Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cooper's Interesting Safety Relief Valve LER

Update

The next LER had only one set pressure lift inaccuracy. These guys in the past had the majority of SRV setpoint failures every testing cycle. This is a huge win!!!  

I am surprised I missed this one considering my interest in SRVs. The brand new excuse here industry wide is they machine the disc and set. They reassemble the value not allowing the corrosion to build up on them both. It seems they are thinking if they let the oxide layer to age and build up before assembly, they would have no more problems. 
Corrosion bonding occurs when the protective oxide layers of the seat and disc break down and allow a crevice corrosion process to develop between the seat and disc. The seat is machined and then lapped with the disc to create a tight fit with one another. During the material removal process (machining) on both the seat and disc, the protective oxide layer that provides corrosion protection is removed. Because the SRV pilot valves are then assembled, the oxide layer is not given sufficient time to reestablish itself naturally, and no external process, such as pickling, is done to ensure that the oxide layer is reestablished to its full extent without any breaks or discontinuities. When the SRV pilot valves are assembled, the seat and disc are jammed together and air cannot reach the surfaces, therefore the full benefits of the oxide layer of the anti-corrosion material is diminished.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Troubled Columbia Licensed Supervisor Found Drunk at Work 



Power ReactorEvent Number: 53068
Facility: COLUMBIA GENERATING STATION
Region: 4 State: WA
Unit: [2] [ ] [ ]
RX Type: [2] GE-5
NRC Notified By: BRUCE HUGO
HQ OPS Officer: JEFF HERRERA
Notification Date: 11/13/2017
Notification Time: 17:26 [ET]
Event Date: 11/13/2017
Event Time: 08:02 [PST]
Last Update Date: 11/13/2017
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
26.719 - FITNESS FOR DUTY
Person (Organization):
MARK HAIRE (R4DO)
FFD GROUP (EMAI)

UnitSCRAM CodeRX CRITInitial PWRInitial RX ModeCurrent PWRCurrent RX Mode
2NY100Power Operation100Power Operation
Event Text
FITNESS FOR DUTY - POSITIVE RESULT FOR ALCOHOL

"A licensed supervisor had a confirmed positive test for alcohol. The employee was escorted offsite and their plant access has been terminated and a five year denial placed in Personnel Access Data System (PADS).

"This is being reported per 10 CFR 26.719(b)(2)(ii).

"The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified."

What The Hell, Junk Plant Grand Gulf Down to 90%

???

My New Bike: Raleigh Tokul 3



Image result for tukul 3, bike

I know the bottom line Raleigh bike are more like Walmart Bike. I know these guys had quality issues in the past. All the parts are Chinese anyways and all the bike are made in one factory so they says.  I was thinking these guys were trying to recapture their reputation. I spend the majority of my time on the trails and a conservable amount of time on the roads. I am always out on my bike in the winter...love to ride my bike in light snow and when the trails are rock hard and puddles of ice. I am out on my rural woodsy roads as soon as the roads are cleared checking out the beautiful snowy landscape. They only thing that slows me in the winter is when the cold makes my shifter not work. I am out in the winter a considerable amount of time. Almost as much as the summer. This winter looks so delicious with my new bike. The big tires was what I was looking for this reason.

Had this guy for about a month. Cost about $1000. I like the upgraded  air shocks. I don't feel any difference in these bigger tires than a 29 tire on the road. It is a lot better stability on the trails. It smooth's out bumps a bit. So it a single derailleur in the front and 11 gears in the back. I was a little worried I didn't have enough gears and the full range. I kept wearing out the drive train on my other bike, I was hoping  it wouldn't be as bad with this setup. I am really happy now with gear simplification its range. The little plastic  window telling you what gear you are in, well, those are gone. Within a few months, I would break and lose the plastic window. You would have to buy a new shifter to fix this problem.

Right off the bat I discovered the highest (fastest) gear didn't go as fast as I was used too. I though this would be a problem. But I am a old man, what do I need speed for anyways. I have a lot of hills and mountains in my areas. I deal before I would try to go a fast as I felt comfortable. I'd take the biggest gear going up the hill as could. A lot of times now I am in the top gear. I never had that problem before. Going down hill I would pump a hard I could. Now on the big hills I end up free peddling a lot more. I was irked with this in the beginning. You know, you settle into what you have. Think up a different strategy with bike.  The poorer range of gears, in the highest gear going up a hill, I now just don't consume as much energy as I did before. I just relax going up the hill a bit more. Going down the big hill, I can only free peddle. So I set back on my bike coasting, regaining my breath and lowering my heartbeat. What the hell, I am a 64 year old man. On my long rides on the roads, I found a big surprise. I am no racer. In general, my endurance is way up. I am not so exhausted at the end of the trip. I don't see any differences in my times, maybe even quicker. I got a extra large bike also. I love it. Honestly, I like riding so much, I'd ride a piece of shit bike if I had too.

The only problem so far is a noisy peddle just showing up. I has to oil and tighten to nut just a tad.  

Again, I though I would burn a little more energy with the big tires. Actually the whole idea of bike riding for me was to burn energy as I got diabetes. The more friction the better it is for me medically. Certainly, I can't tell the difference between the 29 (2.2, 2.4) tires and these tires.    

