Friday, August 31, 2018

Junk plant Vogtle and The Southern Company: "Rig Ship For Collision".

update Sept 7

The Southern company's stock price has been on a steep decline this week. The minority owners are trying to bail. One bails and the project is over. Friday the stock declined 3.12% on really heavy volume. Looks like lots are fearful news might come out before the market opens.    

***When this project collapses, I believe the ratepayers will be paying the full bill on the plant for the next forty years. That is why everyone is so desperate to get this thing completed. The feds loaned the Southern company about 11 billion dollars for this project. So if the project fails, you will get no electricity from the plants and still pay what they spent on construction.

But the southern company might regret getting federal loan guarantees. I think in hindsight there is going to be significate corruption and coverups going on. There will be federal felony charges over this. I wonder if the rate payers will be off the hook with all the loans and cost of the failed construction project if systemic fraud, coverup and corruption are involved with the project.

But I would never under estimated the political connections and fraud of the Southern company.

Remember the Southern's stock price is down 10% since the recent PSC decision to continue the project... 

In light of the blue wave overtaking the house and senate in a few months, both plants would never had a chance but for the corrupt and lying southern republican extremist ideology overtaking the region. You know, the house and senate going to the democrats and the also the Georgia governorship. We need a gigantic investigation over Vogtle and Summer. A kind of political debridement to clean out the corruption debris throughout the south. I call our southern states as our US breakaway territories for their hatred of the US government and our federal regulatory, clear laws, codes and standards.     

Hmmm, I wonder if the weak kneed Dems will have senate and house hearing over the Summer and Vogtle projects. The Dems need to cleans our this this terrible wound with hearing. The Dems are even more indebted to the big nuclear utilities than the republicans. 

My plan to finish this project is for the Southern company and the Summer plant to eat the total cost of the plants. Make them pay the price and put executives in jail for all this corruption and lying. For the good of the nation, have the utilities turn over the plants to the feds at no cost. Then have the feds finish the construction project. Make a TVA like agency for the four plants. Can you even imagine how cheap this electricity would be to the consumers and business? Maybe after a decade, then sell the plants to the private market.             

Fate of Vogtle Nuclear Expansion Hinges on Minority Owners

08/22/2018 | Aaron Larson

On August 8, Georgia Power announced that its revised capital and construction cost forecast for its share of the Plant Vogtle expansion project had increased from $7.3 billion to $8.4 billion, based on a revised cost-to-complete estimate from Southern Nuclear. The news was softened somewhat by Georgia Power’s declaration that significant construction progress had been made on Units 3 and 4 since Southern Nuclear assumed the responsibility for project management following Westinghouse’s bankruptcy in 2017.
Nonetheless, Georgia Power is not the only company on the hook for cost increases; there are three other co-owners of the project. Georgia Power holds a 45.7% stake in the Plant Vogtle expansion, while Oglethorpe Power Corp. (OPC, 30%), MEAG Power (22.7%), and Dalton Utilities (1.6%) hold the remaining shares.
According to The Bond Buyer website, both OPC and MEAG could face bond rating downgrades due to the increased cost estimate for Vogtle. In an August 13 post, Bond Buyer reported, “Fitch Ratings placed its A and A-minus ratings on MEAG’s bonds on Rating Watch Negative Friday, affecting $5.17 billion of outstanding debt. Oglethorpe’s A-minus rating on $3.9 billion of outstanding obligations was also placed on Rating Watch Negative.”
The Vogtle cost increase has not been kind to Georgia Power’s ratings either. According to The Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville-based newspaper, “Moody’s Investors Services issued a downgrade to Georgia Power’s rating, saying the increase comes just eight months after utility regulators signed off on the previous round of increased cost estimates.”
In August 2017, OPC’s Board of Directors approved a $7.0 billion budget that included a contingency most-recently valued at about $490 million. After Georgia Power announced the new budget forecast, OPC issued a press release in which Mike Smith, the company’s president and CEO, said, “The need to adjust OPC’s budget to complete Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 to account for the recently announced increases will be muted for OPC and its member [electric membership corporations], due to a conservative contingency that we imbedded in our existing budget of $7.0 billion.”
However, the OPC statement also said the company was “still analyzing the need to rebuild its contingency.” It suggested the budget could increase by 5% to 6%, assuming a contingency similar to the amount announced publicly by Georgia Power.
Additionally, OPC said it was “performing its due diligence under the Project Adverse Events (PAEs) within the co-owner agreement resulting from the new budget forecast and Georgia Power’s decision not to seek rate recovery for these amounts. A vote on these items is anticipated late in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.”
A post on the Seeking Alpha website written by Michael Wald, a self-employed research analyst based in Georgia, suggested MEAG was “facing a rebellion” from JEA, a Florida utility contracted to purchase power from the Vogtle expansion. The Times-Union reported that JEA’s 20-year purchase-power agreement with MEAG stipulates that JEA will pay even if the Vogtle reactors never produce power. It said no cap exists on how high JEA’s obligations could go based on the continued increases in the cost of constructing the reactors. Wald wrote, “JEA is demanding that either the construction project be abandoned or that the contract between the utility and MEAG be canceled.” Furthermore, Wald surmised that if MEAG canceled the contract with JEA, it would have a difficult time covering its costs for the Vogtle project.
Southern Co. CEO Tom Fanning was essentially asked during the company’s second quarter earnings call what would happen if a member of the joint ownership group chose not to continue the project. Fanning responded, “Yeah, so, the technical answer there is that the project would be deemed to be cancelled, I believe. And then, of course, you could take a variety of different paths beyond that. But the technical answer is, if you don’t get the 90% vote, the project is cancelled. Then you have to figure out how or whether to proceed beyond that. There is no prescription per se beyond that action. Of course, we could all negotiate—whatever—but that would also require Public Service Commission approval and a variety of other things.”
A vote by the partners is expected in late September

