Sunday, May 29, 2016

Junk OPPD, Fort Calhoun and NRC: The Shut Down

I look at it like this. Lets say all the humans in these organizations are free agents. They are all loaded with the same histories, experiences, education and flaws like the first Fort Calhoun. Lets say we have 1000 identical Fort Calhouns and 1000 crews. We are thinking about system analysis. Lets say the starting point is Jan 1, 2006. If all these Fort Calhouns were reset to Jan 1, 2006, then allowed to play through to today, would they all have a decade of identical histories? You better be thinking how unique all our histories are.

I think there would be a continue of outcomes. Some worst and some better. Maybe one outcome would end with Fort Calhoun lasting safety another 20 years. I bet you there would maybe be 20 meltdowns, maybe 50 red findings, maybe 100 would shutdown before the flooding.

Its like if we had a national fleet 1000 plants. Basically we are talking about are global organizational rules and outside pressures that sets this up.  Do you see what a threat this type plant is with 20 meltdowns. It would be a industry ending event every two years. This is a way, way, way complex system and very few of industry and governmental officials don't understand complex systems.   

This is a hell of a risky threat to our nation. Fukushima accident is thought as a much more infrequent accident.

This is the limitation of our news media today. They are only able to portray a very thin slice of the risk to us. A phrase in this document is relevant to the write up of this new article. Is the newspaper reporters guilty of this also: leaders functioning more in a tactical rather than strategic manner. I am saying the reporters are writing the article up tactically in the events and people of the shutdown event (today), instead of being able to explain it in a holistic way why this plant began failing in 2006 to today.

Honestly, I think it went this way. Its the business philosophy of the least worst choice. You have a mandatory and severe budget restrictions on this plant. All of the stupidity of the senior officials were playing this game. Do I have the money to fix it right now or do I have to half ass fix now?   

The got you 99% of the way to understand what happened here. What changed in and around 2006?

You get it, cheap coal has bailed out OPPD of accountability for decades. I bet you outside Fort Calhoun they are a terrible dysfunction small utility. 

I actually think the dual and three unit plants are more financially vulnerable than the single unit plants. It is like a hungry wolf pack is circling the nuclear industry. The industry is throwing their children out to the wolf pack so they can escape. When the wolfs are busy tearing their children apart they can escape. The whole industry is bankrupt as it sits now. The titans of the industry are throwing ten or twenty plants as a attention getting tactic to the wolves hoping the legislator will heavenly subsidized the larger bankrupt facility. Remember we are going to see 20 to 40 plant declines into permanent shutdowns in the next few years. It is important we understand a good plant permanent shutdown from a chaotic pertinent plant shutdown. Oyster Creek is a example of a chaotic shutdown.   

I wouldn't subsidize a old facility. You are throwing money away. I would think about a smart subsidy for the new build.        
Fort Calhoun Flooding Root Cause Analysis  
Event Date: May 11, 2012 
Executive Sponsor: W. Gary Gates
Summary of Events: 
Fort Calhoun Station has a history of organizational effectiveness weaknesses as indicated by The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has identified organizational effectiveness issues in Problem Identification and Resolution (PI&R) inspections conducted in 2007, 2009 and 2011. A Pl&R Root Cause Analysis (CR2011~10135) identified that flawed mental models, misguided beliefs, and misplaced values have driven, influenced and permitted the misalignment of organizational behaviors. The station has shown an adverse regulatory trend of violations beginning in 2007, entering action matrix column 3 (95003) in October 2010, then action matrix column 4 in July 2011, to eventually Inspection Manual Chapter 0350 in December 2011.
A root cause analysis team was formed to evaluate the causes of this organizational ineffectiveness’. The team conducted a root cause analysis on organizational effectiveness related events that occurred from 2007 through May 2012. The team also reviewed the! I [Band Strategic Talent Solutions (STS) Executive Leadership Assessment summary to validate their findings.
Condition Report 20112-03986 was initiated when a team of station management personnel and external consultants determined that the Fort Calhoun Station’s organizational effectiveness is inadequate. 
The team characterized the issue as follows:
"Senior leaders and managers are not providing the necessary leadership to improve organizational performance. Additionally, leadership has failed to be intrusive, set the right priorities, and holds personnel accountable and has not understood major processes or issues affecting morale. As a result, timeliness and thoroughness of resolution of important issues has been lacking and station performance has declined significantly." 
The RCA team subsequently developed a problem statement that, "The Fort Calhoun Station (FCS) organization has been ineffective in meeting regulatory and industry standards, resulting in untimely and ineffective resolution of issues contributing to a significant decline in station performance." 
This organizational effectiveness weakness has had a direct negative impact on nuclear, radiological, and industrial safety and other business aspects. Examples include organizational effectiveness issues identified in the Yellow external flooding finding, the MQ contractor failure White NRC identified finding, and the 184A Bus fire NRC Red finding. Industrial safety has been identified by :__-___::l as lacking sufficient organizational oversight and that station oversight did not perform adequate organizational challenging of radiological planning for outages. 
The analysis identified that there has been inadequate direction, prioritization and oversight from the "board of directors” down to the station leaders. The team identified three root causes and three Contributing causes. Less than adequate corporate and station governance and oversight; leaders functioning more in a tactical rather than strategic manner and not valuing accountability; and lack of thorough policy implementation as root causes. Three policies were determined to be contributing causes base on the fact that both the policy was weak and needed improving, as well as proper implementation. Those three policies included the stations Nuclear Safety policy, Change Management policy, and Communications policy. All three of these policies were identified in theThe extent of condition was based on the problem statement, interviews conducted, documents reviewed and the analytical tools used to assess FCS performance in the area of Organizational Effectiveness. An extent of condition exists: The team concluded the organizational effectiveness deficiencies reviewed by this causal analysis extend to those programs, processes, and departments throughout the organization.
There all liars and thieves!!!
As natural gas prices plummeted, OPPD leaders clung to expensive, inefficient Fort Calhoun 

Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2016 12:15 am | Updated: 8:56 am, Sun May 29, 2016.

