interfaces and the heat affected zones in the adjacent base materials. These inspections do not repeat testing the full volume of the base metal again as no change is expected compared to the acceptance test of the semi‐finished parts. 
After completion of the components more inspections by UT are performed in the framework of ISI. In all countries the full volume of all axial and circumferential welds and the adjacent heat‐affected zones are inspected. In general the volume of the base metal is not inspected again during ISI, except at VVER plants, where some parts of the base metal are covered by UT (see chapter General Observations). 
Regarding the UT techniques, different inclinations of the beam may be used in order to find planar flaws in different orientations. UT with angle/straight beam is applied to search for flaws orientated nearly perpendicular/parallel to the RPV surface. Furthermore, the techniques may focus on certain zones within the component, e.g. zones close to the surfaces or close to mid‐wall. Any of the special techniques applied may also find flaws in other orientations or other zones not focused on, however with lower sensitivity and probability.  
In case of Doel‐3, the UT dedicated to find underclad cracks with angle beam and focus near the interface to the cladding accidentally found some of the hydrogen flakes that were relatively close to this interface. Yet, it did find only a minor part of all the flakes found later by the dedicated UT using straight beam focussing on various depths. The latter is the technique of choice to find hydrogen flakes and was also used for the acceptance tests of the semifinished parts. Other techniques are considered less appropriate to find any flaws parallel to the RPV surface and in the centre of the wall, where most of the hydrogen flakes are expected, if any. This has to be born in mind when evaluating the UT results of the pre‐ and inservice inspections (PSI and ISI).
02 The WENRA recommendation 
In response to the findings in the Belgian reactors, WENRA recommended in 2013 the nuclear safety authorities in Europe to request the licensees to verify the material quality and integrity of the RPV in a 2‐step approach: 
1.        A comprehensive review of the manufacturing and inspection records of the forgings of the RPV 
2.        Examination of the base material of the vessels if considered necessary. 
Furthermore, it may be considered by the national regulators to extend the scope of analysis to large forgings of other primary equipment.  
Early in 2014, the WENRA Technical Secretariat sent out a questionnaire to the nuclear safety authorities in order to receive some feedback on the actions taken in the member countries. After receiving information from all relevant member countries the status of the actions taken has been summarized

The issue has no relevance for NPP in Romania (pressure‐tube reactor) as well as for Lithuania and Italy (no NPP in operation).
The following general conclusions can be drawn from the different answers.  
Regarding step 1, a comprehensive review of the manufacturing and inspection records of the forgings of the RPV: 
       Most member countries had the manufacturing records checked for all or some of those RPV made from forgings. In case the records of some RPV were not checked yet, they are planning to do it until 2016 at the latest.  
       Some operators checked the records of all forgings of the RPV, others only those of the cylindrical rings of the RPV beltline. 
       In all cases where the documentation was checked, it contained sufficient information to conclude that acceptance tests were performed that were capable to find hydrogen flakes. 
       From all the documents that have been checked, member countries responded that either “no flaws”, “no notable (registered) indications”, “no notable indications similar to flakes” or “no unacceptable indications” were documented or found during UT.

Regarding step 2, from an additional examination of the base material of the vessels can be concluded that:
       Most member countries performed or planned to perform some kind of additional inspections in response to the findings in Doel‐3 during the upcoming regular ISI taking place every 4 to 10 years.  
       Most member countries decided to have inspected some sample of the cylindrical rings.  
       As far as the inspections were already performed, no indications similar to flakes were found with the engaged inspection technique.

