Friday, December 30, 2016

Nation Wide Electricity Price Worst Ever

by Naureen Malik 
December‎ ‎30‎, ‎2016‎ ‎3‎:‎03‎ ‎PM‎ ‎EST 
Electricity prices from Boston to Dallas sank to their lowest levels ever in 2016, presenting new challenges for generators more than a decade after the industry was deregulated.
Power prices plunged this year as cheap natural gas cut fuel costs, and wind and solar alternatives came online. Consumers also used less electricity for the second straight year, despite a summer heat wave, amid an industrial slowdown and growing awareness among households and businesses of ways to boost energy efficiency, according to government estimates
Deregulation targeted lower electricity costs by opening up competition among generators. The recent stress from sliding prices is forcing some companies to seek the protection afforded by regulation. FirstEnergy Corp. plans to become a fully regulated utility within two years and American Electric Power Co. may follow. At the same time, Exelon Corp. won subsidies to keep New York and Illinois nuclear plants running with consumers covering the costs. 
 “Low demand, low prices, subsidized or increased renewable generation and gas-fired generation, all of those are challenges the merchant power sector has been experiencing and will likely experience going forward,” said Paul Patterson, an analyst with Glenrock Associates LLC, in an interview Friday. 
The average around-the-clock spot price at PJM’s Western hub, which includes Washington and is the most actively traded U.S. power location, tumbled 19 percent this year to $28.78 a megawatt-hour, the least in grid data going back to 2005.  New York City, Boston and Dallas area power prices are similarly trading at record lows this year.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Areva Nuclear Plant Contruction Black Hole

These entities didn't have enough juice to carry out these enterprises. They didn't have the power to maintain standards.

Japan’s Banks Rocked By Toshiba Meltdown Contagion Worries

December 29, 2016 8:03am NYSE:EWJ

From Tyler Durden: After two days of total carnage in Toshiba stocks, bonds, and credit risk, the bloodbath continues with the once-massive Japanese company is collapsing once again in early trading – now down 50% in 3 days.

The cookie cutter construction never had no proof it would be more efficient. It was a giant con job. 

Toshiba Shares Plunge Further Over Problems at Nuclear-Power Subsidiary

Japanese conglomerate warns it might take multibillion-dollar write-down stemming from cost overruns at Westinghouse

By Rebecca Smith and

Updated Dec. 29, 2016 5:46 a.m. ET

Toshiba Corp. seemed poised to profit from a global nuclear power revival when it paid $5.4 billion to win a bidding war for Westinghouse Electric Co. in 2006.

Today, that bet threatens to sink the venerable Japanese conglomerate, as cost overruns and missed deadlines on nuclear reactor projects around the world have forced it to warn investors that it may soon have to
report billions of dollars in losses.

Toshiba lost a fifth of its market value Wednesday and its stock fell an additional 17% Thursday in Tokyo as panicked investors rushed to sell shares. The news of the nuclear write-downs came just as Toshiba was beginning to emerge from an earlier
accounting scandal.

“It’s an unexpected development at a time when concerns had been receding,” said Yoshinori Ogawa, strategist at
Okasan Securities.

Toshiba shares had surged since February on optimism about its semiconductor business and expectations for solid net profit in the current fiscal year ending March 2017. A Toshiba spokesman declined to comment on the stock plunge. On Tuesday, Toshiba executives said they remain optimistic about the nuclear business.

Westinghouse’s woes help explain why the nuclear industry has seen its dreams of global growth sputter. Until recently, the company was regarded as the industry’s front-runner, the only nuclear supplier to have landed contracts for its next-generation reactor in both the U.S. and China.

But a series of missteps and unexpected problems have snarled nuclear projects by Westinghouse and rivals including Areva SA and
General Electric Co.

Currently, 54 reactors are under construction in 13 nations, and 33 are badly delayed, according to the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, an independent annual assessment. Blunders have afflicted projects regardless of location, reactor design or construction consortia.

To lower construction costs and speed erection times, Westinghouse and its competitors came up with cookie-cutter plant designs in which major sections would be built as modules in factories and then hauled to plant sites for final assembly. Gone was the customization that added expense.

But the strategy appears to have backfired. “Supply-chain issues just moved from the plant sites to the factories. It didn’t solve the basic issue of quality control,” said Mycle Schneider, a nuclear expert based in Paris. And cookie-cutter designs meant flaws got replicated.

In France, Areva is trying to get to the bottom of a scandal involving falsified records for critical components that have wound up in nuclear plants there and in other countries, including the U.S. The problems appear to stretch back decades and to have gone unnoticed despite supposedly strict government supervision. Areva has said it is cooperating with government investigators from France and other nations.

“There’s a world-wide problem with managing these megaprojects,” said Edwin Lyman, senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. “Managers grossly underestimated the time and cost of construction.”

Westinghouse and its subcontractors recently took over construction management duties at its reactor projects in Georgia and South Carolina for CB&I Stone & Webster Inc., a U.S. company that it acquired in December 2015 for $229 million. Toshiba said this week it discovered unexpected inefficiencies in the labor force at the subsidiary that along with other factors were driving up costs.