Sunday, November 12, 2017

preoperational testing and first years capacity factor? z

The Extreme Consevative Teaparty has Turned Against Vogtle


Augusta Chronicle: Stop rewarding failure: Protect consumers, not profits
More than a decade ago, our nation decided to pursue more nuclear power generation. Two reactors were to be built here in Georgia at Plant Vogtle in Burke County and dozens more across the country. We supported that effort and those investments for a number of reasons. 

But what we did not support was providing corporate welfare to big power companies and unfairly picking winners and losers for our energy future. This combination has put all the project’s risks on the backs of electric customers – Georgia’s families and businesses – instead of on Southern Co.’s shareholders.

The Georgia General Assembly made a terrible mistake in 2009 when they passed Senate Bill 31, the Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act. This established a tax that Georgia Power’s customers – mainly small businesses, residential users and municipalities – had to pay every month in advance of any electricity being produced to cover the Vogtle project’s financing costs, including Company profits. Since 2011 more than $2 billion has been collected.

The federal government offered many corporate handouts too, at the expense of taxpayers, to make this project work. This included more than $8 billion in loan guarantees – 16 times more than the federal loans provided to Solyndra, which was a failure and cost taxpayers dearly. And guess what: The Vogtle owners want $3.7 billion more in federal bailouts. 
These state and federal policies unfairly picked winners and losers. The marketplace was never given a chance to decide what energy choices were actually competitive. Without having to compete, new nuclear power was handed a victory here in Georgia over options such as wind and solar that now are proven winners in free markets.

New nuclear is a proven loser – so much so that no other reactors are being built here in the U.S. and nearly all those proposed have been cancelled. 
The new Vogtle reactors should have been operating by now but are delayed until 2022, if not later. And the costs, due to combination of factors including mismanagement, years of delays, and the bankruptcy of designer and builder Westinghouse, have now doubled to at least $25 billion. And there is no guarantee that is the final price tag or that they will ever operate. To add insult to injury, Georgia Power is making a profit off the construction cost overages. 
And to make matters even worse, there is not even a viable long-term plan in place for disposing of spent fuel from the existing reactors, let alone future waste.
Why continue rewarding failure? 
Georgia Power has now put the Georgia Public Service Commission, with five elected commissioners, in a corner – demanding they grant everything the company wants: higher costs, guaranteed profits and no risks to their shareholders or partners. If the commissioners don’t agree, the company says they’ll cancel the project. Georgia Power wants assurance that customers will pay for multibillion-dollar mistakes.

After years of granting Georgia Power many billions in pre-approved costs at the expense of customers as the project was going off-track, the Commissioners now need to stand firm: stop bailing out irresponsibility. It’s Georgia Power’s and their partners’ decision on whether to continue with Vogtle or not – the PSC just needs to make sure it’s not done at the expense of Georgia ratepayers. 
And the Georgia General Assembly needs to own up to their costly mistake of encouraging corporate welfare and repeal SB31 to prevent any future financial meltdowns. 
The bungled Vogtle expansion transcends political ideology. If the General Assembly and the Georgia Public Service Commissioners don’t stand up to these greedy corporate interests, Georgians need to hold them accountable in next year’s 2018 elections.

Ms. Dooley is a lifelong Republican activist and one of the national founders of the Tea Party movement. She serves as president of the Green Tea Coalition and Conservatives for Energy Freedom.
Mr. Staples is an IT instructor specializing in teaching security and project management courses across the country. He ran as a Libertarian for the Georgia Public Service Commission in 2012, and was a co-founder of the nonpartisan Green Tea Coalition.

Huge Political and Public Service Commission Realignment Coming to Georgia


Based on the South Carolinas Experience. This whole thing challenges the extremist conservative Southern ideology.   

The speaker was involved with this and backed them. Now he is backpedaling fighting for his political life. The Georgia politicians are now planning for the same thing. This thing was always to large and the largest utilities never had horsepower to control the build and pockets deep enough to fund to completion. The only big enough to do it was the US government. It should have been a government program. But all conservative ideology is locale based and they hate big government. 

The SC speaker is saying the construction in progress legislation was the fault of the debacle. So the South Carolina legislators are going to bar a plant being put on rate base before completion. Georgia has the same laws as SC. The GA PSC is going to take a beating if they continue to allow construction is progress rules. If the SC political system says the Summer failure was the result of the construction works in progress, how can Georgia continue to justify their laws.          
saying they would “gut existing laws” that allowed utilities to charge customers before the reactors were complete, and help avoid another expensive construction failure.
  