By Cole Epley and Russell Hubbard / World-Herald staff writers

The Omaha World-Herald
Two months before Missouri River floodwaters in 2011 threatened the Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, executives at a similar-size nuclear plant in Wisconsin faced their own problem: what to do with a facility they said no longer made economic sense to operate. The leaders at Dominion Resources, which operated the Kewaunee Power Station, said in April 2011 they were throwing in the towel — that the plant outside of Green Bay would be put on the auction block. There were no takers. Dominion announced plans to permanently close Kewaunee in October 2012. “This decision was based purely on economics,” Dominion chief Thomas Farrell said then. 
At the same time, OPPD leaders were sinking nearly $300 million into Fort Calhoun to reopen the plant in December 2013. 
Now the Omaha utility says it has decided its nuclear plant is too expensive to operate compared with electricity fueled by natural gas and wind power. Leaders want it shut by the end of the year. 
What did operators of the Wisconsin plant see in 2011, even as OPPD pushed full-steam ahead to keep the Fort Calhoun plant online? 
A nationwide boom in natural gas, fueled by fracking, led to the decision in Wisconsin, its owners said. That boom would push down the price of power generated from natural gas — and even back in 2011, experts were saying prices for natural gas would only keep falling. They were nearly $15 a unit in 2005; Friday, they traded at $1.98. 
The boom made nuclear — especially that generated at smaller plants, such as Kewaunee and Fort Calhoun — less attractive, with its relatively high-cost, labor-intensive safety standards. And it made coal — under fire for being dirty — less attractive, too. 
Wind power, with the help of government subsidies, also was on the horizon in a big way; next door in Iowa, Berkshire Hathaway-owned MidAmerican Energy put 1,285 megawatts of wind-fueled electricity online between 2004 and 2010 with turbine farms across the state — nearly three times the power generated by Fort Calhoun. 
Whatever was going on in the OPPD boardroom, it wasn’t in sync with mainstream thinking that was informing much of the U.S. energy market at the time. 
Current and former OPPD executives said last week they made the right decision to resuscitate the nuclear plant outside Omaha. It went offline for a routine refueling in April 2011 but didn’t come back until December 2013 — knocked out by the flood and a subsequent fire and slew of federal safety violations. 
Gary Gates, who was OPPD’s chief executive at the time of the Calhoun crisis, said the company and the board made the decision to keep the plant open based on regimented, objective analyses of the power market. 
For example, natural gas prices in 2011 were double their current level, he said. And uncertainty surrounding federal environmental regulations meant emission-free nuclear was an important part of the OPPD energy mix, Gates said. 
He said there wasn’t any way to know back then that energy generated from other sources — the natural gas from the fracking revolution and the wind from Mother Nature — would become so cheap when compared with nuclear. 
“We always had healthy, vigorous discussions, but my sense was always that we had unanimous support for continued operations” among board members when it came to Fort Calhoun, he told The World-Herald last week. 
The OPPD board of directors never voted on the question of whether to give up on the plant and power it down permanently during the period of 2011 through 2013.
OPPD did model a future without Fort Calhoun, its leaders said last week when questioned by The World-Herald. The utility commissioned a study by outside consulting firm Black & Veatch of Overland Park, Kansas. The World-Herald requested a copy of the study, which OPPD had not shared publicly, saying it was “held confidential due to competitive information, impacted contracts and personnel matters.” 
On Friday, the utility gave the newspaper a PowerPoint summary of the report. The summary was dated Oct. 30, 2013, which is when an OPPD spokeswoman said it was presented to the utility’s board of directors. 
The analysis said it would be cheaper to forgo restarting Calhoun and turn to other forms of energy. “All results indicate the replacement options are more economic than operating Fort Calhoun Station,” it said. 
But on Oct. 29, 2013 — the day before the board was presented with the summary — Fort Calhoun’s reactor had been fired up, part of a warming-up period to prepare for coming fully online in December of that year. 
The World-Herald over the past two weeks contacted the eight current and three former OPPD board members — everyone except for a former board member who has since died. All said they supported the restart of Calhoun and trusted the decisions of OPPD’s management, although two — Mike Cavanaugh and Lloyd Scheve — also said they had informally expressed misgivings. 
There was some informal buzz around not restarting the plant, said Cavanaugh, who has been on the board for 22 years. 
“I don’t recall exactly when it was, but there was discussion about it,” he said. He said he might have considered not restarting the plant, but discussions never happened in formal session. 
In some ways, OPPD appeared determined to zig with respect to nuclear when many others in the energy industry were zagging. 
A postmortem of OPPD’s decisions is instructive:
In the year between the disastrous flood of June 2011 and the flood’s one-year anniversary in June 2012, signs were abundant that natural gas was already cheap and destined to get far cheaper, just as a Dominion spokesman told an industry magazine as the publicly traded company closed the Wisconsin plant. 
“Certainly” cheap natural gas was a factor in shutting the plant, Dominion spokesman Jim Norvelle told trade publication Natural Gas Intelligence in October of that year. 
Now, OPPD executives say the coming of cheap natural gas — what it calls a nail in the coffin of expensive and small nuclear plants such as Fort Calhoun — was tough to forecast back at the time. 
Yet signs were flashing all over the place that natural gas was falling and would keep doing so: 
» In September 2011, three months after the flood, the U.S. Energy Department said in a report that natural gas was so cheap, record use of the fuel by utilities was likely as they responded to pressure to cut emissions. That meant those utilities likely would turn increasingly from coal to natural gas, the Energy Department said. Electric utilities, the top consumers of coal, were set to use unprecedented amounts of gas that year, the Energy Department report said. 
» In November 2011, five months after the flood, an Environmental Protection Agency official put the kibosh on any hopes the OPPD board might have had of proceeding with mainly coal-fired generation. (About 70 percent of OPPD’s generation came from coal at the time — a share that has held steady.) With its nuclear plant out of commission, what was left other than natural gas? 
Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, warned that coal-dependent utilities had better prepare to clean up their acts. She said that month at a conference sponsored by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that four proposed clean air and water rules aimed mainly at coal-fired power plants would not be derailed by those predicting dire economic consequences — a move-forward policy that any energy industry professional should have seen as having enormous implications for the price and supply of natural gas.
“Our analysis and past experience indicate that the recent warnings of dire economic consequences of moving forward with these important rules are at best exaggerated,” McCarthy said. 
» In December 2011, six months after the flood, energy industry analysts began calling the replacement of coal by natural gas “the new normal.” 
Energy industry analysts at Houston investment bank Simmons & Co. International said in a report that month that natural gas prices had dropped 17 percent that year — a sign of abundant supply as producers ramped up to meet demand. 
The bank cited an Energy Department forecast that coal’s market share of electricity generation was expected to fall to 43.5 percent in 2012 from 44.9 percent in 2011. In other words, the Energy Department was calling the switch at the very same time OPPD now says it was unable to spot it.
“A reduced share for coal is quickly becoming the new normal,” Simmons & Co. wrote. 
» There was another natural-gas trend booming its way around the energy industry in December 2011: shale production. 