Monday, August 20, 2018

FirstEnergy Plans To Close Nuke Plants

FirstEnergy: One step closer to closing nuclear plants
 Earlier this year, the company announced it planned to deactivate the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station by May 2020. The Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry Ohio is scheduled to be deactivated by May 2021 and units 1 and 2 of the Beaver Valley Power Station in Shippingport, Pa. are to be deactivated by May 2021 and October 2021 respectively.

Take on Fukushima

Better than most. My take on it in hindsight, basically the design was too obsolete. It was a first generation design, they should have built a new plant with current knowledge and technology. I am sure they would have built the plants at a higher level. I like the idea of generally the staff at these plants being too isolated from our society and group think takes over.   
Aug 20, 2018 03:09 PM IST | Business 

A must-read for political and business leaders, safety experts and consultants, risk analysts and all those whose job is to provide safe systems.

When disaster struck Fukushima area of Japan on March 11, 2011, it caused severe damage to the nearby Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. At that time, it was thought that the disaster was caused by a natural unpredictable event, in this case a tsunami.

However, later studies found that the disaster was the result of a “cascade of industrial, regulatory and engineering failures” leading to a situation where critical infrastructure failed. In this case, backup generators to keep cooling the plant in the event of main power loss were built in low-lying areas, susceptible for flooding during a tsunami, something which a proper hazard analysis would have identified.

With generators washed away and unable to cool itself, Fukushima Daiichi’s reactors melted down one by one. In addition, the company and regulatory authorities ignored the warning by scientists that higher tsunamis are a possibility.

This is just one example that disasters do not strike suddenly but are built brick by brick upon a series of overlooked shortcomings and incompetencies, as described in the book Meltdown by Chris Clearfield and Andras Tilcsik.

We live in VUCA times, Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. “Different parts of a system unexpectedly interacted with one another,” the authors explain. “Small failures combined in unanticipated ways, and people didn’t understand what was happening.”

Failures stem from two variables. The first is complexity: the extent to which a system is linear and observable (like an assembly line) or interconnected and largely invisible, like a nuclear power plant. The second is coupling: the degree to which a system possesses “slack”— allowance for the time and flexibility to manage problems. Our relentless approach to increase complexity and wring out inefficiencies, the authors warn, moves us into a danger zone and set us up for calamity.

Groupthink, where participants read just their opinion to match the group is a common phenomenon leading to such disasters. We have seen it in India too, where the country’s largest pharmaceutical company went down when the employees, except a few voices, went along with the fraud perpetuated by the management.

The leadership’s attitude in encouraging diverse opinion to surface builds a culture where dialogue freely takes place. Homogeneity encourages groupthink and where complex decisions are required, it should be the responsibility of the management to create cross-discipline and cross-functional groups which can discuss complex matters in an environment which encourages different perspectives and viewpoints to be raised and pertinent matters are brought to the attention of the management.

Outsiders who can see issues from distance should be embedded in such decision groups. The book gives the example of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where relevant strangers are embedded in to avoid groupthink.
In complex systems, small incidents when ignored also lead to big disasters as the Three Mile nuclear disaster in the United States which is extensively discussed in the book. The operators in plants as well as nurses at hospitals and other systems must be sensitised not to ignore small divergences but must find a cause supported by facts and study.