The Georgia Power ultimatum. The Vogtle new build is bleed ing out and there is nothing anyone can do. The only thing they can do is to delay the death of the program. The longer the death takes, the larger the consequences will be to the political system.  
Kurt Ebersbach, senior attorney: “We’re concerned that this request amounts to a blank check. If you read their filing carefully, they really don’t make any bones about it. They are saying, ‘Commission, you must approve this revised cost estimate, tell us it is reasonable or we will not go forward.’ That if there is any hint they may not be able to recover all of it down the road, then they will not go forward. The project co-owners will not go forward.”
House Speaker: Change laws after nuclear plant failure  
The South Carolina House speaker is proposing six new laws after the abandonment of two nuclear reactors in the state
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina House speaker is proposing six laws aimed at protecting consumers from the consequences of a failed project to build two nuclear reactors.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and the state-owned utility Santee Cooper have sought to insulate themselves from the hemorrhaging costs of their ill-fated joint venture at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station, which they abandoned on July 31 after Westinghouse Electric, the Cranberry-based chief contractor, declared bankruptcy. The utilities had already spent more than $9 billion by then, collecting nearly $2 billion in interest from ratepayers along the way.
House Speaker Jay Lucas of Hartsville announced his proposals on Thursday, saying they would “gut existing laws” that allowed utilities to charge customers before the reactors were complete, and help avoid another expensive construction failure.
Advertisement
“The legislation introduced today lowers current rates and prevents consumers from paying a single penny more for the costly failed project,” the Republican’s statement said.
Mr. Lucas’ legislation would cut SCE&G customer rates by 18 percent, the amount they’re currently paying for the project. A typical residential customer would save about $27 per month. The hit to SCE&G would total about $37 million per month, or nearly $450 million per year.
Another proposal would allow refunds of what customers have already paid, if regulators conclude there had been “poor management” by SCE&G. Still another would prevent Santee Cooper from collecting money to reimburse itself the costs of ending the project.
Currently, Santee Cooper is not subject to Public Service Commission oversight.
Advertisement
The proposed legislation would change that, and shake up its management structure as well, removing Santee Cooper’s board of directors, the Public Service Commissioners and even the panel that that interviews prospective members of the regulatory panel. Their replacements would be required to pass rigorous qualifications.
Mr. Lucas also would give the Office of Regulatory staff, a state watchdog agency, more power.
Santee Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore said the utility is reviewing the proposals. SCE&G had no immediate comment, but previously dismissed such ideas as “radical and disruptive.”
Incoming CEO Jimmy Addison of SCANA, SCE&G’s parent company, said making the utility pay its share of the project would scare off investors and lenders, making it harder to finance day-to-day operations, including purchasing fuel, hiring contractors for repairs and paying employees.
Already, SCANA stock has dropped 25 percent, reducing the company’s market capitalization to $6.3 billion, since the project was abandoned.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Virgil C. Summer: What Is Going To Be The Fallout With the Operating Units?

With the parent company SCANA in so much financial troubles dumping the new construction plants and undergoing a host of investigation...what is going to be the fallout of the remaining plants.

Will the operating nuke employees become disillusioned...

Will SCANA having so much financial problems, will they cut back funding of the operating units...

Will they have to put up the plants for sale or shutdown. Remember the power of transparency...they are under intense public and media scrutiny...public and media can out like hidden problems under intense scrutiny...

Did SCANA already start withholding funding from the operating plants as survival tactic to save the new build...

The Navy's Fat Leonard Problems...Do Navy Officers Get Drug Tested???

You got to know Fatty was plying drugs to the Navy officers. None of them had any scruples. Why didn't the Navy pick up drugs in testing these officers blood or hair?
CRIME
11/06/2017 07:41 am ET

Sex, Booze And Bribes Corruption Probe Targets 60 U.S. Navy Admirals: Report
A contractor named “Fat Leonard” provided wild times for classified information, the government says.

By Mary Papenfuss

A massive investigation of U.S. Navy corruption in Asia that featured wild parties, bribes and prostitutes has expanded to include more than than 60 admirals and hundreds of other Navy officers, The Washington Post reports.

The probe centers on Malaysian contractor Leonard “Fat Leonard” Glenn Francis, who provided money and wild times in exchange for classified information to win lucrative contracts with the 7th Fleet for his Singapore-based company and defraud the U.S. government, according to the newspaper.

The Justice Department has already filed charges against 28 people, including two admirals, since Francis was arrested in a sting operation four years ago. But that could just be the beginning. Eighteen people have pleaded guilty to charges that include violations of military law and federal ethics rules.

The Navy told the Post that investigators have been examining the conduct of 440 personnel, current and retired, including at least 60 admirals.

Indictments in March against nine officers allege that Francis plied the men with Cuban cigars, $25,000 watches, and $50,000 worth of alcohol for a multi-day party, and a “rotating carousel of prostitutes” in exchange for information, Foreign Policy reported. Francis once rented the MacArthur Suite at the Manila Hotel, where Gen. Douglas MacArthur memorabilia was used for sex acts with prostitutes, according to the indictment.

Insufficient Entergy Funding Caused the Problems at ANO

Does the squeaky wheel get the attention. It must have been a organization wide thing this insufficient funding?

Are the troubles with Grand Gulf really just a insufficient funding thing. Is the squeaky wheel ANO stealing money and opportunity from Grand Gulf.

I basically think this is a ideology thing. We are basically a totalitarian conservative ideological organization, this is the foundation of our business.       

What caused the NRC not to see this horrendous disfunction just before the stator drop accident that finally outed it all???
 