New technologies such as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, allowed gas producers to tap reserves previously not economical to drill. The effect, predictably, sent natural gas prices down as supplies increased, making the blue flame a cheaper source for generation just as OPPD was in its sixth month of struggling with Fort Calhoun. 
The Energy Department, however, didn’t miss the hints. It said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook in December 2011 that booming U.S. natural gas production from shale formations was likely to send natural gas prices falling for an unprecedented fifth year in 2012 — presumably a good thing for utilities seeking to replace generation from dirty coal plants or under-repair nuclear stations. 
“Gas may tumble 8.2 percent from its 2011 average next year, as output rises 2.8 percent to a record 67.72 billion cubic feet a day, according to the Energy Department,” Bloomberg News reported at the time. “Demand will probably climb 1.7 percent, after a 1.8 percent increase this year.”
» In January 2012, as the Fort Calhoun debacle entered its second calendar year, the price of natural gas — the fuel that OPPD now says it didn’t see coming — reached a 10-year low. 
» If OPPD was looking to the government for more clues about sentiment regarding the future of natural gas, it didn’t have to look too hard. Also in January 2012, the Interior Department put up for auction 32 onshore U.S. oil and natural gas leases. 
» If OPPD didn’t see cheap natural gas coming back in 2012, the energy industry analysts at Bank of America and others did, citing strong prospects for prices below $2 per million British thermal units. 
“We don’t believe there is a short-term floor for prices,” one of the analysts told Bloomberg News.
» January 2012 is also when President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address that he expected domestic energy sources, cleaner ones including natural gas, to take to the forefront. 
As OPPD was deciding to proceed or not with what became a nearly $300 million repair bill for an aging and tiny nuclear power station, the president said: “This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. ... We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years.” 
OPPD leaders argued at the time that hanging on to Fort Calhoun was indeed part of an all-of-the-above strategy, and a carbon-free one at that. But they now say it’s too expensive for smaller plants such as Calhoun to survive in the era of cheap natural gas: Larger nuclear plants with two and three times the generating capacity of Calhoun can spread costs over a greater base. 
For instance, OPPD has paid about $57 per megawatt-hour to generate at Calhoun over the past three years, on average. The average cost nationally — at plants that are all bigger than Omaha’s — is $35.50 per megawatt-hour, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. 
» March 2012, natural gas reaches another 10-year low. 
» April 2012, one year after the Fort Calhoun facility went cold, the chairman of Exelon — the Chicago company later hired by OPPD to run the troubled Fort Calhoun station — said cheap natural gas was the grim reaper for nuclear power. 
Market conditions are “really not great for nuclear,” Mayo Shattuck said at a conference in Washington, D.C. The economic environment “raises very serious questions” about whether nuclear would be able to survive on its own without government subsidies. 
OPPD didn’t get the message. A few months later, Exelon — despite its warning — was the recipient of a $400 million contract from OPPD to run Fort Calhoun. 
» Finally, also in April 2012, what had been a trend was recognized as a new way of doing business. 
Less than one year after Fort Calhoun went offline, the U.S. Energy Department formalized its 2012 outlook, saying it expected natural gas output to rise about 2 percent and prices to fall 21 percent — a seeming bonus for any utility poised to take advantage of the cheaper and cleaner fuel.
So OPPD faced a choice after the Missouri River flooding in 2011 and the serious fire at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant put the facility on a federal regulator’s list of the nation’s most troubled: OPPD could shut down the plant or spend the money to get the plant back up to snuff.
The summary of the Black & Veatch study, which said a permanent shutdown was more economical, cited three arguments for restarting: 
1) Nuclear is a carbon-free source of energy. 
2) About 700 jobs were at stake. 
3) Employee morale: “30+ months has been dedicated to restart efforts.” 
Choosing to fix the plant cost OPPD $283.5 million, according to a World-Herald analysis of the utility’s books. 
And OPPD wouldn’t fix the plant on its own: Even though it had run Fort Calhoun since it first generated power in 1973, OPPD said it lacked the expertise to handle its own nuclear operation. So it signed its $400 million, 20-year contract with Chicago-based Exelon — a large nuclear plant operator — to actually run Fort Calhoun. So far, OPPD has paid Exelon $86 million. 
Lloyd Scheve was appointed to the OPPD board in February 2011 and was defeated in his subsequent election bid in late 2012. He said he remembered questions about the nuclear plant’s viability came up around the time the Exelon contract was inked in August 2012. 
Scheve compared the plant’s troubles to working on an old house, saying that “every time we turned around there was another $100,000 worth of things that needed to be fixed.
Still, the OPPD board at that time made a unanimous decision to turn over day-to-day control of Fort Calhoun to Exelon. 
OPPD still has about 700 staff connected to the nuclear operation despite outside management by Exelon. Details of the contract with Exelon have never been released, but public records requests by The World-Herald show payments to the Chicago company have averaged about $2 million a month since September 2012. OPPD has repeatedly declined The World-Herald’s request to review the Exelon contract, citing what it says are confidentiality clauses. 
(Exelon itself said earlier this month that it would close two of its Illinois nuclear plants if lawmakers don’t cough up money to help the financially troubled facilities. The imperiled Clinton and Quad Cities plants have lost $800 million since 2009, according to Exelon, which is publicly traded.) 
All told, seven nuclear plants have either shut down or have been slated for decommissioning since 2013. 
The money OPPD has paid to Exelon, the lost revenue from the 2011-2013 shutdown and the other costs associated with getting Fort Calhoun back online after the flood came on top of nearly $400 million the utility spent in 2006 to refurbish the plant, replacing some major components — measures that were required to keep the plant in operating condition through the end of its regulatory licensing in 2033. 
Former CEO Gates, who retired last summer, said keeping the plant running was the prudent choice to make. Current Chief Executive Tim Burke, who announced the planned closing, said he agreed with Gates’ decision at the time. 
The utility needed the reliability and diversity afforded by Fort Calhoun to protect against wide swings in the price of energy commodities like coal, for example, Gates said. Plus, the inherent carbon-free generation that distinguishes nuclear power from greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuel plants made it an even more attractive asset in the face of potential regulatory crackdowns on such emissions. 
The ripple effects of the nuclear plant’s woes soon hit ratepayers, with the OPPD board in December 2012 approving a rate hike that hit residential customers to the tune of $7.30 per month, or 7.7 percent. 
Would a privately owned or publicly traded operator have plowed so much cash into a nuclear plant in the midst of the natural gas revolution? 
No, said Travis Miller, a Wall Street analyst who covers Exelon and other nuclear operators for Morningstar. “I would imagine it would’ve closed” in the aftermath of the 2011 Missouri River flood, he said. 
Because of the fading economic argument for nuclear, as many as 20 nuclear plants, or 20 percent of the U.S. fleet, are at risk of shutting down in the next five to 10 years, Nuclear Energy Institute President Marvin Fertel said earlier this month at a U.S. Department of Energy summit.
Paul Patterson, a Wall Street analyst with New York-based Glenrock Associates who covers Exelon competitor Entergy, said he also doubts Fort Calhoun would have survived in a competitive marketplace unlike the state-mandated monopoly enjoyed by OPPD. 
While he said he’s careful about second-guessing the utility’s decisions, Patterson called the restart of Fort Calhoun “a little peculiar.” 
“If only a few years ago they were spending that kind of money on a plant this size,” he said, “and now to believe it would be a better idea to shut it down and buy power than to keep running? 
“That would suggest that it probably wasn’t the best decision.”

