Three Mile Island nears license renewal

by MONICA VON DOBENECK, Of The Patriot-News

Thursday September 10, 2009

 

Steam billows out of the Reactor One cooling towers at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in Londonderry Twp.

The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant passed its last milestone on its way to a 20-year license renewal Thursday following a meeting with the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, an advisory group to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said it is likely a final decision will be made in November.

A difference of opinion on TMI changes

 

Critic says generators should have been replaced years ago; spokesman for owner says plant was safe, relicensing sought.

Sunday News

 

Sep 06, 2009 

 

By JON RUTTER, Lancaster Sunday News Staff Writer

 

Three Mile Island is replacing its two steam generators two decades late, contends nuclear industry critic Eric Epstein.

Lots of people are waiting to glimpse the ponderous new machines.

The generators will be slowly piggybacked through the county this month on their way from Port Deposit, Md., to the atomic power plant at Middletown.

 

Beyond Nuclear offers an explanation of recurring pipe leaks at nuclear plants

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin

 

September 3, 2009

 

Regulatory decay allows more radioactive leaks from aging nuclear power plants

Background: More radioactive leaks from reactors like Dresden, Oyster Creek, Vermont Yankee and Indian Point are calling attention to a largely ignored Nuclear Regulatory Commission document dating back to 1979 when the agency first asked operators to periodically inspect pipes and tanks to prevent uncontrolled leaks. 

NRC to evaluate buried pipe safety

NRC CHAIRMAN TASKS STAFF TO EVALUATE AGENCY ACTIVITIES ON BURIED PIPING AT NUCLEAR PLANTS 

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko has tasked the agency’s technical staff to review the NRC’s approach for overseeing buried pipes given recent incidents of leaking buried pipes at several U.S. commercial nuclear power plants.

KI pills to be distributed near nuclear plants

Radiation pills now available 

Middletown mayor questions why KI tablets are being distributed in Harrisburg instead of the borough

 

by Garry Lenton Press And Journal Staff : 9/2/2009

 

The state Department of Health is distributing potassium iodide, or KI, pills today and tomorrow to residents who live or work near a nuclear power station such as Three Mile Island.

 

 The pills protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, which can be released during a nuclear accident.

PPL can relicense its nuclear station

August 28, 2009

No safety issues found to prevent reactors from running another 20 years.

 

By Rory Sweeney 

Times Leader Staff Writer

 The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded that there are no safety issues that would stop PPL Corp. from relicensing its Susquehanna nuclear station for another 20 years, according to a report released by the agency on Thursday.

Epstein appeals denial of ability to challenge plant licensing

Who should be considered an affected person or party, and allowed standing, when it comes to challenging the licensing of nuclear power plants?

Three Mile Island-Alert Chairman and Harrisburg resident Eric Epstein lives just over 50 miles -- and downriver near the Susquehanna -- from the Bell Bend site where PPL is seeking to place a new nuclear reactor. He was told he is not entitled to the legal standing to challenge the operating license, but he is appealing that decision. 

To read his appeal, open pdf:

 

 

Corporation Promises "Financial Mechanism" to Cover Fund Shortfall

Rutland Herald     Aug. 20, 2009

Entergy: Yankee shortfall less short

By Susan Smallheer STAFF WRITER

 

BRATTLEBORO — Entergy Nuclear has claimed the $87 million gap between what it has saved for the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee and what it needs to do the job has shrunk to $58 million.

In a filing with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the owner of the Vernon reactor said it would provide federal regulators with an unspecified "financial assurance mechanism" later this year to prove it was good for the money.

Valve malfunctions at PPL's Susquehanna Plant

 Three Mile Island-Alert News Report

 By Marlene Lang

 

 
A turbine valve failed in mid-position at the PPL's Susquehanna Steam Electric Station nuclear power plant near Berwick, Pa., on the morning of Aug. 18. 
 
According to a memo from PPL to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, plant inspectors performing a weekly functionality test found the high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) valve stem in the plant's Unit 1 nuclear reactor "was not in the full closed position." 
 

55-gallon Drum of Radioactive Material Misplaced in Cross-Country Transport Bumble

 August 19, 2009

Changed F.B.I. Agents’ Role Shown When Radioactive Material Went Missing

 

By ERIC SCHMITT

NORWALK, Calif. — The report last month was chilling: a 55-gallon drum of radioactive material had gone missing during shipment from North Carolina to California. Even worse, the person who signed for the cargo was not an employee of the company that ordered the load.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation here ramped up, consulting health officials, questioning radiation specialists and tracking down the trucker who dropped off the material, which could be used in a radioactive-bomb attack. Three hours later, the shipper found the drum — still sitting on a loading dock 20 miles from its destination in the Los Angeles area — having confused it with a similar shipment sent to a different company on the same day.

For an F.B.I. team here that vets tips and threats about possible terrorist activity, it was yet another false alarm in a job largely defined by hoaxes and bogus leads that must still be run to ground.

“A lot of time we are chasing shadows,” said Lee Ann Bernardino, a 20-year F.B.I. special agent who handled the case, “but it’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by.”

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