Entergy seeks 3.75% bump in state's rate Commission set to decide on increase bid next month
This article was published November 9, 2017 at 4:30 a.m.
Electric rates for Entergy Arkansas residential customers will rise 3.75 percent next year if approved next month by the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
The largest electric utility in the state with about 715,000 customers in 63 counties, Entergy reached a settlement last week with the parties to its case before the commission.
The commission heard testimony Wednesday on the settlement.
The increase means a residential customer with a $100 monthly bill now would have a bill of $103.75 a month when the change goes into effect on Jan. 2. The increase for industrial users will be about 3.72 percent, John Bethel, executive director of the commission's general staff, said Wednesday.
As requested by Entergy, the commission should make a decision on the settlement by Dec. 13, Bethel said.
Entergy filed a request for new rates with the commission in April under a more streamlined annual filing process that was approved by the Legislature.
Last year, the commission approved a 3.38 percent increase for Entergy. Those rates were charged this year.
The streamlined filing process caps Entergy Arkansas' rate increases at 4 percent a year.
During Wednesday's hearing, Commissioner Elana Wills asked Richard Riley, Entergy Arkansas' president, if Entergy is in a period of very high capital investment.
"Are we over the hump after 2018?" Wills asked. "Is the trend line going back down after that period or is it something that is going to continue?"
For the investment required to transmit and distribute electricity and maintain a nuclear power plant, Entergy "is not over the hump yet," Riley said.
"We're really just starting to modernize, for example, our distribution system," Riley said, "and it may be 2020 or 2021," before Entergy Arkansas can lower its spending on infrastructure.
Asked by commission Chairman Ted Thomas about the status of Arkansas Nuclear One near Russellville, Riley said Entergy Arkansas is spending the money needed to continue operations.
"For the next four or five years, we'll have a heightened level of spending at [Arkansas Nuclear One]," Riley said. "After that it will level off some. The new level of spend might be different than the old level of spend. A good example is the hiring of additional staff. We would hope to keep that level of staff going forward, which would result in a bit higher expense than in 2010 or 2012."
But portions of Entergy's expenses aren't covered by the current rate case.
Future rate increase requests could include costs associated with an industrial accident at Arkansas Nuclear One in 2013 that caused the death of one worker and eight injuries.
On March 31, 2013, the mishandling of a 1 million-pound generator stator caused it to fall 30 feet while it was being moved. The crashing stator dislodged beams. One of the beams struck and killed worker Wade Walters, 24.
In 2015, in the aftermath of the accident, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission moved the Arkansas nuclear plant down to the column-four category of the commission's rating of overall plant performance. Plants in column five aren't permitted to operate.
Riley told the commission Wednesday that Entergy expects the nuclear power plant will be out of column four by next June.
"Entergy has committed to complete all of the outstanding items identified in the performance improvement plan for Arkansas Nuclear One by June 30, 2018," Victor Dricks, a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an email Wednesday. "When this has occurred, [the nuclear commission] will conduct an independent inspection to verify the adequacy of the corrective actions and make a decision about returning the plant to normal oversight."
Entergy will file a separate case with the commission, possibly in 2020 or later, on the costs associated with the accident. The case will be referred to as the "Stator-related Recovery Docket," the current settlement agreement said.
There are at least seven lawsuits that have been filed in Pope County concerning the accident, including one Entergy has filed against its insurance carrier, Entergy said in the settlement.
The stator case will not be filed until at least six months after those cases have been adjudicated.
The costs associated with the accident are at least $218 million, Entergy said in the settlement agreement.
Those costs include about $65.9 million in replacement power costs while part of the plant was shut down after the accident, $30.6 million in capital costs related to the accident and $112 million in costs related to increased regulatory costs and compliance.
The stator case will be subject to review by the commission, Bethel said.

'Vogtle delays and cost overruns not our fault, Georgia Power CEO says'?

This would be the show stopper for me if I was on the Ga. Public Service Commission. How can you trust this guy in the future. Say, say if the plant budget doubles again and it finally is really to go on the line, he days its not out fault again.  

Vogtle delays and cost overruns not our fault, Georgia Power CEO says

business

By Michael E. Kanell - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Years of delays and billions of cost overruns at Plant Vogtle cannot be blamed on any mistakes made by Georgia Power, the company’s chief executive said in an interview Friday.

In a meeting with reporters at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Paul Bowers cited other factors, including bankruptcy of the main contractor, as well as actions and requirements imposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Has Georgia Power made mistakes?

“The answer to that question is no,” Bowers said.

Friday, November 10, 2017

TVA's CEO Says...

They focus on short term budgeting, then cut maintenance, profits swell...then a bad accident shows up. Then feds makes them spend a ton of money to bring the site back up to average. This is a very expensive way to run a nuclear plant.  

Repeat over and over again.  

Hmm, Bill Jonson. Not much nuclear accolades. 
“With energy demand stagnant or declining for the first time in TVA's 84-year history, Johnson said the current energy market "is as challenging as any in my 40 years in the business" and he said the pace of change is accelerating.”






Thursday, November 09, 2017

NRC Official Allegation To Me and Required Acknowledgement: Vogtle and Westinghouse


(Works in progress)

Hmm, Washington's Allegation people, not Region 1 or 2 Allegation people. They are paying attention to me. 

So what is the political scene? Huge political shift seen out of this recent election. Everyone is going to vote mid terms "any one but Trump". The pols are worrying about a huge shift in the senate and house. We have entered a completely new political arena.

What about our southern break away rebel territories? You know our south. Once the money stopped flowing to the Summer, all the rats began jumping ship and telling their tales. The Summer plant only a few months are was basically a honey pot for the elites of South Carolina, now whistleblowers have come out telling us how chaotic the site was. Disclosing after the money stopped is really not whistleblowing. Whistleblowing are disclosures made when the spigot is going full bore. So now the Summer Plant has a host of state and federal investigation ongoing. The whole system is riddled with corruption. 
So what way do you think the Georgia Public Service Board is heading. The Commissioners are all politicians and get elected. They are effectively the great southern good old ultra conservative right wing boys. They are indebted to the utilities. The Southern Company,  like all utilities, a astute and wealthy political player. These guys are masters of the game.