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hinsdale, NH/Brattleboro, Vt Gets New Route 119 Bridge

Update 5/28

I am disappointed the local newspapers didn't write up a story about the bridge getting past the NH House and Senate.

***If we name it the "Mike Mulligan Memorial Bridge" (or something), I'll promise I will use the attention to shine a light over our dangerous national transportation infrastructure problems. You people own me $1500 dollars in court cost and fines!

Here is me holding a hunk of rust from the bridge. I love this youtube of me:   

You see the irony here, "the teabagger I hate the government state of New Hampshire" is using federal funding for their state roads. Basically underfund state government, then get the feds to pay your bills, all the while on the way to the bank bad mouthing government is the root of all our society's problems.

What is this, about a $40 million dollar bridge?     
May 26. 2016 11:46PM State highway improvement plan approved
State House Bureau

CONCORD — House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday on the nearly $4 billion, 10-year highway plan that includes money to pave a fourth lane for both barrels of Interstate 93 between Manchester and Salem, but nothing for commuter rail.

House Bill 2016 would use Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicles (GARVE) bonds to fund two bridge projects over the Connecticut River,
the Route 119 bridge between Hinsdale and Brattleboro, Vt., and the I-89 bridge between Lebanon and White River Junction, Vt
This is the real story about getting our new bridge. I was dressed up as a angel with a halo on my head as a attention seeking device for years, as I was protesting to get this new bridge. Ouch: it was painful at times. I had a lot of fun with bridge protesting until the police got involved with me.