Westinghouse acquired CB&I Stone & Webster in part because it was having difficulty producing the big modules at a facility at Lake Charles, La., that form the building-block units for nuclear reactors going up in the U.S. But the company struggled to find skilled construction workers, maintain quality control and tap a global supply chain that is required to meet rigorous standards of nuclear regulators.

Toshiba Chief Executive Satoshi Tsunakawa said the problems would force the company to take a write-down estimated at several hundred billion yen, or several billion dollars. Toshiba said it would release an exact number for accounting charges in February.

It isn’t clear if Toshiba’s financial difficulties will have an impact on the eight reactors it is trying to complete in the U.S. and China, but its disclosure suggests the situation is worse than previously understood.

In the U.S., Westinghouse was providing reactor components for nuclear plants in Georgia and South Carolina being built by utilities
Southern Co. and SCANA Corp.

At the site of Southern’s Vogtle 3&4 reactors going up in rural Georgia, there have been rumors of financial problems for months, said Will Salters, business manager for the union IBEW Local 1579.

He said the site now employs about 500 of his electricians but the union recently received notice that there would be a hiring freeze pending a full review of manpower needs.

“We’ve been hearing for months they were broke and had to meet certain milestones by Southern to get paid,” Mr. Salters said.

Southern declined to comment on those claims.

In past discussions about the Vogtle project, Southern Chief Executive Tom Fanning said that his company had endeavored not to repeat the mistakes of the past when it entered into “cost plus” contracts with nuclear vendors in which it reimbursed companies for their expenses. Instead, he said, it tried to nail down costs through fixed-price contracts, thus shifting some of the risks of cost overruns to vendors.

Southern spokesman Craig Bell said the wisdom of the company’s approach was plain this week, saying it had protected customers by shifting “significant construction risks to the contractor.”

A spokesman for SCANA said the Pittsburgh company is still evaluating the finances of its reactor projects and will have more to report soon.

A spokeswoman for Westinghouse declined to comment.

Toshiba is already on a Tokyo Stock Exchange watch list because of the accounting scandal that forced it to take a $1.3 billion write-down for its nuclear business in November 2015. At the time, it acknowledged that it had overstated its profit for seven years.

A reduced stock value makes it difficult to raise funds by issuing new shares. Stock-exchange rules call for a company to be delisted if it falls into negative net worth at the end of its fiscal year and fails to repair the situation within a year.

Toshiba executives said they would ask the company’s banks for support. Toshiba already sold one of its best-performing units, Toshiba Medical Systems, to
Canon Inc. this year.

— Takashi Mochizuki contributed to this article.

Write to Rebecca Smith at and Kosaku Narioka at

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Junk And Dead Ender Pilgrim Plant: Hydrogen Issues?

This must be the startup alarm. I don't get why a normal part of startup is reportable.

The hydrogen is on a regulator too maintain pressure. It connected to 10 or 15 big bottles of high pressure hydrogen. Once the generator is shutdown the machine and hydrogen cools down. The hydrogen in the generator contracts and the pressure regulator demand more hydrogen into the generator to maintain a set pressure. Now if you startup up and heat up the gas in the generator with all this extra hydrogen, you will over pressurize generator. The  relief valve will lift bringing the generator gas back to normal pressure.

Might this be a indication the control room staff being overwhelmed forgetting to isolate the hydrogen bottles into the generator? Shutting the isolation upon shutdown is a normal part of the shutdown procedure.

This happened in another recent event and it bit them in the ass. Did they notify the fire chief?

Junk and Dead Ender Pilgrim: The Fire Chief Says Its A Cover-up

Facility: PILGRIM
Region: 1 State: MA
Unit: [1] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-3
Notification Date: 12/20/2016
Notification Time: 19:45 [ET]
Event Date: 12/20/2016
Event Time: 18:30 [EST]
Last Update Date: 12/20/2016
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(xi) - OFFSITE NOTIFICATION
Person (Organization):

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
1NN0Cold Shutdown0Cold Shutdown
Event Text

"At 1830 EST on 20 December, 2016 the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Plymouth Massachusetts Fire Department were notified of a Hydrogen release in accordance with plant procedures and 310CMR40.300, Massachusetts Contingency Plan Notification for Oil and Hazardous Material; Identification and Listing of Oil and Hazardous Material, due to a release of hydrogen gas to the environment exceeding the reportable quantity of ten pounds. The release, which is an expected part of a routine plant start-up was from the generator hydrogen cooling system.

"This event posed no danger to the health and safety of plant personnel or members of the general public.

"The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Obama Strategy With Supporting The Collapsing Price Of Gasoline, Natural Gas and Electricity?