I think we will see a dramatic change with the PSB. They see the historic anti Trump tsunami  approaching them in the mid terms. It is going to be a long term change. They know the documentation is shaky at Summer. They worry there is big secrets buried on the Vogtle grounds, just ready to burst out like Summer on a whim. The PSB is worried about getting subpoenas, just like about anyone who works on the Vogtle plant.

I am sure the NRC understands this.

I would expect the PSB will pay it safe, they will take Vogtle 3 & 4 off the rate base.      

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Exelon's Merchant Subsidiary Files For Bankrupcy


Market conditions must be bad?
Exelon's Texas merchant subsidiary files for bankruptcy
By
Published
Nov. 7, 2017
Share it
Dive Brief:
Exelon Corp. announced this morning that its Texas merchant power subsidiary ExGen Texas Power (EGTP) Holdings LLC and ExGen Texas Power LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with an eye towards reducing debt at the companies.
News stories earlier this year cited anonymous sources saying Exelon had brought an adviser on board to help it deal with mounting debt at the power subsidiary. The company reportedly selected PJT Partners Inc. to help address $650 million in debt.
EGTP's Board of Directors will go forward with a two-part plan for the company, including a negotiated agreement with lenders that would allow Exelon Generation to continue to own and operate the Handley Generating Station in exchange for a $60 million payment to the lenders. 
Dive Insight:
Prior to the announcement, ExGen Texas Power owned five generating facilities in the Lone Star state, but the bankruptcy agreement will change that. In the second part of the company's plan, lenders agreed to exchange the debt they currently hold in EGTP’s other four plants for equity in the plants, effectively taking ownership of all but Handley.
In a statement, the company said Exelon Generation "remains committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure the best outcome for our employees, customers, communities and shareholders.” The bankruptcy filings "help to facilitate the planned transactions and provide additional tools to reduce the amount of debt the plants would otherwise take forward, thereby maximizing their opportunities for long-term success."
Exelon blamed the financial woes on "historically low power prices within Texas" that created "challenging market conditions for all power generators, including the five natural gas-fired EGTP plants." 

UCS :Junk Plant Grand Gulf 

He knows how I feel about Grand Gulf. 
Dave Lochbaum, director, Nuclear Safety Project | November 8, 2017, 6:00 am ES

This post is a part of a series on Near Misses at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reacted to a trio of miscues at the Grand Gulf nuclear plant in Mississippi by sending a special inspection team to investigate. While none of the events had adverse nuclear safety consequences, the NRC team identified significantly poor performance by the operators in all three. The recurring performance shortfalls instill little confidence that the operators would perform successfully in event of a design basis or beyond design basis accident…

Junk Plant Fitzparick: Fuel Failures

update Nov 10

So why has Fitz been down to 75% power since the fuel leak down power last weekend? It has been down for 5 or 6 days? It is highly abnormal!!!

So what changed? They were heading to a near death experience, then Energy sold the plant to Exelon.  I don't remember them having fuel damage problems before. Outage in Jan 2017.

Fretting... small metal parts from the outage circulating in the coolant.

Three showing up at the same time, abnormal. Are they in the same area of the core?

Did they change the fuel supplier?  
Radiation from damaged fuel rods leads Oswego nuke plant to power down
Updated Nov 7, 4:14 PM; Posted Nov 7, 3:31 PM

The FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Scriba, Oswego County.(NRC)

By Douglass Dowty

ddowty@syracuse.com,

syracuse.com

Oswego, NY -- Officials at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant near Oswego are investigating why fuel rods in the reactor's core are leaking radiation, according to the federal government.

It's a not considered an emergency -- only three of the plant's roughly 33,500 fuel rods are leaking -- but it could spread contaminated water to other parts of the plant, said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan.

So FitzPatrick's parent, Exelon Corp., powered down the facility over the past few days to isolate the damaged fuel rods, Sheehan said.

The plant was down to 58 percent capacity over the weekend before ramping up to 82 percent capacity today. It's on the way back to full capacity, Sheehan said.

An Exelon spokeswoman called it a minor problem.

"Operators have suppressed a minor defect in a fuel bundle using control rods, which
This is going to be a very costly event. It is going to make the core and all their components more costly with contamination. It slows down all the jobs with costly radiation precautions. Depending the type of leak, it could get much more costly with a much bigger leak. Preparing for the permanent shutdown many years prior too, they might have shifted the core flux so they could use up as much uranium as possible upon last shutdown. Now they had to rearrange the core back to normal operation. It is a very complex operation not normally done. There just might be a error in that.   
will allow for reliable operation until the station's next refueling outage when the bundle can be replaced," said Tammy Holden, the company spokeswoman.

The NRC said that the leakage doesn't pose any health risk for the community: the water in contact with the damaged fuel rods is part of a closed system with filters that remove dangerous levels of contamination.

But Sheehan called it an "anomaly" that the company would need to address.

The rods themselves are 12 feet long and about the width of an index finger, Sheehan said.

FitzPatrick, like its Nine Mile Point neighbors, uses a nuclear reaction to heat up water, which then powers a turbine. It's the heated water that is prone to increased contamination from the damaged fuel rods.

But that water is scrubbed and sent back to the reactor core, not released into the environment, Sheehan said.

Exelon is in the process of isolating the leaking rods, which will then be taken out of service and replaced at the next refueling, which happens every 18 months to 2 years, Sheehan said.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Junk Plant Grand Gulf: Can't Make Any Money With This Dog? 

Update Non 8

93% last night.

***They have been down  to 99% for the last few days. Not enough to make a post about. But on the second day of 99% power I knew something was up.

