Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 - Review of Steam Generator Tube Inspection Report for Fall 2011 Outage (TAC No. ME8735)

Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1 – Review of Steam Generator Tube Inspection Report for Fall 2011 Outage (TAC No. ME8735)

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5 Top Dems to NRC: Fukushima-style Reactors in U.S. Need Upgrades--filters for vents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eben Burnham-Snyder, Rep. Ed Markey, 202-225-2836

5 Top Dems to NRC: Fukushima-style Reactors in U.S. Need Upgrades to Prevent Hydrogen Explosions and Radiation Exposure

WASHINGTON (February 27, 2013) -- Five House Democrats who lead their respective committees today pressed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to require that all U.S. nuclear reactors of the same design as the ones that melted down at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan install vents to help prevent hydrogen explosions in the event of a severe accident and reduce exposure to radiation when they are used.

The letter was sent to the NRC by Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the Ranking Member of the Natural Resources Committee, Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. The letter can be found HERE and is pasted below.
 
 
The Honorable Allison M. Macfarlane
Chairman
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
11555 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

 

Dear Chairman Macfarlane:

            We are writing to urge the Commission to vote to adopt the recommendations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff and require that all nuclear reactors that utilize a Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactor (BWR) design in the U.S. install filters on their hardened containment vents and ensure that these vents would be operable under severe accident conditions.

            On March 11, 2011, a powerful earthquake occurred near Japan and launched a tsunami that inundated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. As a result, the nuclear reactors lost off-site power and several also lost backup power. With no power, cooling of the reactor cores failed and the cladding on the overheated fuel reacted with steam to produce hydrogen gas. This gas together with the steam created excessively high pressure in the reactor vessel. At this point in such a severe nuclear accident there are no good choices, but there are ways to make the consequences less severe. Venting the containment to relieve the pressure buildup and to remove the hydrogen can prevent damage to the containment and reduce the likelihood of a hydrogen explosion like the ones that occurred at Three Mile Island and several of the reactors at Fukushima.

            In the 1980s, NRC encouraged owners of all Mark I BWRs to install vents that are hardened to be able to withstand the pressures and conditions likely to be present when venting the containment during a nuclear accident. The reactors at Fukushima installed such vents as well, although the loss of power at the reactor site impaired the ability of the reactor operators to successfully use these vents. In the aftermath of Fukushima, the Commission rightly voted to require owners of all Mark I and Mark II BWRs to have hardened containment vents and to ensure that those vents would be reliable in an accident.

            While venting can protect the containment, in nearly all severe accident scenarios (where the vents are most desperately needed) there would be radiological materials in the vented gasses. To avoid unnecessary exposure of the public to radiological materials and to minimize land and water contamination, the gasses vented from the containment must be filtered. This is the practice in Canada and in many European countries. Recently, the NRC staff strongly recommended that the Commission similarly require the installation of filters engineered to work in severe accident conditions on the hardened containment vents of Mark I and Mark II BWRs.

            This common-sense measure to protect the public from radiological exposure should be implemented as soon as possible, and we encourage you and your colleagues to resist pressure to ignore the NRC staff recommendations.

            Thank you very much for your consideration of this important matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Edward J. Markey                                                       Henry A. Waxman                
Ranking Member                                                         Ranking Member
House Committee on Natural Resources                    House Committee on Energy and Commerce
 
 
Nita M. Lowey                                                            Elijah E. Cummings  
Ranking Member                                                        Ranking Member
House Committee on Appropriations                         House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
 
 
Eliot L. Engel
Ranking Member
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
 

# # #

NEWS ADVISORY: Year-End EIA Report Documents Strong Growth for Renewable Electricity

SUN DAY CAMPAIGN
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite #340; Takoma Park, MD 20912
301-270-6477 x.11
sun-day-campaign@hotmail.com

News Advisory

EIA's YEAR-END ELECTRICAL GENERATION REPORT FOR 2012
REVEALS SOLAR GROWING BY 138.9%
WIND UP 16.6%, GEOTHERMAL UP 9.6%, BIOMASS UP 1.6%

WHILE NUCLEAR, COAL, AND OIL ALL DECLINE

For Immediate Release: Wednesday - February 27, 2013 
Contact:  Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.11

Washington DC – According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) "Electric Power Monthly," with preliminary data through to December 31, 2012, non-hydro renewable sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) increased by 12.8% last year compared to 2011 and provided 5.4% of net U.S. electrical generation. Solar increased by 138.9% while wind grew 16.6%, geothermal by 9.6%, and biomass (i.e., wood, wood-derived fuels, and other biomass) by 1.6%. Moreover, since 2007, non-hydro renewables have more than doubled their contribution to the nation's electrical supply.