( Well, he is trying to limit the decline of the price. It is exactly the same as not building pipelines)

Things are never what they seem?
President Obama announced on Tuesday what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along wide areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic Seaboard as he tried to nail down an environmental legacy that cannot quickly be reversed by Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Obama invoked an obscure provision of a 1953 law, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which he said gives him the authority to act unilaterally. While some presidents have used that law to temporarily protect smaller portions of federal waters, Mr. Obama’s declaration of a permanent drilling ban from Virginia to Maine on the Atlantic and along much of Alaska’s coast is breaking new ground. The declaration’s fate will almost certainly be decided by the federal courts…

Exelon: An Indication Of The Magnitude With Funding Starvation Tolerated By The NRC And Utilities Thoughout USA

Update: The Trump Effect

What is this going to do to Exelon? He's is going to wipe out federal green subsidies. Put all the coal miners back to work. Deregulate the hell out of the DEO and the Feds. This is all going intensify electric price declines. Going to completely wash out the effects of the Illinois nuke power agreement and favors to green energy.

The deal is just enough to keep the plants running, but have little effect over the material and safety conditions of the plant. The new pennies are not going to touch the vast majority of components in these grossly obsolete plants.  

Quad City

One can only imagine the reverse engineering going on at these dilapidated plants. The parts and components are no longer in the commercial parts and component industry. They go these engineering firms to remanufacture the parts from the old specs and drawings. They usually lose information in the process guarantying they will fail early or not perform as normal commercial products. I'll bet half of the new funding is consumed in this ineffective and inefficient manner. It is horrendously inefficient spending hordes of money on the backbone technology which is fifty years old. 

I'll bet you spending all this money will make the plant more unreliable.

As far as the 400 new employees, these corporations and businesses are notoriously inaccurate with these kinds of political disclosures. Even if all of this new money goes into upkeep and maintenance, it is still grossly insufficient to maintain safety and reliability considering how obsolete these guys are. Most of the money will inflate(or stabilize) the stock price and jack up executives bonuses.

I think the continued decline in natural gas price will drarf these new monies into these particular plants. I think these kinds of ends are desperation with trying support the declining price of electricity based mostly on the price of natural gas. Ultimately all of Exelon's nuclear plants are non profitable and are stranded assets.

What if all forms of green energy...windmills and sun panels...are stranded assets. What would collusion look like for the nukies and greenies?

Staff report
Updated Dec 14, 2016
CORDOVA — Exelon officials announced Wednesday that they plan to hire more than 400 people to fast track multiple capital projects at the Quad Cities Generating Station near Cordova and its Clinton, Ill.  nuclear power plant.
The announcement comes one week after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Future Energy Jobs Bill into law at Riverdale High School near Port Byron and similar ceremonies in Clinton, Ill.
“Opponents of the Future Energy Jobs Bill called it a bailout, but that’s a ridiculous argument,” said Rory Washburn, executive director of the Quad Cities area’s Tri City Building Trades Council. “This legislation is already creating good paying jobs for Illinois families and leveling the playing field so our safe and well run nuclear facilities can compete fairly with other subsidized sources of clean energy.”
The Quad Cities project list includes installing a hardened venting system, plant computer upgrades and enhancements to the control room simulator, which is used to train reactor operators. The Clinton list includes upgrades to the plant’s main generator, replacing an auxiliary transformer and upgrades to a pump motor that controls water flow outside the reactor.
The projects, and others, were cancelled or put on hold in May after Exelon announced plans to close the Clinton plant in 2017 and the Cordova plant in 2018 if state subsidies were not approved…

Junk Plant Columbia:More Coponents Fail During Lastest Hard Scram

Why wasn't this picked up during normal testing and inspections?

Power ReactorEvent Number: 52443
Region: 4 State: WA
Unit: [2] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [2] GE-5
Notification Date: 12/19/2016
Notification Time: 07:39 [ET]
Event Date: 12/18/2016
Event Time: 23:20 [PST]
Last Update Date: 12/19/2016
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(3)(v)(D) - ACCIDENT MITIGATION
50.72(b)(3)(ii)(A) - DEGRADED CONDITION
Person (Organization):

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
2NN0Hot Shutdown0Hot Shutdown
Event Text

"On December 18, 2016 at 2320 [PST], a leak was discovered on the High Pressure Core Spray (HPCS) system minimum flow line. The leak is located at a bolted flange downstream of the manual isolation valve HPCS-V-53. The location of the leak is not isolable from the suppression pool. This provides a direct path from inside the Primary Containment to the Reactor Building.

"High Pressure Core Spray system is a single train Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) system, therefore inoperability is reportable per 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(v)(D).

"Based on the location of the leak, Primary Containment integrity is compromised. Primary Containment was declared inoperable and is reportable per 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(ii)(A).

"The cause of the leak is under investigation. Actions are underway to cool down and enter MODE 4."

The licensee has notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Junk Plant Columbia Going Down the Tubes

Recent Events

1) Whistleblower discloses Columbia hiding plant decline.

2) Special inspection on transferring radioactive materials six times the allowed levels.

3) The hard scram uncovered a lot of degraded and failed components.