Huge down power to 58% today. The other region IV Entergy plants have been behaving well in the last few months.

Voglte Non Professional Engineers.

The NRC was focused on pumping me about who gave me the inside tip. There just wasn't much she gave me. You here is me saying now is this enough information to open a investigation.

Michael Mulligan <steamshovel2002@yahoo.com>
To:allegation@nrc.gov
‎Nov‎ ‎6 at ‎11‎:‎06‎ ‎AM

I apologized because I was a still upset over the Vogtle and Summer plants last time we spoke. I have been working on this a little with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  You know, getting the word out.
What I can see, the NRC was not proactive by assuming Vogtle blue prints not approved by professional engineers.” A high quality inference  should have been enough to start a investigation.!!!
“One of the items on the PSC agenda will be documents that have come to light that show that Southern affiliate Georgia Power signed off on the blueprints for the reactors that were not approved by professional engineers.”


So I got a call from two NRC officials following me up on my compliant about non professional engineering. I am trying to throw the AJC a bone trying to get them to ask question. I would call the AJC a captured news paper to the new build.

But pretty quickly after I sent this news about non professional engineers at Vogle, the PSC disclosed there are investing my issues.

Michael Mulligan <steamshovel2002@yahoo.com>
To:businessnews@ajc.com

Nov‎ ‎1 at ‎9‎:‎52‎ ‎AM
Dear Sir,

“Stamped for failure: Westinghouse and SCANA used unlicensed workers to design abandoned S.C. nuclear reactors”

"In other SCANA news, The National Society of Professional Engineers has called on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to investigate the V.C. Summer nuclear project, The Post and Courier reported. The association called for the federal agency to look into the failed construction after a revelation that Westinghouse, with complicity from SCANA, used unlicensed engineers to authorize design plans for the reactors. “Internal published documents also allege a deliberate attempt by Westinghouse attorneys to narrowly interpret South Carolina professional engineering statutes to evade generally accepted design and construction practices,” said Tom Roberts, president of the National Society of Professional Engineers."  

There is a ongoing NRC investigation at Vogtle to see if they used unlicenced workers and engineers like Summer. I made the complaint as soon as the Summer issue popped up. I got a tip from a Vogtle employee. So far the NRC admitted to me they used state non licensed engineers on the secondary systems. It is all going to key on state and NRC regulations...the expectations of the public???

Mike Mulligan
Hinsdale, NH

16032094206

Is The Same Going On In Vogtle, as in VC Summer?

Update: 

I was right...non professional engineers at Vogtle. They just admitting it and back a few days ago Allegations gave me call asking me for more information. The southern co stock price seemed to tanked on the news yesterday.  


Republished from 9/26

Update The gist of my complaint. 
 Sorry, it seems like my spell checker wasn’t working when I wrote it. Please use this version. All I did was correct the spelling
Mike Mulligan <steamshovel2002@gmail.com>
3:21 PM (5 hours ago)
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
to OPA, R1ALLEGATION, R2Allegations
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gif
The addition NRC email address, OPA Resource, is me trying to get the NRC blog to write up a article concerning Summer and Vogtle's non licensed engineers. 
“Is The Same Going On In Vogtle, as in VC Summer?’
We need a short description with what occurred at the Summer site on the non licensed engineer signoffs. We also need a comparison between Summer and Vogtle sites over the non licensed signatures. Are they similar, or is one worst than the other.
Request the Vogtle 3 and 4 site be shutdown until the non licensed engineer issue is straighten out. Does Vogtle 1 and 2 have the same problem?
Mike Mulligan  
Hinsdale, NH
Update
Melanie,

CC’ed on this email is Mike Mulligan, a concerned citizen who called the NRC Allegation hotline today. I have included him on this email so he can respond with a link to a newspaper article that is relevant to his concern.

Mr. Mulligan stated that he received a call from an Engineer who works at Vogtle, who claimed that they have the same problem as what is going on at  VC Summer: Non-licensed engineers are signing off on safety-related diagrams/paperwork that should be signed off by licensed engineers.

In addition to the email address listed on cc, you can contact Mr. Mulligan at (603) 336-8320.

If you need anything else from me do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Nicole Warnek
Sr. Allegation Coordinator
610-337-5222 (Region I Safety Hotline)
800-432-1156 x5222 (Hotline, Toll Free)