The second is to provide a slack in the complex system such as a nuclear plant, that is to provide buffer in the system. This is no doubt, inefficient and frowned upon by efficiency experts but in the event of a failure, there should be sufficient time to shut off parts or full system.

Today, we are entering the age of industry 4.0, where sensors would provide information to computers in plants, automobiles and homes through IOT (Internet Of Things). Even mundane systems such as driverless cars are increasingly becoming complex and too much reliance on “fail-safe” systems can create conditions for more failures in future.

We have seen small glitches bringing down the reservation system of major airlines causing massive confusion, jams and losses. Small glitches in computer system led to massive buying of stocks by Knight Capital which ultimately led to its closure.

The book provides several solutions such as designing more transparent and loosely coupled systems; using structured decision tools; learning from near misses and other warning signs; encourage dialogue and dissent; build diverse teams and include outsiders; learning from outsiders; and preparing for and managing crises more effectively.

The authors argue that solutions are available but require cultural and behavioural changes in our organisations. The cases are derived from a variety of disasters from nuclear plants to social media campaigns. What links all these is the human element. Social sciences are increasingly uncovering behavioural causes of disasters and it is time these professionals are included in the decision-making process.Suhayl Abidi is a research advisor at the GOG-AMA Centre of International Trade, Ahmedabad.
Published Date: Aug 20th, 2018 04:00 PM | Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 03:09 PM IST 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Junk Plant Pilgrim: Maliciously Violating Regulations

So management and the employees were maliciously violating regulation. It there a difference between violating a regulation by mistake or maliciously violating the regulation. Notice the NRC doesn't ask this question.
NRC: Pilgrim Staff Worked More Hours Than Allowed
Cape Code Times: Limits set for nuclear plant were exceeded 11 time 

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Is Vogtle Still Viable

Update Aug 11

Another vice.

Parts Shortages Crimp U.S. Factories
As suppliers struggle to meet demand, Caterpillar fights to fill orders and Oshkosh idles crane output

Doug Cameron and
Austen Hufford Aug. 10, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET

American factories are running short of parts.

Suppliers of everything from engines to electronic components aren’t keeping up with a boom in U.S. manufacturing, which has lifted demand in markets such as energy, mining and construction. As a result, some manufacturers are idling production lines and digesting higher costs.

Update Aug 10

Why do I get the feeling the Ga PSC told the Southern Company the only way you can continue on this project is to lie to us. You got to lie to for the good of the community. They did this in the Summer plant. Did you see the FBI just recently ask the Westinghouse Company for all their documents on the Summer Plant. Do you think they will be any reverberation over this? Remember the FBI is investigating the cover-up of the Westinghouse report which was saying how badly the Summer project was progressing. But it wasn't only that. The report was talking about both the Summer plant and Vogtle. But the FBI now is only investigating Summer and Westinghouse. Can you imagine the gumption of these guys if Vogtle blows up like the Summer Plant?  
"The Post and Courier today published a confidential report that warned six years ago that Westinghouse Electric wasn’t prepared to build four new nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina.

The internal document highlighted Westinghouse’s failure to use licensed engineers to design the reactors at V.C. Summer station in South Carolina and Plant Vogtle near Augusta, Georgia." 
Will there be a day soon when the FBI will be asking for documents from the PSC and the Southern? Long ago, you can imagine their lawyers will be advising the Southern Company you must now treat all Vogtle construction documents as potentially undergoing a FBI investigation. Preserve all potential evidence. That will certainly shake their stock price?

See the vice they are in?
Vogtle cost overruns spook Wall Street

Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter Published: Friday, August 10, 2018

Wall Street criticized a $2.3 billion cost increase at the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia, largely because Southern Co. could not give assurances that it wouldn't happen again.

My question in all of this is where was the NRC? Why wasn't there accurate reports on the true conditions Summer. Why wasn't there NRC's news conferences on the perilous condition of the new build? Why was their no site "stop work" orders till you get you shit together? Why wasn't the NRC protecting the greater interest of South Carolina ratepayers instead of the NRC bureaucracy, the corporations and the politicians. Right, there was tens of billions of dollars sloshing around here and the natural instincts with humans being corrupt without the proper controls.      

Update Aug 9

premarket Down 1.4%

The Dems governor candidate is nipping at Deal's heels. I wonder if he wins the election, will he change his tune about cost overruns. These Ga republicans act more like a cult or gang.