The big picture of the Hinsdale police involvement with me is they were doing their job and they were decent to me. I was very disappointed with the District courts. The court system reminded me of NH roads and bridge funding problem, basically underfunded and a poor system. My day of arrangement, the collage kids had a party and about a hundred of them got arrested. They are all in court on my arrangement day. It was chaos in there. I got confused with the clerk's instruction, as did most everyone else. I left before they officially arranged me. You would think they would give me a call to finish it. Two days later, I called the prosecutor to see how much information they could give me. The secretary said we got a warrant out on you and the police are trying to arrest you. I said ok, I will go to the police station. Is there anyway we can take care of this between me and you. She said wait a second. She came back saying you promise to show up in court next Monday, fine I said. I'll be there. She then told me the warrant has been lifted.

On a Friday early evening, a Hinsdale cop came to the door saying I here to arrest you. They wanted me in jail over the weekend as punishment for embarrassing the town. He showed me the warrant. I told cop the warrant is no good with a smirk. The cop laughed at me saying, you think I haven't heard that before this. If I had my wits on me, I should have just seen how far I could get into the jail intake process with a bad warrant. It would have been a great newspaper article. The cop told me he never seen a bad...rescinded-warrant in his career I explained what happened in court and I had talked to the prosecutor. He gave the courts a call, they told him I have no outstanding warrants. The cop was shocked with that. He kept saying, "I was going to arrest a guy on a bad warrant" over and over again. This cop was a good guy. He explained they received the warrant on Wednesday, they just got around to make the arrest. That is my grounds for the chief engineered the timing to hurt me the most. It is an old police trick to punish somebody outside the courts. The stupid police never made a final check to see if the warrant was still good. When you get into the district court system, its like you entered a undecipherable black hole. It is unbelievable the power of the cops and courts have to force you to settle any case.

I visited  the court three times, for hours at time, in the months before the arrangement. The court is a really interesting place. They are way more interesting than any tv program. I wanted to reduce my nervousness for the arrangement day. It didn't work.               
Brattleboro Reformer Clears The Air Over Court Plea by "Angel Guy"
The front page of this below article has a picture of me with a halo on my head. I always got a halo around my head, but most times you can't see it.  At this point with The Commons story, it was very iffy we would get a new bridge in the next fifty years. NH is a terrible state because government is severely underfunded. I will make case, systemically the state police and the local police are severely underfunded and screaming for more training.  We had come to this point of the process many times in the past with the bridge and the proposed new bridge was later thrown overboard in the later stages of the legislative process.    
A Cause For Concern 
Self-appointed “bridge angel” and whistleblower Michael Mulligan of Hinsdale, replete with a handmade halo, held pieces of rusted bridge above his head and proclaimed the bridges unsafe. 
“How do we really know these bridges are going to last another 50 years?” he said.  
Mulligan also asserted that the New Hampshire government had “falsified” documents regarding the bridges’ safety, were “baloneying the people,” and could not be trusted.
“You cannot trust the state to do an inspection,” Mulligan said. 
The two existing Pennsylvania truss bridges, the Charles Dana and Anna Hunt Marsh, were erected in 1920, and were upgraded in 1988, according to bridge inspection reports.
"That is inaccurate. About 8 pm I completed making safe the walkway on the Charles Dana Bridge. I had put up substantial safety barriers, the Hinsdale police approved my barriers by putting up police tape without restructuring my the barrier to make it more safer. To document my activities, I called 911 before 9 pm. I reported the condition of the bridge and what I did...they directed the call to a Hinsdale police officer. I notified him what I did, he assured me a policeman was on the scene. He told me Hinsdale police department was overloaded...but the Brattleboro police were on scene and doing an investigation...
I made sure within an hour of my activities at bridge the site was investigated for safety’s sake by the police and they had approved my safety barriers."
Another irony here is we are getting a new bridge and new owners of the Brattleboro Reformer newspaper at about the same timeframe. It is the same old bridge on the Connecticut river and still the same old dysfunctional newspaper today.  

My poor wife and family having to tolerate a guy like me :)

Going to jail humor:  
The MTA song. 
(The Kingston Trio) The MJM song.

Let me tell you the story
Of a man named Mike
On a tragic and fateful day
He pulled up ten boards on a bridge
Kissed his wife and family
Went to ride on his bike.
Or else he'll never return,
No he'll never return
And his fate will be unlearned
He may ride forever
On the streets of Hinsdale
He's the man
(Who's the man)He's the man (Oh, the man)He's the man who never returned
Tell you the truth, the new Brattleboro Williams Street I 91 new bridge project (exit 2) took me about 6 years to complete. I had taken horrible pictures of the bridge concrete piers. They had cancer on them. They built a temporary iron beam structure around the dangerous concrete piers. The temporary beams through neglect were rusted through. I had some really beautiful ugly pictures, if you know what I mean. I had extensively investigated, during a snow storm, a simi tractor trailer lost control on the bridge and slid right through the bridge tinfoil railing falling 30 feet to his death. The William Street I 91 Daddy killer bridge as I called it. I was once a truck driver. The bridge was built defective and unsafe from the get go in the early 1960s. The whole deal of how the USA developed our roads and interstate highway system is tremendously fascinating and interesting to me. Through this accident on the interstate bridge, I vowed over this, I would replace the bridge. So I pictured up this beautiful ugly ugly bridge and began a campaign with Vermont DOT officials to make their lives miserable.