So why isn't this going on in the Vogtle New build? I made a Allegation complaint to region II. I got a call from a from a Vogtle engineer saying the same was going on in his plant.
Sep 24, 2017 Updated Sep 25, 2017
COLUMBIA — Westinghouse and other contractors used unlicensed workers to design parts of two nuclear reactors in South Carolina, a potentially criminal shortcut that raises fresh questions about why the multibillion-dollar energy project failed. 
Documents obtained by The Post and Courier show construction drawings for the unfinished reactors were used at V.C. Summer without having them vetted and approved by professional engineers. 
In South Carolina and most states, every drawing for a large building project demands the stamp and signature of a licensed engineer — especially when that construction affects the public’s health and safety. Not following that law can lead to criminal penalties. 
But as the nuclear expansion got underway north of Columbia, neither state nor federal officials were told that unlicensed workers were crafting blueprints and conducting complex engineering calculations. This left professional engineers questioning the entire construction process that wasted $9 billion before it was cancelled in July.
The practice contributed to thousands of design revisions, construction setbacks, schedule changes and the ultimate demise of the reactors, those engineers said. 
“You literally can’t make up the errors that were propagated in this thing," said one engineer from V.C. Summer, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. "I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. It was beyond comprehension. They enshrined incompetence.”
The nation turned its attention to South Carolina as Westinghouse and two of the state's largest utilities attempted to complete the first reactors built in the United States in decades. The endeavor promised to usher in a new age of nuclear power.
Instead, the project became a crater of debt that left electric customers on the hook for a squandered investment larger than the state's $8 billion annual budget.
Two legislative committees, South Carolina's attorney general and federal authorities have launched investigations into the failed project. 
It remains unclear exactly who was producing the unlicensed designs that led to problems, what education they had, where they were from or what their professional backgrounds were. 
But if you’re building a potentially dangerous nuclear reactor, V.C. Summer engineers argued, you should have certified professionals designing it — people willing to stand by the drawings they attach their name to. 
High stakes
It may not be well known outside the industry, but the licensing of engineers is a long-held and widespread practice that has a direct, if often unrealized, impact on everyone’s lives.
Roads, office buildings and new manufacturing facilities — professional engineers are required to oversee and sign off on drawings for nearly every large construction project in South Carolina. It protects the public and ensures people get what they pay for.
You want competent people designing the bridges you drive over, the dams located above your home and the nuclear plants in your backyard.
Texas’s engineering law was passed in 1937 after 295 students and teachers were killed at a school by a natural gas explosion caused by a faulty gas connection.
“The stakes are high,” said Arthur Schwartz, the deputy executive director and general counsel for the National Society of Professional Engineers. "That’s what engineers do. They’re responsible for systems and processes that the public relies on and probably takes for granted.”
A college degree doesn’t make someone a licensed engineer. It takes hours of rigorous testing and years of work under the guidance of experienced people before anyone can call themselves a “professional engineer.”
The new Westinghouse reactors offered a huge opportunity for professional civil, mechanical, electrical and nuclear engineers in the United States.
It was their chance to take part in something that hasn’t been accomplished in roughly three decades. It was an opening to showcase their abilities on a project intended to rebuild the country’s nuclear workforce.
In the years leading up to construction of four Westinghouse nuclear reactors in South Carolina and neighboring Georgia, executives with the 131-year-old company touted the safety features of the new AP1000 design. They celebrated the reactors’ unique modular construction. They promised it would eliminate schedule delays and budget overruns.
But designing and engineering a new nuclear power plant is a huge undertaking.
SCANA, the majority owner of the two South Carolina reactors, had convinced politicians and state utility regulators of the merits of nuclear power by the beginning of 2009. Westinghouse had cleared most of its high-level design for the reactors with federal nuclear regulators.
The details of what bolts needed to be installed, where electrical wires would run and how pipes would be configured, however, had yet to be worked out. It meant tens of thousands of drawings and blueprints needed to be designed, reviewed and approved before they went into the hands of ironworkers, electricians and pipefitters.
To make sure the drawings were done properly, professional engineers needed to review the documents and attest to their accuracy. The drawings had to be created by a licensed engineer or by someone under their direct supervision, according to state law.
Either way, the drawings required a signature to ensure people could determine which engineer designed those sections of the reactor in case something went wrong.
The problem was, no one state agency was tasked with collecting and reviewing all of those plans. The state Board of Registration for Professional Engineers doesn't have the legal authority to inspect engineering worksites, and the NRC does not get into that level of detail in its review.
The federal regulators were primarily concerned with the conceptual designs for the reactors, not the detailed blueprints and intricacies of South Carolina’s engineering laws.
That left the door open to potential shortcuts. 
'Subject to interpretation' 
By the spring of 2012, before the nuclear reactors started rising out of the South Carolina and Georgia clay, Westinghouse attorneys were hard at work drafting a legal opinion.
It was a little over a month after SCANA received its delayed construction license from the NRC. Already, the South Carolina project had fallen behind the generic schedule that utility executives supplied to state regulators in 2009.
Trees had been cleared. Roads had been built. Huge holes had been excavated.
Pressure was building on the engineering side of things. Only 40 percent of the construction-ready design was reportedly complete. The deadline for federal tax credits loomed. SCANA had finally given the order to start pouring concrete and erecting steel.
But you can’t build something as complicated as a nuclear reactor without drawings in hand.
Amid this backdrop, SCANA’s leadership approached Westinghouse’s team. They asked the Pennsylvania-based company to provide an opinion of whether state engineering laws had to be followed when assembling the reactors.
In response, Westinghouse’s deputy general counsel drafted a 13-page legal opinion on May 7, 2012, arguing the engineering laws in South Carolina, Georgia and any other state where an AP1000 reactor was built didn't apply. They reasoned their federal licenses superseded state requirements.