Hmm, Deal can't run again. So here below are the candidates.
"Almost overnight, Georgia’s captivating governor’s race between Brian Kemp and Stacey Abrams has taken on the dimensions of a defining moment, one that will, regardless of outcome, determine what the state represents and how it is perceived." 
Man, if Adams wins? There has been a tremendous increase in minorities in Ga since 1990. I lived in Sugar Hill Georgia during the 1990s. It is in Gwinnett county. It was definitely a rock solid  republican stronghold. Hillary took Gwinnett by a wide margin in the last election. This is shocking to me. Is the blue Tsunami coming to Georgia. Adams seems to be neutral on Vogtle. The utilities are a juggernaut of political power it Georgia.                  
Georgia News: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal applauds meaningful gains on Vogtle 3 & 4
08/09/2018 Marty Smith

ATLANTA, GA – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal yesterday commended the substantial progress made by Georgia Power on Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4 construction.

“I applaud the leadership of Paul Bowers in ensuring this critical infrastructure and economic development project continues,” said Deal. “Georgia Power has pledged that any new price increases with this change in budget will be covered by the company, and not consumers, and I applaud its continued adherence to that commitment. This is the only ongoing nuclear energy construction project in the country, and the first to earn a permit in more than three decades. I support the efforts of Georgia Power in ensuring our citizens have a long-term, sustainable energy source while creating thousands of jobs. I look forward to completion of Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4 and its continued impact on our economy and infrastructure.”


SOURCE: news provided by GOV.GEORGIA.GOV

***So the Southern Company said they are going to write off 1.1 billion now, but they leave open whether they might later submit it to the PSC. I am telling you, The southern company is just trying get past the mid terms in order to protect the politicians. This all is a political scam...     

Ultimately what I think this means, this isn't a one off billion dollar write-off. It will be a billion dollar a year write off for as long as the eyes can see. And if they put this dog on the line, the quality of the equipment will be so poor, it will have a terrible capacity for its life.   

This is exactly the Westinghouse scenario. Basically Westinghouse had to eat the Summer Plant cost overrun. They temporally fudged their earning until they were caught. Then went bankrupt. Now the Southern company is in the same vice by the PSC. No more cost overruns, either you shut the project down or eat all the rest of the cost overruns...  

Huge 4% decline on opening and tremendous volume.

Southern down about 3% in the pre market? 

Remember what the Ga PSC said. This project isn't viable if it goes over the budget by one penny or any delay.
No doubt the reservoirs are almost unlimited, I am wondering how the stock market this morning is going to handle this news.
So from now on, Southern on cost overruns, they are going to eat these associated cost. The 700 and 400 million dollars plus labor wage sweeteners. Maybe if they paid the laborers much better wages the rift raft duggies and alcoholics wouldn't be needed as much. Remember cat 5 hurricane winds inundating the site, the unprecedented economic boom in the USA at this time.

That reminds me. What about a massive hurricane hitting the site unprepared this season??? Massive delays because they didn't anticipated this. 
Southern Co. to absorb $1.1B in added Vogtle costs

Kristi E. Swartz, E&E News reporter Published: Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Significant progress made on Vogtle 3 & 4 construction

Company to absorb $700 million additional projected costs; No impact on customer bills from these future costs

As work continued at the site because interrupted during the transition from Westinghouse to Southern Nuclear, project leadership made a series of decisions, such as providing craft labor incentives to both attract and retain adequate staffing levels and increased field supervision and engineering oversight, in an effort to lower project risk and maintain project momentum. As a result, and based on a year's worth of experience managing the project, Southern Nuclear has revised its estimate of the cost to complete the project. This revised forecast includes approximately $700 million in additional projected costs which will be absorbed by the company and have no impact on customer bills. While it is believed the increased projected costs are reasonable, necessary and prudent, the company has decided not to ask the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve those costs so soon after receiving the Georgia PSC's approval of the capital forecast last year.

Additionally, based on the latest estimate, the previous contingency for the project has been determined to be insufficient to fully offset forecasted cost increases resulting in an increased contingency of approximately $400 million, which may be presented to the Georgia PSC for evaluation as and when appropriate in the future.

ATLANTA, Aug. 8, 2018/PRNewswire / -- Southern Company today reported a second quarter 2018 loss of $154 million, or 15 centsper share, compared with a loss of $1.38 billion, or $1.38per share, in the second quarter of 2017. For the six months ended June 30, 2018, Southern Company reported earnings of $784 million, or 77 centsper share, compared with a loss of $723 million, or 73 centsper share, for the same period in 2017.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Will The Elections Tonight Determine The Survivability With the Vogtle Nuclear Plant


Junk Plant River Bend: Multiple Fuel Failures

Originally Posted on July 25...reposted. 

Man, with all this extra radiation spewed all over the plant for the rest of the life of the plant, this is going to be expensive.