Exceptions were Slovakia and Bulgaria operating VVER units with different kind of ISI programs covering also some parts of the base metal. They do not plan any additional inspections in response to Doel‐3. Yet, Slovakia is considering a re‐evaluation of the regular ISI program. Apparent differences in the ISI program of these countries with respect those following Western regulations are addressed in the following.
From the information received from Bulgaria and Slovakia, it appears that there is some significant difference in the scope and periodicity of the ISI performed at RPV of VVER plants (and possibly still following the original inspection plans) on the one hand and of Western PWR plants and those following Western regulations on the other hand: 
       While UT at RPV of Western type reactors is either performed from the inside (PWR plants) or from the outside (BWR plants) (with periodicity 4 to 10 years), UT is performed from the inside and outside in VVER plants. Periodicity at VVER 440 units is every 8 years for both sides with 4 year shift between both inspections, periodicity at VVER 1000 units is every 6 or 8 years from the inside and every 6 or 4 years from the outside. 
       Even more important appear the differences in the area covered by the UT: While all circumferential welds and the adjacent heat‐affected zones are inspected at the RPV of all units, some parts of the base metal are also covered in Slovak and Bulgarian VVER type units. 
In the following section 03.2 an overview of the activities is given country by country. A plant specific overview can be found in Annex 1.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Emergency Ultrasonic Inspection Testing For U.S. Reactor Plants like Belgium Reactors

Does the NRC have enough money and manpower to properly administrate the 2.206 process?  
  • Has anyone received any update regarding the inspection findings and corrective actions taken regarding the Belgium Reactor Pressure Vessel quasi flaw indications?

  • Have been any other indications found in any other NPP RPV?

  • Please describe how the vessels are ultrasonically inspected(for cracks)?

  • Explain the testing of capsules.

  • Explain the sensitivity of ultrasonic detector used in vessel inspections…the difference between the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 Nuclear plants and USA plants. What is the best technology?

  • I have issues with the codes and regulations under which some of the vessels were accepted for nuclear plant operation.

  • Please explain the difference between the vessel codes, regulations and an inspection technology of a 1975 vintage reactor to a current new reactor vessel?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Entergy's Waterford Tripped Yesterday?

June 25

now up to 80% 

June 24

still shutdown and not a peep with why?

Lot of trouble with Grand Gulf, River Bend and Waterford...lots of signs of financial stress.

Did it trip or was it shutdown? Nothing in the news.

June 4, 2015

The New River Bend Feed Pump Scram?

Employee Sabotage: Knocking Off Line The Waterford Nuclear Plant?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

$350 Billion in Weather Related Damage in Next 20 Years

That is seven nuclear plants...  
US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz wants Louisiana's ideas for a better power grid 
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz delivers his presentation before the Edison Electricity Institute during its annual convention at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, Monday, June 8, 2015. (Photo by Ted Jackson, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) (TED JACKSON) 
The U.S. electricity grid faces an array of threats, including rising sea levels, storms and cyberattacks. The federal government is looking to states such as Louisiana to develop ways to protect it, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Monday (June 8). 
Moniz was one of several featured speakers Monday during the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention in New Orleans. 
Severe weather, cyber threats, the rise of solar and other renewable energy sources, and aging equipment are "a daunting set of complex issues," Moniz said, "but we have to get the electric system right." 
Moniz said hurricanes Katrina and Rita underscored the need to harden substations, high-voltage power lines and other electricity infrastructure from future storms.
Storm threats are only expected to worsen. The U.S. is bracing for more than $350 billion in weather-related damage to the electricity system over the next 20 years, about $20 billion on the Gulf Coast alone, Moniz said.
Old transmission lines need to be replaced with newer, more durable lines, substations have to be built above flood levels, and back-up power systems developed, he said. 
As Louisiana copes with rising sea levels and future storms, it and other states will play a "pivotal role" in developing innovative ways to improve the power grid, he said. 
Moniz said the Energy Department is pushing for a new program that would offer between $3 billion and $5 billion in competitive grants over the next 10 years to states with innovative solutions to enhance energy infrastructure resilience, reliability and security. 
Moniz pointed to New Jersey's effort to develop a microgrid to provide back-up power to its rail system during severe weather. The Energy Department partnered with the state in 2013 to design the system. The partnership was part of the response to Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast in 2012. 
Hardening the electricity grid is not the only place Louisiana could play a role. 
Moniz added Louisiana ports are at the heart of the country's push to export natural gas amid a glut in domestic supply. 
The nation needs to improve its waterways to accommodate traffic from large liquefied natural gas tankers, for example, he said.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Indian Point Double or Nothing Philosophy