I tell further on the big picture, when are we ever going to get the mega newspapers/media conglomerates on our side? When are they going to start fighting for the little people? When are they going to speak for the little people's interest. The news media in all their forms, is really a humongous societal infrastructure system. It wholly supports all of the living. As with our roads and highways, we can't live without a healthy news media interstate infrastructure system. We got obsolete, damaged and unsafe bridges and roads sprinkled all over our interstate news media infrastructure system.   

By the way, if I was president and being confronted by a early Afghanistan/Iraq issue, here is how I would handle it. I'd build a vast highway interstate system under military gunpoint in the targeted country. It would be my highest priority. We'd be a nation of road builders world wide. That is how you do efficient nation building. My primary military weapon would be building highways and societal interconnections. I stuff it down their throats by gunpoint. It would be my hydrogen bomb. I would wipe out anyone trying to stop and slow me down.          

The Hinsdale/Brattleboro route 119 new bridge took me a little longer and I had to work much harder for it. We are only talking about a combined $80 million dollar project. Do a search of me on Ibrat? The I 91 Daddy killer bridge.

Big picture, it is easier than you think getting a dangerous bridge replaced with our highly vulnerable politicians and state bureaucrats and our amazing connectivity. it is a really cheap project money wise. It is a multiyear project. You have to stay focused on your project and keep hounding everyone. Think of out of the box attention getting strategies. You have to choke down all the time the thought you are just a little guy and nothing ever changes. It is almost like a special insanity. You have to go contrary to the instinctual thoughts spinning in your head that nothing matters and you know you are so powerless. You have been powerless all you life, what makes you think this time anything will be different.

You just have to become comfortable with idea that numerous people in you community (and family) are going to tell you are a whack job and have a serous mental illness. Some people say it with a wide open smile and others are dead serous and screaming it at you. Boy, people telling you or the fear of a group people believing you have a serous mental illness, what a horrible stigma the label mental illness has on you. Out of this whole deal, that is the gift god gave me. I really don't care what anyone thinks about my mental status. You haven't completely disconnected me from the world yet. I would intently listen to anyone who approach me in a nice way, saying this is why I think you have mental issue. Nobody in my immediate family thinks I have a serous mental issue or have abnormal relationship issues, but he clearly does have his "issues". Big issues. Just like all the rest of us. My family all know me as a caring and loving person, but I am off a little bit. Weird on some issues. I work very hard to make this persona.

As a note, we don't allow guns in our house. I worked very hard over the years to notify the police I don't own guns. Especially when you get them pissed at you and are involved in a action that embarrasses the community. Guns are ok for the police and military, but I think anyone who owns a gun in the USA is basically a coward. Gun owners are all little people who need a gun to think they are powerful people. You see what I am saying, whistleblowers always have the issues of you might be violent, be a extreme right winger with a boat load of guns and under a severe mental illness swirling all around their lives. All the cops first think that. You have to really work hard on the police with showing them you got something going on upstairs and you are going to be non violent towards them.  We are constantly confronted with these issues over their lives. Be in the shadows of wondering if something mental is wrong with you. I am pretty sure I can handle a host of difficult situations in my life today, can see when I am starting to become unraveled. I know my emotional life a lot better now than when I started. The whole painful and playful deal has moved me better towards a more enlighten position. If I had money and real power I'd be hell on wheels:)

Remember, we never die: we just change energy forms. I think we live many lives and are just in the middle of this process. I think we got filaments of all our past and future lives embedded in our spirits and DNA. Science backs me up on my interpretation. How many universes are there? Science says an infinite amount and dimensions...they are all going on simultaneously. They say time isn't sequential...our interpretation of time is a god given illusion. The scientist say all of time everywhere occurs simultaneously. Mass just gives us the illusion time happens sequentially microsecond by microsecond. 
I think earth is really a training planet. More people call our planet a prison. I think reality is preparing us for something bigger. Because of this, I think we should savior every second we got on planet earth. Every breath! Earth is God's individual training program and he has got big plans for all of us in future. Or I could just be garden variety nuts like most think I am.     
Me on a youtube vedio: it is harder than you think to portray a issue on video. He interviewed me off the cuff on his cell phone. I thought he was approaching me to panhandle me.    

Junk Plant Monticello: Corrupt Root Cause Analysis All Over The Place

(05000263: this is a very old and obsolete plant)

LER 2016-01-00, "High Pressure Coolant Injection System Cracked Pipe Nipple Caused Oil Leak"

Presumably these plants have up to five million parts and components in these plants. What if they treated all the components like this?
I consider this a regulatory failure and it indicates a profound weakness in the NRC. The NRC should have made them fix the “tolerant of leaks problem” before the oil pipe burst.

I consider this a regulatory failure and it indicates a profound weakness in the NRC. The NRC should have made them fix the “tolerant of leaks problem” before the HPCI oil pipe burst. It sounds like they got a maintenance prioritization problem. This problem might be much more widespread. It sounds like they are becoming overwhelmed with unfixed maintenance problems at the plant.  