Westinghouse’s vice president of engineering for new plants, the company’s director of engineering and procurement and its director of federal licensing for the AP1000 were all given a copy of the document. The director of nuclear engineering for Shaw, one of the original contracting companies, also was looped in. 
But Santee Cooper, the minority owner of the South Carolina reactors, was never notified of Westinghouse's opinion, according to officials with the state-run utility.   
The need for professional engineers to approve all of the reactor designs was a waste of time and money, Westinghouse's attorneys said. Getting the required stamps and signatures for the reactors at V.C. Summer and Plant Vogtle in Georgia would only "disrupt and frustrate," they said.   
Some drawings for the reactors did have to be handed over to state agencies such as the Department of Health and Environmental Control. 
In those cases, Westinghouse’s lawyers assured SCANA that everything would be done by the book. All of the office buildings and storage garages at the construction site that were reviewed by state regulators would be designed and approved by professional engineers, the attorneys said.
Not so for the nuclear reactors that are 30 miles away from South Carolina’s capital.
The setup was comparable to a hospital arguing it didn’t need doctors with medical licenses to treat patients, or a law firm hiring people who didn’t pass the bar to represent clients. It costs less money, but there are far fewer guarantees in the quality of the work.
The legality is even more questionable.
With no precedent in South Carolina, Westinghouse’s deputy general counsel warned her legal opinion could be “subject to interpretation.”
Troublemakers
As SCANA comforted utility regulators about increased budgets, temporary schedules and delayed completion dates, engineers said managers with Westinghouse and the Cayce-based utility ignored the concerns of some of their own professional staff.
Blueprints that were “issued for construction” started showing up at the southern tip of the Monticello Reservoir with so many flaws nearly every drawing was revised on site.
By the summer and fall of 2015, an estimated 600 engineering changes were made per month, according to an audit produced by Bechtel, the country’s largest civil engineering firm.
Some of those design changes required more paperwork than the original drawings, Bechtel employees found. It was suspected that Westinghouse’s design work was barely outpacing construction. The drawings, the audit found, were "often not constructible." 
The constant revisions made work for thousands of laborers even harder, and helped stall the build. Daily construction orders for craftsmen were held up. Requests for supplies would have to be rushed when the work plans were finally handed out. 
The reams of design changes, the Bechtel audit found, made it difficult for those construction employees to know if they were working off the right blueprints. 
It wasn’t until concrete was poured that workers realized a Westinghouse designer in Pittsburgh had doubled the amount of rebar needed in part of the power plant's foundation.
The steel reinforcing rods were so tightly packed that when workers poured the concrete for a section of the turbine building the slurry didn't flow properly. It left bubbles and empty spaces in the floor — a mistake that cost millions of dollars and months to fix.
The engineers at V.C. Summer did what they could to fix the problems as the designs arrived, but when several of them realized drawings weren’t officially "sealed," the issue became more serious.
A large part of the civil engineering designs that lay out the steel and concrete at the plant were stamped, engineers told The Post and Courier. That wasn't the case for the mechanical and electrical blueprints that outline the reactors' pipes, pumps, fans and electrical systems.
Concerns about the unlicensed engineering were raised up the chains of command in both Westinghouse and SCANA in past years, engineers said, only to be slapped down by more senior management. 
“It put us in a terrible situation,” one engineer said, “because if we raised the issue we’re tagged as troublemakers.”
SCANA and Westinghouse did not answer questions about the alleged complaints. 
Delays, incorrect parts, thousands of engineering changes, and billions of dollars in wasted money can be traced back to faulty drawings produced by unlicensed people working in Spain, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, those V.C. Summer engineers said.
“Everything else on this project was incompetence. This was criminal,” said another engineer who also asked to remain anonymous.
'Race to the bottom'
By the beginning of this year, the weight of the nuclear construction in South Carolina and Georgia was sinking Westinghouse and its parent company Toshiba.
Westinghouse, a business founded before light bulbs spread to every home and power lines webbed across the country, filed for bankruptcy at the end of March after contributing to a $9 billion loss for the Japanese conglomerate.
The bankruptcy left the utilities in South Carolina with a decision to make: Do you continue to build the reactors without your primary contractor? Or do you cut your losses and dump the projects that were already years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget?
SCANA’s executives were told the fully integrated construction schedule that had been promised by Westinghouse didn’t exist.
Only 30 percent of the reactors were complete. The inaccurate designs had contributed to less than 0.5 percent of the reactors being built every month, engineers said.
It was the leaders of state-run Santee Cooper that ultimately decided the South Carolina construction couldn’t continue. SCANA’s executives relented. Lawmakers responded with disgust.
Since then, SCANA's knowledge of the unlicensed engineering has remained unquestioned in front of two special legislative committees. Westinghouse’s decision to disregard state law has gone unrecognized as the energy industry continues to assess the dimming future of nuclear power in the United States. 
The NRC requires the reactor vessels, coolant pumps and other vital nuclear components manufactured for the reactors to be designed by professional engineers, agency officials said. 
But the federal government doesn't have laws or regulations directly requiring the designs for the rest of the reactors be stamped and signed by licensed individuals. Those requirements are covered by the states, said Scott Burnell, a public affairs officer with the NRC.
Still, the companies building nuclear reactors in the United States are “always responsible for meeting relevant state and local requirements," Burnell said, 
Westinghouse and SCANA refused to answer whether they shared the 2012 legal opinion with the NRC, an outside law firm, the state attorney general or the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. They wouldn't say if anyone else had confirmed their legal position. 
Some of the design failures at V.C. Summer could have been picked up by engineering students in college, the engineers said.
The batteries that would maintain power for the reactors during an emergency were delivered to V.C. Summer, but were designed for the wrong electrical current. The giant, two-story-tall transformers arrived, but the multimillion-dollar electrical components were configured wrong. 
The shoddy drawings are what professional engineers refer to as a "root cause." It all stems back to the 2012 decision. 
“It was a race to the bottom," said one engineer. 
Tony Bartelme contributed to this report. 
Reach Andrew Brown at 843-708-1830 or follow him on Twitter @andy_ed_brown.