Power ReactorEvent Number: 52442
Region: 4 State: WA
Unit: [2] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [2] GE-5
Notification Date: 12/18/2016
Notification Time: 18:13 [ET]
Event Date: 12/18/2016
Event Time: 11:24 [PST]
Last Update Date: 12/18/2016
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(A) - ECCS INJECTION
50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) - RPS ACTUATION - CRITICAL
Person (Organization):

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
2A/RY100Power Operation0Hot Shutdown
Event Text

"On December 18, 2016 at time 1124 PST the plant experienced a full reactor scram. Preliminary investigations indicate that the scram was caused by a load reject from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Ashe substation. Further investigations continue. The following conditions have occurred:

"Turbine Governor valve closure
Reactor high pressure trip
+13 inches reactor water level activations
E-TR-B (backup transformer) supplying E-SM-7/SM-8 (vital power electrical busses)
Complete loss of Reactor Closed Cooling (RCC)
E-TR-S (Startup transformer) supplying SM-1/2/3 (non-vital power electrical busses)
E-DG-1/2/3 (emergency diesel generators) auto start
Low Pressure Core Spray (LPCS) and Residual Heat Removal (RHR) A/B/C initiation signals
Main Steam Isolation Valves (MSIV) are closed

"Reactor Core Isolation Cooling (RCIC) RCIC and High Pressure Core Spray (HPCS) were manually activated and utilized to inject and maintain reactor water level. Pressure control is with Safety Relief Valves (SRV) in, manual. Level control is with RCIC and Control Rod Drive (CRD). RCIC has experienced an over speed trip that was reset so that level control could be maintained by RCIC.

"This event is being reported under the following:
10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(iv)(A) which requires a 4 hour notification for Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) discharge into the reactor coolant system.
10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) which requires a 4 hour notification for any event or condition that results in actuation of the Reactor Protection System (RPS) when the reactor is critical.
10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(iv)(A) which requires an 8 hours notification for actuation of ECCS systems.

"All control rods fully inserted.

"The NRC Resident Inspector has been informed."

The licensee indicated that no increase in radiation levels were detected.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dead Ender and Junk Plant Pilrim: Three Leaking Main Steam Isolation Valves

Update: It was not a trip, thus no event report yet.

I find it preposterous even for Pilgrim, it could be leaking control air tubing like recent past. If it is the copper air tubes, I would consider it abnormal vibrations in the steam lines.   

So they got four of these big valves inside containment and four outside containment. They would have to shutdown the plant to inspect the valves inside containment because the radiation levels would be too high. Certainly the short term steam gamma radiation would be too high on the outside of MSIVs containment...but reducing power would certainly allow the inspection. I believe the outside MSIVs are in the steam tunnel room. It has temperatures instrumentation and a water sump. They count the times the sump pump starts. From there, they can calculate the amount of water leaking into the room and trend it. We always had water on the floor indicating outside water was coming into the steam tunnel room. So they knew a abnormal leak was in there and have been aware of it trending up.

There is no doubt a burst steam pipe in the steam tunnel room would get into the reactor building and take out all or most of the electrical equipment and reactor safety instrumentation by exceeding environmental temperatures.

As example, there are two of their giant valves in each main steam line. These valves are safety valves more than radiation containment valves.  One valve leaks and then the other would stop the leak. But if both valves were leaking, you would be "up the creek". But say in the burst of the main stream line in the steam tunnel, a tremendous amount of energy would enter the reactor building. You couldn't stop the leak until the plant cooled down and depressurize. There is a high probability this would blind the control room totally from knowing what is going on in the core. It would be a very serious accident and they'd get in a site emergency...the highest...quickly.

There is no doubt these leaks have been going on knowingly for a very long time.

I can't wait for the event report disclosed tomorrow.       

Pilgrim remains shut down 
PLYMOUTH - Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station remains shut down today after the discovery of leaks in three of the eight main steam isolation valves, designed to close quickly to prevent radioactivity from leaking into the environment during a nuclear incident.
One of the three valves was declared inoperable and had to be removed from service, said Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan.
"There were subsequent efforts to fix the leak on that (valve), but they were unsuccessful," Sheehan said. "Our resident inspectors assigned to Pilgrim observed the repair efforts prior to shutdown via camera. They also observed the reactor shutdown and will closely follow the repair work and restart planning."
A similar leak in a main steam isolation valve forced a shutdown of the reactor in mid-August.
Pilgrim, owned and operated by Entergy Corp., was lowered to the Column 4 performance category by the NRC last year, making it one of the worst-performing plants in the country. The category is one step from forced shutdown.
Based on federal inspections and reports, the 44-year-old plant, slated to permanently shut down in June 2019, continues to be plagued by equipment problems and poor operator performance.
A team of 20 inspectors from around the country spent from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9 scouring systems and worker performance at Pilgrim, based on its poor performance status. They will return for a final week Jan. 9.
In an in-house email outlining preliminary observations, which was mistakenly sent to citizen activist Diane Turco, president of the Cape Downwinders, the leader of the inspection team described staff as "overwhelmed."
On inspector Donald Jackson's list of findings were failure of plant workers to follow established industry procedures, broken equipment that never gets properly fixed, lack of required expertise among plant experts, failure of some staff to understand their roles and responsibilities, and a team of employees who appear to be struggling with keeping the nuclear plant running.
"The corrective actions in the recovery plan seem to have been hastily developed and implemented, and some have been circumvented as they were deemed too hard to complete," Jackson wrote of Entergy's plan to bring Pilgrim back up to acceptable standards. "We are observing current indications of a safety culture problem that a bunch of talking probably won't fix."
Plymouth selectmen demanded that an NRC representative attend a meeting held last Tuesday, but Daniel Dorman, director of the northeast region for the NRC, declined. Dorman said the observations in the email were preliminary. An agency representative would only meet with selectmen when the full inspection was completed and the final report drawn up. That won't happen until early February.
Selectmen vowed to push, through the region's state and federal legislative representatives, for a meeting in January when inspectors return to Pilgrim.
At the time that the main isolation valve leaks were discovered, the reactor was operating at a reduced power level of 25 percent to take care of some required testing of turbine valves. That inspection was completed.
Entergy spokesman Patrick O'Brien said the problem involving the main steam isolation valves was found during a "walk through" to check other systems at the plant....