At the same time (2012 compared to 2011), total net U.S. electrical generation dropped by 1.1% with petroleum coke & liquids down by 24.1%, coal by 12.5%, and nuclear by 2.6%. In fact, coal, which only a decade ago provided more than half the nation's electricity, fell to 37.4% of net electrical generation while nuclear, for the first time in many years, slipped below 19.0%. Conventional hydropower also declined by 13.4% due to last year's drought and lower water flows, but natural gas expanded by 21.4% to provide 30.3% of net electrical generation.

Conventional hydropower and non-hydro renewable sources combined accounted for 12.22% of net U.S. electrical generation: hydropower - 6.82%, wind - 3.46%, biomass - 1.42%, geothermal - 0.41%, and solar - 0.11%. However, as EIA has noted in the past, these figures do not comprehensively reflect distributed, non-grid connected generation and thereby understate the full contribution of renewables to the nation's electrical supply. **

EIA's report also reveals the top renewable-electricity generating states for 2012:

Top Five Hydropower States: Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Idaho

Top Five Non-Hydro Renewables States: Texas, California, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma

Top Five Wind States: Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois

Top Five Biomass States: California, Florida, Maine, Georgia, Alabama

Top Five Geothermal States: California, Nevada, Utah, Hawaii, Idaho

Top Five Solar States: California, Arizona, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico

“Technical advances, falling costs, and the desire to address climate change have combined to rapidly expand the contribution of renewable energy to the nation's electrical generation,” said Ken Bossong, Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. “With the right policy incentives, one can foresee these cleaner energy sources providing the bulk of the nation's electrical needs within a generation.”

Susquehanna – Request for Additional Information Regarding Request for Changes to Technical Specification Surveillance Requirements to Increase Diesel Generator Minimum Steady State Voltage (TAC Nos. ME9607 and ME9608)

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 – Request for Additional Information Regarding Request for Changes to Technical Specification Surveillance Requirements to Increase Diesel Generator Minimum Steady State Voltage (TAC Nos. ME9607 and ME9608)

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Susquehana – Request for Additional Information Regarding Request for Changes to Technical Specification Surveillance Requirements 3.8.1.19 to Increase Diesel Generator E Minimum Steady State Frequency (TAC Nos. ME9609 and ME9610)

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 – Request for Additional Information Regarding Request for Changes to Technical Specification Surveillance Requirements 3.8.1.19 to Increase Diesel Generator E Minimum Steady State Frequency (TAC Nos. ME9609 and ME9610)

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Announcement

The following announcement should be of special interest to Pennsylvania Geology readers. Almost all Fourth Pennsylvania Geological Survey printed books and maps have been scanned and are now available to download as text-searchable Acrobat files. These files, as well as files for reports originally published on CD–ROMs or online, can be found through the Survey’s “Publications by Series” web page: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/publications/pgspub/index.htm.

On May 1, the sales of Pennsylvania Geological Survey printed publications (except for Special Publication 1) will cease. Until then, formal publications that are still in print can be ordered through the ShopPAHeritage.com website (https://shoppaheritage.myshopify.com/collections/conservation-and-natural-resources) and the open-file publications not yet available as a download can be ordered from the Survey (http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/publications/pgspub/openfile/index.htm).
 
 
George Love
State Geologist

Fukushima Memorial Rally - March 9, 2013

 

Endorsement of Electric Power Research Institute Final Draft Report 1025287,"Seismic Evaluation Guidance"

ENDORSEMENT OF ELECTRIC POWER RESEARCH INSTITUTE FINAL DRAFT REPORT 1025287, "SEISMIC EVALUATION GUIDANCE"

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Do we wait for the river to die to call it ill?

Do we wait for the river to die to call it ill
BY JOHN MESSEDER

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission issued a report on the river this week, with a call for more reliable funding of its assigned data collection program.

“The Commission’s goal is to make water resources information and data available to the public and let that data speak for themselves, not to rate or rank conditions,” said SRBC Executive Director Paul Swartz.
The SRBC was established by Congress in 1971 in a compact that included New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland – respectively from the headwaters of the 444-mile watercourse to its ending in the Chesapeake Bay. The commission, based in Harrisburg, is charged with keeping track of the waterway, and determining how much water actually is available for use by consumers along its banks.

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Pilgrim Coalition News Update

News Update

February 2013

Blizzard Nemo Knocks Out Pilgrim; NRC Ignores Activists' Request to Close It Down Before Storm

Entergy Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, Mass. Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station declared an emergency when it lost offsite power last Friday night, Feb. 8 as the historic winter storm hit Plymouth head-on. Pilgrim went back on line on Sunday morning, but then had to shut down again. It was restored Tuesday night, according to the Cape Cod Times.
Neither Entergy nor the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have explained the cause of the second shut down. See the NRC blog.

 

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