River Bend Station began the inspection period at rated thermal power.  On May 11, 2018, operators reduced power to 65 percent for power suppression testing to locate and suppress a suspected nuclear fuel leak.  The unit was returned to rated thermal power on May 14, 2018.  On June 1, 2018, operators reduced power to 65 percent for power suppression testing to locate and suppress a suspected nuclear fuel leak.  The unit was returned to rated thermal power on June 6, 2018.  The unit remained at or near rated thermal power for the remainder of the inspection period.

During the first half of the year, the licensee experienced a number of adverse events in the area of equipment reliability.  These events included multiple fuel failures, a failure of the Division III Emergency Diesel Generator output breaker to properly close during surveillance testing, an inadvertent high pressure core spray system actuation during maintenance on a level instrument, and the discovery of tornado missile vulnerabilities in safety-related systems.  In response to these events, the licensee identified an adverse trend in the area of equipment reliability, which is documented in CR-RBS-2018-03001.

Junk Plant FitzPatrick Has Massive Fuel Defects?

Update Aug 8

Did Rick get any information on the fuel failures? I actually don't think the administration is very pro nuclear. They will go around trying to get the nukies and utilities to support the administration,  but trump won't put any real skin in the game. The dems act like in ways with the anti nuclear groups, but really don't actively show skin deep support. 
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) toured the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County Wednesday as part of his push to “make nuclear cool again.”

***Do we have a industry problem with fuel defects...
August 6, 2018


FitzPatrick Cycle 23 Fuel Defects

On November 5, 2017, Exelon identified a third fuel defect in the cycle 23 core that has resulted in full insertion of five control rods to date to mitigate the consequences of operating with defective fuel in the current fuel cycle.  Exelon initiated a root cause investigation under IR 4097375 that will not be complete until the defective fuel is cleaned and examined in detail following completion of the next refueling outage.

Is Junk Plant Palo Verde Operations Becoming More Erratic?

Update Aug 8

Pinnacle West probably got the ratepayers so pissed at them, everyone will vote for the referendum just to get even this corporation.   
By  – Managing Editor, Phoenix Business Journal
Arizona Public Service Co. will get a hearing next month to address customer concerns the utility's recent rate hike was more than what was allowed.
An administrative law judge will hear complaints from APS customers on Sept. 25 that the utility is charging more than the average 4.5 percent approved last year by the Arizona Corporation Commission, according to the Arizona Republic.
Officials for the utility and its parent, Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW) say the bills and its recent revenue are in line with the rate plan that eventually was approved by the ACC.
Customers, led by local public relations professional and activist Stacey Champion, have questioned bills they say are significantly higher than what APS said. They have asked for a rehearing of the rate case.
APS for its part defends the rate case saying that the average bill would have people who might have saved money under the plan as well as people whose bills would be larger than the average.
The rate increase was said to raise residential customer bills $6 on average and began implementation of new time-of-use plans. Under the plans, rates would be significantly higher during peak hours, depending on the plan.
***Palo Verde is facing a permanent shutdown if the green energy referendum is passed this year. They won't be economical. I feel in recent years this 3 plant facility has been operating more erratically than from its history. They been down powered or shutdown outside of scheduling.   
August 6, 2018  
Unit 1 began the inspection period at rated thermal power.  On April 5, 2018, power was reduced to 40 percent as directed by Station Chemistry procedures to address sodium levels caused by leakage into the main condenser.  Unit 1 returned to full power on April 12, 2018, and remained at or near rated thermal power for the remainder of the inspection period.
 Unit 2 began the inspection period at rated thermal power.  On May 23, 2018, the reactor tripped from full power when maintenance on the control element drive mechanism control system resulted in a dropped control rod.  The dropped control rod caused a valid reactor trip signal for low departure from nucleate boiling ratio.  Unit 2 restarted on May 25, 2018; however, a different control element drive mechanism control system problem occurred requiring power to be held at 10 percent for additional repairs.  Unit 2 returned to full power on May 27, 2018, and remained at or near rated thermal power for the remainder of the inspection period.
 Unit 3 began the inspection period at rated thermal power.  Unit 3 shut down for a planned refueling outage from April 6 through May 4, 2018.  Unit 3 returned to full power on May 7, 2018.  On June 27, 2018, Unit 3 the steam generator 1 economizer valve failed (main feedwater regulating valve).  Operator performance issues in responding to this condition resulted in a main feedwater pump trip and reactor cutback, reactor trip caused by low steam generator water level, and a main steam isolation signal due to subsequent high steam generator water level.  Unit 1 remained shut down for repairs during the remainder of the inspection period.