The Real Story in the Shutdown of Maine Yankee

Right, same old themes here. A small utility basically operated the plant. They got over their head during contrition and throughout the rest of the life of the plant. Basically they starved funding to the plant leading to outsiders taking advantage of the situation. The collapse of the natural resource industry, massive losses in the pulp industry based on foreigners taking advantage of us just like the rust belt. Local politics fractured leading to the rise of teabaggerism and scrabbles of town control and taxed. Basically Maine has been in a depression since way before the shutdown of the plant. Touristism has changed and is fickle, with our national slow economy, the great recession of 2008 and such, our great manufacturing decline, property values were all over the place and the bifurcation of our society and incomes of recent...that is what is more impacting this town than the closure of the plant.

Right, a electric too high price rebellion was building. Deregulation---to reduce electric prices began in the early 1990s. All the utilities were drastic cutting cost in their fear of deregulation. The Time magazine Millstone nuclear plant scandal occurring in the later 1990s. The old Exelon starved funding to their fleet. The NRc finally cracked down ending in temportary shutdowns. Exelon panicked throwing a lot of money on the nuke fleet. They stole money from the transmission and distribution system later leading into massive component breakdowns and blackouts. Electric prices were exploding, shortages were everywhere. The California power crisis, Enron and Davis Besse was right around the corner. Millstone and the Maine Yankee scandal before shutdown caused a lot of New Englanders not to trust the NRC. All this put the politicians and ultimate owners in a corner. It was a grand failure of the electricity establishment for decades.

I could make the case the pro nuclear industry paid for this article.  They want to make Wiscasset the poster child for not shutting down old dog plants

The moral of this story is how important it is to built and run a nuclear plant competently. Don't give disgruntles the ammo to take you down.      

By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff
Posted Dec. 17, 2016, at 1 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 17, 2016, at 1:15 p.m.
WISCASSET, Maine — In 1998, still flush with tax money from the Maine Yankee atomic power plant — which had closed two years earlier — Wiscasset opened a multimillion-dollar community center just outside the heart of town.
Now, almost 20 years later, the center remains open, but the community it is serving in this coastal town, billed as “the prettiest village in Maine,” looks like it’s lost its way.
Municipal government is wracked by turmoil, with elected officials resigning, a citizens group aggressively challenging selectmen’s decisions, and basic policy matters decided by petitions and referendum.
A school system that routinely turned away tuition students because it ranked among the best in Maine now struggles with massive enrollment declines, annual budget travails, and questions about its leadership and direction.
Meanwhile, an agreement between state and local officials to try to resolve a traffic bottleneck on Route 1 — after half a century of negotiations — has drawn organized opposition, legal warnings and a petition.
How did Wiscasset reach this point?
Many residents see it as the inevitable fallout from the nuclear plant’s closure. Others see it as a cautionary tale for other Maine communities, such as mill towns, that struggle to adapt when a seismic change occurs to its economic base.
From boom to the edge of bust
For awhile during the quarter century Maine Yankee generated power on Bailey Point, Wiscasset residents — many of them power plant employees who drew an average salary of $54,000 — didn’t even pay for their own utilities.
In 1996, when the plant shut down for good, Maine Yankee paid the town nearly $13 million in property taxes — about 91 percent of the town’s entire tax base, according to tax records.
Former Selectwoman Judy Flanagan, a longtime resident of Wiscasset and a vice chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen until resigning in November, remembers the envious reactions when she told people she lived in Wiscasset.
“Every town would like to have had that pocketbook we had,” she said in an interview.
Two decades later, Maine Yankee’s employees and much of its tax base are long gone. The burden of struggling to live with a slimmer pocketbook has frayed many in a town that longtime resident Bill Sutter said “has developed a big city attitude, with big city amenities and budgets, when we are in fact a small town.”
Town facilities have not been upgraded, or in some cases maintained, since the Maine Yankee years. Most notably, a failing sewer plant has violated environmental standards for a second time, this year triggering fines of nearly $20,000. The plant also will need repairs that could easily reach $100,000, according to information provided by town officials…

Friday, December 16, 2016

Obama’s Cyber Retaliation to Russia

Lets say it is in the long term interest of China or other national player to weaken the USA and Russia. They drop Russia’s electric system and 10,000 people freeze to death. Seeing how Obama says a USA retaliation is on the way, Russia assumes the USA did it. But China did it and puts the USA cyber DNA on the attack virus. Then Russia says they got proof the USA did it. What kind of war would it be.