This plant is undergoing extreme financial stress. These guys recently bungled a extremely expensive power uprate and the state regulators denied full founding of the billion dollar upgrade. Excel is mortgaged to the hilt. Excel only owns one nuclear plant and it is a single plant site. The NEI says a plant like this is extraordinarily financially vulnerable. It worries me Monticello is pulling a Fort Calhoun. They spend a ton of money on the plant just before they turn off the lights. Excel is a weak electric utility.  
High Pressure Coolant Injection System Cracked Pipe Nipple Caused Oil Leak \
The High Pressure Coolant Injection (HPCI) system was inoperable during a pre-planned maintenance activity when a significant oil leak in HPCI system oil piping occurred because of a cracked oil pipe nipple. The leak was of sufficient size that if it occurred outside the pre-planned maintenance, HPCI would have been declared inoperable. The organizational root cause was that management and individuals were tolerant of leaks on the HPCI system. As a result, station personnel did not effectively advocate prompt repair of the HPCI oil leak. An organizational root cause evaluation was completed to address the assessment and prioritization of repair of known oil leaks on the HPCI system. The root cause determined that management and individuals were tolerant of leaks on the HPCI system. As a result, station personnel did not effectively advocate prompt repair of the HPCI oil leak.
Results of the extent of condition review identified two other pipe nipples and two elbows with thread leakage (no crack present)
This below is basically RCA malpractice and fraud. A competent investigator or evaluator would focus all his attention on the maintenance prioritization system problem.  This mindset is very dangerous!!! Is the evaluator intimidated by management into going into the more valuable deeper and expensive causes? 
An extent of condition was completed for all known leaks for the HPCI oil pipe system.

See, they treat HPCI historically like shit. The NRC did a "detailed" inspection of HPCI in late 2015. Why did he miss the leaking oil?
May 8, 2015  
Green. The inspectors identified a finding of very low safety significance and an NCV of 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix B, Criterion XVI, “Corrective Action,” for the licensee’s failure to promptly identify conditions adverse to quality, such as deficiencies, deviations, and nonconformances. Specifically, on February 11, 2015, the inspectors identified a safety related seismic support for high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) turbine trip instrumentation that was not rigidly attached, supported, and restrained in accordancewith plant construction code and installation specifications, a nonconformance which the licensee had failed to identify since initial plant construction. Corrective actions for this issue included repairs to the seismic support to rigidly connect the instrument line restraint and installation of a standalone support for the instrument tray. This issue was entered into the licensee’s corrective action program (CAP 1465906).

Oh, this plant is a struggling and the weak little buddy for the NRC. They got these guys under the arms of the NRC.

Lots of initial plant licencing problems the agency is just catching now.

My bad, Xcel owns more than one nuclear power plant. Praire Island is a very trouble site.
RED WING, Minn. -- Xcel Energy is awaiting word from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to proceed with an 18-month study on the future of Prairie Island nuclear plant and the economics of potentially shutting down the two-reactor facility before its operating license expires in 2034.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Junk Plant Indian Point MSSV, New Failure and My 2.206

Nobody ever answered my question: why did the inaccuracy setpoint failure rate take off in 2009? You have to assume the vibration of the piping on the steamline where the MSSV located is increasing?    

Indian Point 2.206: Runaway Main Steam Safety Valve Breakdowns Beginning In 2009 

The NRC must have guessed problem was solved with modification. Kinda gutsy move on the NRC's part. Wonder if abnormal degradation was seen in the other valves but not reported. I still think as the vibration damage builds in with these guys it will start not passing their test.
NRC 2.206 Response: Junk Safety Valves At Indian Point 
The good new is only one valve failed testing and it was one of the few valves without the modifications.

The bad news is it takes from 2011 to fully carry out a component safety modification...its pathetic.    
Licensee Event Report# 2016-001-00 Unit 2 
On March 4, 2016, during the performance of surveillance procedure 2-PT-R006, Main Steam Safety Valve (MSSV) MS-45B failed to lift within the Technical Specification (TS) as found required range of +/- 3% of the setpoint pressure. Valve MS-45B lifted at 1125 psig, 29 psig outside its acceptance range of 1034 to 1096 psig and 5.7% above its 1065 psig setpoint. The valve was declared inoperable, then subsequently restored to operability upon two successful lifts within the required setpoint range without the need for adjustment. Nine other MSSVs that were tested lifted within the as-found required setpoint range. The apparent cause for the failure was internal friction due to spindle rod wear, which causes the spindle rod to bind against internal components. Corrective actions were modification of MS-45B and twelve other MSSVs, and the replacement of their spindle rods. The event had no effect on public health and safety. 
The Energy Industry Identification System Codes are identified within the brackets {}. 
On March 4, 2016 at 1116 hours, while at approximately 79 percent power, during surveillance testing of the Main Steam Safety Valves (MSSV) in accordance with procedure 2-PT-R006, MSSV MS-45B on Steam Generator (SG) 22 failed to lift within the Technical Specification (TS) as-found required range of+/- 3% of the required setpoint pressure. Valve MS~45B lifted at 1125 psig, 29 psig outside its setpoint range of 1034 to 1096 psig and 5.7% above its 1065 psig setpoint. Consequently, MS-45B was declared inoperable and Technical Specification (TS) 3.7.1 (Main Steam Safety Valves) Condition A was entered. Two immediate subsequent
This was a dangerous safety component operability determination. They are using incomplete information saying the satisfactory lift pressure test proves the valves capably of doing their safety function. Later valve damage discovered proves the valve was inoperable. The call, the valve was operable, was just not conservative.
tests were performed without any adjustments required and the valve lifted at 1038 psig and 1037 psig. With the valve lifting within the required setpoint range, the valve was restored to operability, allowing exit from the TS 3.7.1 Action Statement at 1126 hours. During the surveillance test, nine (9) other MSSVs that were tested passed their as found test criteria and were left within the+/- 1% set point criteria. The failure of MS-45B was recorded in the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) Corrective Action Program (CAP) as Condition Report CR-IP2-2016-01204. 