What about iodine production and xenon burnout?
I don't have inside information, but this fast restart seems to be reckless to me. We will see as time goes by? Do they double or nothing philosophy once a plant gets into trouble...under intense NRC special inspection scrutiny and the state is trying to shut them down.
Indian Point 3 returns to service 
BUCHANAN – Indian Point’s Unit 3 nuclear power plant was returned to service Tuesday afternoon, generating electricity less than 24 hours after the unit automatically shut down following the failure of an electrical switch, ro breaker, in a switchyard outside the plant. 
The switchyard is located across the street from Indian Point and receives electricity generated by the plant before distributing it out to the electrical grid. 
The failure of the breaking led to Indian Points Unit 3 shutting down as a protective measure.
All equipment operated appropriately. There was no release of radioactivity and no threat to the safety of workers or the public. 
Unit 2 continues to operate at full power.
So this is what caused it. It is too bad, this didn't eliminate from Entergy.
Indian Point: Balloon triggered reactor shutdown
BUCHANAN – A balloon that got tangled in electrical wires led to a sequence of events that caused a shutdown of a reactor at the Indian Point nuclear power plant Monday night, regulatory officials said Tuesday. The shutdown occurred at 7:20 p.m., after Consolidated Edison asked Indian Point operators to open an electrical breaker so that workers could safely remove a large Mylar balloon that got tangled in wires leading to the Millwood substation south of the plant. Soon after that breaker was opened, a second breaker opened, resulting an an automatic shutdown of the reactor, according to Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The shutdown occurred without any complications, with all safety systems functioning the way they were supposed to, he said. The reactor went back online at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, according to Jerry Nappi, a spokesman for Entergy.

ALBANY—One of the two nuclear reactors at the Indian Point nuclear center shut down again on Monday, just weeks after it returned to service following a transformer fire that drew the concern of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other elected leaders.

When a transformer at the plant caught fire on May 9, Cuomo rushed to the scene and reiterated his long-standing concerns about the plant. Shortly after that, a top state energy official acknowledged that the administration was actively working to pressure the plant to shut down.

The cause of the transformer fire, which sent a dark plume into the sky and frightened nearby residents, is still under investigation. Unit 3 returned to service on May 24.

Power Reactor
Event Number: 51156
Region: 1 State: NY
Unit: [ ] [3] [ ]
RX Type: [2] W-4-LP,[3] W-4-LP
Notification Date: 06/15/2015
Notification Time: 20:15 [ET]
Event Date: 06/15/2015
Event Time: 19:20 [EDT]
Last Update Date: 06/15/2015
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) - RPS ACTUATION - CRITICAL
Person (Organization):

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
3A/RY100Power Operation0Hot Standby
Event Text

"On June 15, 2015 at 1920 EDT, Indian Point Unit 3 received a Turbine trip which directly led to a Reactor trip. Operators entered [plant procedure] E-0, Reactor Trip or Safety Injection. All control rods fully inserted. All safety systems responded as expected. The Auxiliary Feedwater (AFW) system actuated as expected. Offsite power and electrical lineups are normal. No primary or secondary code safety valves lifted. All MSIVs are open and the Main Condensers are being used as the heat sink. The Reactor is in Mode 3 and stable. Unit 2 was unaffected and remains at 100% power. Preliminary investigation determined that Breaker Number 1 in the Ring Bus was intentionally opened [by plant personnel on switching orders from the district operator] due to a problem on W93 [output feeder from Ring Bus]. Subsequently Breaker #3 went open and caused a Turbine/Reactor trip of the Unit."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.