Unimaginable Drop in Wholesale Electric Grid Prices

They predicted this. All the fracting would drastically collapse the  price of natural gas. The drillers would adapt...they would invent unimaginable efficiencies drastically reducing production cost. Its a series of game changers. The newest invention is a supersize well and its piping. It suppose to drop wellhead prices 70% from todays price.  

I could make the case all the big electric boys are colluding together. They are dropping off line their dog plants in an attempt to prop up the electricity prices.  
 Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, October 2016

October’s average price of electricity fell on continuing low natural gas prices and low demand

Lower demand, driven by milder weather, and lower natural gas prices pulled October’s average monthly power price down 30%, to $22.72 per megawatt-hour (MWh)*, compared to the October 2015 average price of $32.62/MWh. The wholesale power price during October was the sixth-lowest since the wholesale electricity markets in their current form were launched in 2003 in New England, and the natural gas price was the eighth-lowest during that time period. Total energy consumption in New England in October was the lowest of any October since 2000, and the fourth-lowest monthly consumption...

OPPD Shut Down Junk Plant Fort Calhoun and Save $400 Million Dollars?

This is how deep in the hole the rest of the nuclear industry is.

Closing Fort Calhoun nuclear plant helps OPPD avoid rate hike in ’17

By Cole Epley / World-Herald staff writer
Cole Epley

Closing its lone nuclear plant helped the Omaha Public Power District head off a rate hike that would have resulted in an average bill increase of 2.5 percent for residential ratepayers in 2017.

The Omaha electric utility’s board on Thursday approved a recalculation of a portion of rates that accounts for cost changes related to the closure of the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and the addition of 400 megawatts of wind power from a massive wind farm in Holt County.

OPPD directors also approved a $1.13 billion 2017 budget that, among other things, would replenish the utility’s so-called rate stabilization account to $50 million, the account’s intended full amount.

The fund is used for stemming rate hikes. It was depleted to $16 million from a high of $41 million in 2015 as utility officials sought to plug a budget shortfall brought on by lower income from excess energy sales, lower demand and increasing costs at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant.

The facility 15 miles north of Omaha is now shut down and in early stages of decommissioning. That project could cost as much as $1.9 billion, but OPPD will have a better grasp on the estimated cost when it completes a more detailed study of the years-long project by the end of January.

OPPD has saved about $388 million for those costs already, and now that the plant is closed, the district will put an additional $147.5 million into designated trust funds for decommissioning…

Junk Plant Palo Verde Diesel Generator Explosion

They are lucky they didn't kill a guy. Will they have to shutdown? This is a three plant facility...I believe the largest nuclear facility is the USA.
Facility: PALO VERDE
Region: 4 State: AZ
Unit: [ ] [ ] [3]
RX Type: [1] CE,[2] CE,[3] CE
Notification Date: 12/15/2016
Notification Time: 06:55 [ET]
Event Date: 12/15/2016
Event Time: 04:10 [MST]
Last Update Date: 12/15/2016
Emergency Class: ALERT
10 CFR Section:
50.72(a) (1) (i) - EMERGENCY DECLARED
Person (Organization):

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
3NY100Power Operation100Power Operation
Event Text

"The following event description is based on information currently available. If through subsequent reviews of this event additional information is identified that is pertinent to this event or alters the information being provided at this time a follow-up notification will be made via the ENS or under the reporting requirements of 10CFR50.73.

"During a scheduled surveillance test run of the PVNGS [Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station] Unit 3 'B' Train Emergency Diesel Generator, there was a catastrophic failure of a piston to include crankcase damage and diesel trip. The Emergency Plan has been entered and an ALERT was declared at 0410 [MST] on 12/15/16 based on an explosion resulting in visible damage to a safety system required for safe shutdown. The cause of the failure is unknown at this time. PVNGS Fire Department responded and no fire was observed. Unit 3 remains on line at 100% power. No other safety functions are impacted."

No personnel injuries occurred. The unit is in a ten day technical specification on an emergency diesel generator being inoperable.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

Notified DHS, DOE, EPA, FEMA, NICC, USDA, HHS, FDA, NSSA, Mexico, and OIP (Skeen).


"This serves as the notification of the termination of Alert HA2.1 declared at 0410 MST at Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station. The event terminated at 0636 MST."

The licensee will notify the NRC Resident Inspector.

Notified R4DO (Keller), NRR EO (Miller), IRD (Stapleton), DHS, DOE, EPA, FEMA, NICC, USDA, HHS, FDA, NSSA, Mexico, and OIP (Skeen).