During the performance of the 6-year Internal Inspection Preventive Maintenance (PM) activity on MS-45B completed on March 31, 2016 during refueling outage 2R22, numerous dimensions, clearances, and tolerances were verified and internal components were inspected for wear/damage. The valve spindle rod was found to have areas of wear along its length and around the circumference in the form of small steps, which is attributed to system vibration during power operation. All other inspection criteria were satisfactory.
There are five code safety valves (MSSVs) and one atmospheric dump valve (ADV) {RV} on each main steam (MS) line outside the Reactor Containment {NH} and upstream of the MS isolation valves {ISV}. The MSSVs consist of four- 6-inch by 10-inch and one 6-inch by 8-inch valve per SG ort each of four MS lines for a total of 20 valves. The five valves 'on each steam line are nominally set to open at 1065, 1080, 1095, 1110, and 1120 psig. The MSSVs are ASME Code relief valves, manufactured by Crosby-Ashton {C710}. Valve MS-45B is a 6-inch by 8-inch Model HA-65W Safety Valve.

The apparent cause for the failure was internal friction due to spindle rod wear, which causes the spindle rod to bind against internal components. High vibrations of the spindle rod caused friction between the rod, spring washer, and adjusting bolt. The vibration of the spindle rod while in contact with the spring washer and adjusting bolt resulted in severe wear in the form of steps on the spindle rod. The resulting frictional force occurs on the first lift and then does not repeat. 
The vendor's solution to the problem is to install sacrificial bronze wear sleeves along the inner diameter of the spindle rod contact points (inner diameters of the adjusting bolt, upper spring washer, and lower spring washer). The spring washers and adjusting bolt are machined to accept the bronze wear sleeves, which act as a sacrificial metal, preventing spindle wear and step formation. One sleeve is installed in each of the spring washers and two sleeves are installed in the adjusting bolt. 
An extent of condition (EOC) was performed to determine where potential conditions with similar valves, design, systems, and environments could occur. The review determined that the EOC found in the failure of MS-45B is restricted to the other 19 MSSVs at Unit 2 and the 20 MSSVs at Unit 3 due to the exclusive valve design. All MSSVs are exposed to high vibrations during their operating cycle during which wear can occur. Previous failures of MSSVs have included wear due to spring skewing and-setpoint drift. Spring skewing can occur in any of the MSSVs and cause side loading frictional forces which prevent the valve from lifting. Setpoint drift can occur due to age of the components and the operating cycle it is exposed to (e.g., changes in temperature, pressure and vibrations). 
A-review was performed of Licensee Event Reports (LERs) for any events rep9rting TS prohibited conditions due to MSSV test failures. LER 2010-002 reported two MSSV failures, one due to valve spring skew and the other due to setpoint drift. LER 2012-005 report~d one MSSV outside the required as-found lift setpoint range due to spring skew/spindle wear. 
The MSSVs at Unit 2 are the same as those at Unit 3, and LERs have reported MSSV test failures at Unit 3. LER-2011-004 reported two MSSVs outside the required as found lift setpoint ranges due to spindle wear and spring skew. LER-2013-001 reported two MSSVs outside the required as-found lift setpoint ranges due to galling around the circumference of the spindle rod as a result of vibration for one valve, and internal friction caused by foreign material between the guide bearing and spindle for the other valve. LER 2015-002 reported three MSSVs outside the required as-found lift setpoint ranges due to internal friction from spindle rod vibration. 
A modification was initiated in 2011 to install bronze wear sleeves in the upper and lower spring washers and the adjusting bolt as a solution to valve spring skew and spindle wear for the IPEC MSSVs. This modification was completed for 7 of the 20 Unit 2 MSSVs in the 2014 refueling outage (2R21). Valve MS-45B and the 12 other MSSVs that were not modified in 2R21 were modified in the 2016 refueling outage (2R22). New spindles were also installed in these 13 MSSVs in .2R22. All 20 MSSVs have been modified with the bronze wear sleeves. 
The event is reportable under 10CFR50.73(a) (2) (i) (B). The licensee shall report any operation or condition which was prohibited by the plant TS. TS 3.7.1 (Main Steam Safety Valves) requires the MSSVs to be operable ·in accordance with TS Tables· 3. 7 .1-1 and 3.7.1-2. The applicable accident/transient analyses require five MSSVs per SG to provide overpressure protection for design basis transients occurring at 102% reactor thermal power. The MSSVs also provide a heat sink for the Reactor Coolant System if the Main Condenser is unavailable and the ADVs cannot relieve steam line pressure. 
Operability of the MSSVs is defined as the ability to open within the setpoint range, relieve SG overpressure, and reseat when pressure has been reduced, and is determined by periodic surveillance testing.. TS Surveillance Requirement (SR) 3. 7 .1.1 requires that each MSSV be verified to lift at its required setpoint per Table 3.7.1-2 in accordance with the Inservice Testing Program (IST). On March 4, 2016, MSSV valve MS-45B was found outside its required setpoint range, therefore, it failed its as found testing criteria and was declared inoperable. The valve was disassembled and inspected and determined to have conditions preventing proper operation. 'The apparent cause determined that failure was due to internal friction caused by spindle rod wear from vibration during the operating cycle. Spindle wear is not normal drift, therefore, the valve may have been inoperable during past operation. As it is not possible to determine when the valve would not have lifted within its required setpoint range, the valve was concluded to be inoperable for greater than the TS allowed completion time. An evaluation of applicable accident/transient analyses was performed to determine the impact of one MSSV with a higher opening setpoint. The evaluation concluded the condition would not have resulted in a loss of ·safety function. Therefore, this condition is not reportable under lOCFRSO. 7.3 (a) (2) (v) as a safety system functional failure.