Backgrounder on Pilgrim's Recent Problems

Ironically, the NRC announced on Groundhog Day that it was dispatching a special inspection team to Pilgrim to investigate the reasons for the initial loss of the offsite power lines and ensuing problems the operators encountered, including the failure of the HPCI system, the inability to open one safety relief valve from the control room, and the failure of the standby diesel powered compressor to start. Like Bill Murray’s character in the feature film Groundhog Day, Pilgrim seems to be reliving certain things over and over. And over. And over.

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NRC Proposes FY 2016 Budget to Congress; NRC Spending, Staffing Declining

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has requested $1,032.2 million (including the Office of the Inspector General) in its Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal to Congress, down $27.3 million from the FY 2015 submission. Requested staffing is down as well for the agency that regulates nuclear power plants and users of nuclear materials to protect public health and safety, promote the common defense and security and protect the environment.

“This budget reflects today’s realities and ushers in a new era in enhancing accountability within the NRC for the prudent use of resources,” said NRC Chairman Stephen G. Burns.

Since the NRC recovers approximately 90 percent of its budget from licensee fees, which are sent directly to the Treasury, the resulting net appropriation request is $122.2 million, down $2 million from last year’s submission. The continuing resolution adopted by Congress Dec. 16, 2014, cut the NRC request by $44.2 million to account for fee-based unobligated carryover and authorized the agency to reallocate its unobligated carryover to supplement its FY 2015 appropriations.

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Press release: Federal Nuclear Regulator Opts Not To Reconsider Critical Safety Enhancements at U.S. “Fukushima” Reactors

NEWS FROM BEYOND NUCLEAR

For immediate release: Thursday, December 11, 2014

Contact: Paul Gunter, Director

Federal Nuclear Regulator Opts Not To Reconsider Critical Safety Enhancements at U.S. “Fukushima” Reactors

Decision designed to save industry money but exclude experts and public

TAKOMA PARK, MD -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has buckled to industry pressure and will recommend that the Commission disallow independent experts and the public from participating in a process to reconsider minimal but critical safety enhancements at the nation’s Fukushima-style nuclear power plants.

The NRC staff today said that a rulemaking proposed by the NRC Commission to further analyze filtered venting for containment protection and radiation release reduction following a severe accident is “not necessary.”  The nuclear industry has vehemently opposed the installation of external filtered containment vents on the basis of cost and “unintended consequences.” 

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Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Letter and Non-Proprietary Safety Evaluation of Reactor Vessel Internals Inspection Plan (TAC No. MF1459)

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Letter and Non-Proprietary Safety Evaluation of Reactor Vessel Internals Inspection Plan (TAC No. MF1459)

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Issuance of Amendments Regarding the Emergency Plan Definition of Annual Training (TAC NOS. MF3003, MF30004, MF3005, MF3006, MF3007, MF3008, MF3009, and MF3010)

Issuance of Amendments Regarding the Emergency Plan Definition of Annual Training (TAC NOS. MF3003, MF30004, MF3005, MF3006, MF3007, MF3008, MF3009, and MF3010)

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Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Issuance of Amendment to Eliminate Certain Technical Specifications Reporting Requirements (TAC NO. MF0628)

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Issuance of Amendment to Eliminate Certain Technical Specifications Reporting Requirements (TAC NO. MF0628)

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Nuclear Power's 5th Domino

Nuclear Containment Risk

January 29th, 2015

During the 1960s when the American Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards debated containment structures, some members argued for the need to make stronger containments. Regrettably, a majority of the members believed that the emergency core cooling systems were adequate, so more than 50 years ago the Advisory Committee ignored its minority members and pushed ahead without rigorous failure-proof containment structures and systems. The Nuclear Regulatory Committee made the decision not to require stronger containments. Japan followed the American lead.

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Pilgrim and HPCI

Quick Backgrounder on Pilgrim’s 'first' 2015 Event

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BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Tom Wolf reinstates moratorium on further gas leasing of public lands

Thursday, January 29, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Gov. Tom Wolf reinstates moratorium on further gas leasing of public lands
Great news for Pennsylvania's state forests and state parks.

In a ceremony at Benjamin Rush State Park in Philadelphia this morning, Governor Wolf reinstated a moratorium on further gas leasing of public lands. The executive order would supersede an executive order signed by former Gov. Tom Corbett last year that overturned a previous ban on further drilling of public lands.

We are pleased to see Gov. Wolf move quickly to protect our state parks and forests from natural gas drilling. These lands are held in the public trust as provided by Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania constitution, and are places where our families gather and play. The governor has wisely chosen to protect the people of Pennsylvania over the profits of drillers.

With the help of PennFuture members and thousands of Pennsylvanians across the state, we kept the pressure on Harrisburg -- and your voices were heard.

The citizens of the Commonwealth have long valued the special places that our award-winning state parks and state forest represent. Gov. Wolf's action today will help preserve those places as it promotes public health.

Andrew Sharp is PennFuture's director of outreach and is based in Philadelphia.

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2016-2017 SRBC Water Resources Program Input

Stakeholders,
 
The Susquehanna River Basin Compact requires the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) to annually adopt a Water Resources Program to implement various goals and actions identified in the Comprehensive Plan.  The current Comprehensive Plan was approved by the Commission at its December 12, 2013 business meeting and can be accessed at http://www.srbc.net/planning/comprehensiveplan.htm.  The Water Resources Program is to consist of projects and facilities which the SRBC and other authorized governmental and private agencies, organizations, and persons plan to undertake to help meet water resources needs in the Susquehanna River Basin.
 
Accordingly, SRBC is currently seeking input for the Water Resources Program for Fiscal Years 2016 - 2017, which runs from July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017.  Specifically, SRBC is seeking to catalog water projects, facilities, programs, plans, etc. that are proposed to be initiated or completed within this two-year timeframe.  For reference, internal and external input that was provided for the FY 2015 - 2016 Water Resources Program can be accessed at http://www.srbc.net/planning/assets/documents/2015-2016_WRP_20140606.pdf.  The current input response form, which includes instructions for completing and submitting responses, can be downloaded at http://www.srbc.net/planning/water-resources-program.htm.  All responses are due by March 6, 2015.
 
Thank you in advance for your interest in the SRBC and for your consideration in providing input to the FY 2016 – 2017 Water Resources Program.  If you have any questions, or require additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
 
John
 
John W. Balay
Manager, Planning & Operations
 
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
4423 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110-1788
Email: jbalay@srbc.net
Web site: www.srbc.net
 
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
1721 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA  17102
717/238-0423

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