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Junk Plant Seabrook: How Is This Plant Still Operating With This stupidity

IR 05000443/2016007; 8/1/2016 - 9/1/2016; Seabrook Station, Unit 1; Component Design Bases Inspection
• Green.  The team identified a finding of very low safety significance, involving a non-cited violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, “Corrective Action,” for not performing corrective actions to preclude repetition of a significant condition adverse to quality.  Specifically, in 2008, two of four primary component cooling water (PCCW) pump motors failed within a four month period due to a manufacturing defect.  NextEra established but did not perform a corrective action to replace all four motors with re-wound motors, free of the identified manufacturing defect.  Subsequently, in 2015, a third motor failure occurred due to the same manufacturing defect.  NextEra’s immediate corrective actions included entering this issue into their corrective action program (AR 2153536), implementing an electrical testing program that would provide an early indication of further degradation of the manufacturing defect until motor replacement, and completing a prompt operability determination to assess current PCCW system operability.

Junk and Dead Ender Palisades Announces Permanent Shutdown Themes

The theme goes, some financial pinhead with no knowledge of the plant decides how much funding goes into it. The money is grossly Insufficient. It destroys the safety culture; everyone defers to deceptions, cover-ups, falsifications and not following the rules to the feds. The feds let the chaos intensify until loads of components fail embarrassing the agency and nuclear industry. The agency is forced to drop the hammer down on the plant. Entergy is forced to spend big bucks on the dying plant…replace components and upgrade the plant. Within a few years the plant becomes grossly uncompetitive. Then they decide to shutdown the plant.
Every penny spent on Palisades post 2101 yellow finding was a waste. Why aren't these executives  who wasted this money held accountable.
The 2012 yellow finding symbolized the apex of hubris with the NRC and Entergy.

Junk And Declining Plant ANO Troubles Upon Startup

Update Dec 16


Another indicator...

Dec 13-1%

Dec 14-12%

Dec 15-25%

Sounds like turbine control problems.

This isn't a professionally operated plant.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Junk Plant Dead Ender Oyster Creek Never Exceeded 85% Power Since Outage

Turbine control and something Else. They tripped once after the outage, then up on startup they never again exceeded 85%.

Oyster Creek nuclear plant taken offline
Amanda Oglesby , @OglesbyAPP 8:14 p.m. EST December 13, 2016
LACEY – Oyster Creek Generating Station, the nation's oldest functioning nuclear power plant, was taken offline Tuesday in order for operators to make repairs to its turbine control system.
The system monitors turbine conditions, speed, temperature and pressure, according to officials at Exelon Generation, which operates the plant.
"The Oyster Creek shutdown will not have an impact on electrical service to Exelon customers," plant officials said in a news release.
This is the second shutdown in less than a month due to a fault in the turbine control system. The plant also underwent a nearly month long shutdown from September to October for scheduled refueling and maintenance.
In July, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) increased oversight of the plant after determining that officials there violated safety rules regarding a faulty emergency back-up generator. NRC staff said the plant operators failed to have instructions for the replacement of a 22-year-old hose on the diesel generator that had degraded because of aging and heat.
Oyster Creek is scheduled to close permanently in December 2019, but environmentalists have called for an earlier decommissioning.

Region: 1 State: NJ
Unit: [1] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [1] GE-2
Notification Date: 11/20/2016
Notification Time: 06:01 [ET]
Event Date: 11/20/2016
Event Time: 03:42 [EST]
Last Update Date: 11/20/2016
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
1A/RY90Power Operation0Hot Shutdown
Event Text

"At 0342 EST, an automatic reactor scram was processed during turbine valve testing. All rods inserted into the core as expected and all systems functioned as expected during the scram.

"The event is reportable within 4 hours per 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) - any event or condition that results in actuation of the Reactor Protection System (RPS) when the reactor is critical except when the actuation results from and is part of a preplanned sequence during testing or reactor operation."

The plant response to the reactor scram was uncomplicated. The main feedwater system is maintaining reactor water level and decay heat is being removed by the main turbine bypass valves to the main condenser. The unit is in a normal shutdown electrical lineup. No SRVs lifted during the scram. The licensee was testing the main turbine trip function just prior to the scram. The cause is under investigation.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

Worldwide the Nuclear Industry is Corrupt As Hell...They Stole Opportunity From Everyone

Coverup at French Nuclear Supplier Sparks Global Review

Inspectors say Areva unit’s files suggest manufacturing flaws in critical parts were covered up for decades
By Matthew Dalton and
Matthew Dalton
The Wall Street Journal
Matthew DaltonInspectors from the U.S. and other countries are investigating a decadeslong coverup of manufacturing problems at a key supplier to the nuclear power industry, probing whether flaws introduced in a French factory represent a safety threat to reactors world-wide.
Please read the NRC's response about this to me in a 2.206 petition.
Inspectors from the U.S., China and four other nations visited Areva SA’s Le Creusot Forge in central France earlier this month to examine the plant’s quality controls and comb through its internal records.
A string of discoveries triggered the newly expanded review: First, French investigators said they found steel components made at Le Creusot and used in nuclear-power plants across France had excess carbon levels, making them more vulnerable to rupture. Then, the investigators discovered files suggesting Le Creusot employees for decades had concealed manufacturing problems involving hundreds of components sold to customers around the world.
The disclosure of flaws covered up by Le Creusot led to two reactor shutdowns this summer in France, and in September authorities ordered Areva to check 6,000 manufacturing files by hand, covering every nuclear part made at Le Creusot since the 1960s.
 “I’m concerned that there keep being more and more problems unveiled,” said Kerri Kavanagh, who leads the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s unit inspecting Le Creusot. Regulators are considering returning to Le Creusot or inspecting Areva’s Lynchburg, Va., offices to deepen their probe of the plant, a U.S. official said.
On Wednesday, Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into whether Le Creusot’s activities were fraudulent and dangerous, according to a spokeswoman for prosecutors.
“What we see now at Le Creusot is clearly unacceptable,” said Julien Collet, assistant general manager at France’s Nuclear Safety Authority.
Areva executives have acknowledged the records falsifications and blamed them on a breakdown of manufacturing controls spanning many decades at Le Creusot. Areva has since tightened its controls and is cooperating with the regulators’ reviews, company officials said.
“We’re facing a problem of ‘quality culture,’ ” said David Emond, a senior Areva executive in charge of Le Creusot, in an interview. “ ‘Quality culture’ means declare a problem so it can be addressed, whether it’s serious or not.”
Areva executives said Le Creusot stopped falsifying documents in 2012, when oversight of quality control was removed from an internal office at the factory to a different Areva factory in Saint-Marcel, France. French regulators said they are investigating that claim.
Beyond France, regulators are trying to determine whether other nuclear facilities that relied on components from Le Creusot are safe. Finnish inspectors visiting the forge last week said they learned of potential flaws in a component slated for a reactor in the southwestern island of Olkiluoto. In the U.S., the NRC has identified at least nine nuclear plants that use large components from Le Creusot.
Still, NRC spokesman Scott Burnell said the agency’s “examination of the evidence, to this point, fails to raise a safety concern” with U.S. facilities, adding that “no final conclusions have been reached.”
Le Creusot’s production and documentation practices uncovered by the regulators risk undermining public trust in an industry still struggling to recover after the disaster caused by an earthquake and tsunami at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant in 2011. That manufacturing irregularities have been found in France—a leading exporter of nuclear technology to the rest of the world—is even more troubling for the industry.
‘Likely we have seen only the tip of the iceberg.’
—Mycle Schneider, nuclear energy consultant
France occupies a key place in the supply chain for the global nuclear power industry. With a history dating back to the dawn of the industrial revolution, Le Creusot is one of just a handful of manufacturing sites around the world capable of forging the enormous steel components that lie at the heart of nuclear power plants.
Officials and experts said the instances of manufacturing problems at Le Creusot are rare in the nuclear industry, where strict adherence to production and operating rules forms a crucial buffer against nuclear accidents.
“Having worked for over 30 years in France, I did not think this was possible for this country,” said Mycle Schneider, an independent nuclear energy consultant. “Likely we have seen only the tip of the iceberg.”
French investigators say the most serious safety threat they uncovered at Le Creusot concerns a nuclear power plant in the eastern French town of Fessenheim, on the border with Germany. Areva inspectors earlier this year unearthed a 2008 document at Le Creusot that showed a piece of flawed steel had been left on the protective casing of a steam generator at Fessenheim. That component weighs hundreds of tons and transforms the reactor’s heat into steam under immense pressure.
“Warn the [supervisor] during tracking to determine next steps,” wrote one employee in an excerpt of the document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
French regulators and Areva inspectors said they found the document inside a dossier barré—a folder Le Creusot marked with two dashes that investigators said signaled it shouldn’t be shown to customers or regulators. Fessenheim later installed the part relying on documents Le Creusot provided to regulators that made no mention of the problems.
Electricité de France SA, which this year agreed to buy most of Areva’s nuclear-reactor business including Le Creusot, shut the reactor at Fessenheim this summer after learning of the dossier barré. More than 200 of these previously undisclosed files have been found this year, the earliest dating from the 1960s.
EDF said initial tests of its Fessenheim reactor showed it is safe to operate even with the flawed steel on the steam generator. The French nuclear regulator is examining the issue, a process that officials said would take months.
Last week’s inspection has turned up a concern with one of Areva’s next-generation reactors, the European Pressurized Reactor under construction in Finland, versions of which are also planned for plants in China, France and the U.K.
Of the nine plants in the U.S. with parts from Le Creusot, at least one has a component with documentation problems, according to the NRC. Areva informed its owner, Dominion Resources Inc., that a manufacturing problem wasn’t detailed in final documents given to Dominion for its Millstone plant in Connecticut. Areva and Dominion say the discrepancy isn’t a threat to the safety of the Millstone reactor.