Incident Chronology at Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Berwick: 2010- 2011

CHRONOLOGY of  PROBLEMS at the  SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION
 
This chronology does not include the cost to the rate payer
to build Susquehanna-1 and -2. PP&L asked the Public Utility
Commission (PUC) for $315 million to recover the cost of
building Unit-1. The PUC granted $203 million on August 22,
1983, or a 16% increase to the customer. The company asked for
$330 million for Unit-2 but was allowed $121 million in April,
1985; an 8% increase to rate payers. In addition, PP&L
consumers have “contributed”  approximately $4.6 million
annually (since 1985) to the decommissioning fund.
 
(Also,  refer  to  May  15  and  August  13,  1998,  for  information
on  “stranded  costs” passed on to  “hostage” PP&L  rate payers.)
 
Moreover, in the Winter 1999/2000, PPL unilaterally
devaluated the combined PURTA and Real Estate tax
assessments for the SSES. Prior to the Negotiated Settlement,
the nuclear power generating stations were assessed by PP&L at
approximately $1 billion. PPL is now claiming that the the SSES
is only worth $74 million or the same amount as the valuation of
the Columbia Hospital. If PPL prevails, the Berwick School
District and Luzerne County will experience revenue shock. PPL
is not paying or escrowing any moneys they owe to Luzerne
County and the Berwick School District.

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Incident Chronology at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Plant: 1974- 2012

Philadelphia Electric's (PECO) applied for a license to operate the
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in late-July, 1960. The application
was approved by the Atomic Energy Commission. Peach Bottom was a 40
megawatt, High Temperature Graphite Moderated reactor that operated
from 1966-1974.

Peach Bottom 2 & 3 , are 1,065 megawatt Boiling Water Reactor designed
by General Electric and engineered by Bechtel. Both reactors began
operation in July, 1974, but had their licensees extended by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission (NRC) and are expected to operate though 2034.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Institute for
Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) have clearly demonstrated that
Philadelphia Electric's (PECO), renamed Exelon in 2000, performance has
historically been lackadaisical and sub-par. In order to put Peach Bottom's
operating history into perspective, it is necessary to review PECO's plant
legacy.

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ALERT FILTERED VENT - ANY OTHER COMMUNITIES GETTING LETTERS IN FROM INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS - TIME IS RUNNING OUT - LET'S MAKE 2013 A SAFER YEAR!

Duxbury Reporter - Duxbury selectmen to send letter to NRC

Letter to papers below

To Filter or Not to Filter That is the Question

Pilgrim, like other GE Mark I reactors in the U.S., is the same design as the failed Fukushima reactors.  Almost forty years ago, the NRC identified a serious design flaw in these reactors - in certain accident scenarios where hydrogen and or steam pressure builds up the containment would fail because the suppression chamber (enclosed area around the reactor core) is too small. Fukushima proved NRC’s earlier prediction correct, Units 1, 2 and 3 exploded and released unfiltered toxic radiation.

A supposed “fix” - a direct torus vent (DTV) to relieve excess pressure - was recommended and put into place at Pilgrim and other reactors, including Fukushima’s.  But three major problems remained. First, the vents were not filtered. Not having to pay for filters saved the industry money, but left the public’s health and property at risk because a release through the vent would be highly radioactive.   The second problem is whether plant operators will open the vent when appropriate to do so  At Fukushima the fear of what an unfiltered release would do to those in the area surrounding the plants resulted in the operators delaying opening the vents, and increased the risk of catastrophic explosions and the widespread uncontrolled release of radioactivity. Finally, and another lesson learned from Fukushima, when the operators finally tried to open the vents, they failed.  The vents did not have a rupture disc - relatively thin sheets of steel that break and allow venting automatically when the pressure reaches a specified level, without the need for human intervention or moving parts.

Following Fukushima, the NRC asked its technical staff to advise the Commission whether to require filters. After months of study, the staff recommended that Pilgrim and all operators of GE Mark I and Mark II reactors in the United States be ordered to install high capacity radiation filters on containment vents.  Such filters are already deployed throughout Europe, and having learned its lesson the hard way, they are soon to be installed in Japan.  Not surprisingly, the nuclear industry is adamantly opposed to spending the money to install filters.  The Commission will begin its deliberation process and is expected to vote in early 2013 whether to accept their staff’s recommendation.

The Commission decision should be a no-brainer. Reactors like Pilgrim are already required to filter the releases that occur daily in the course of normal operation.  There is no satisfactory explanation for the fact that nuclear power plants such as Pilgrim are not required to filter releases in the case of a severe accident when the amount of radiation and threat to workers and the public is by far the greatest. Direct Torus Vent filters are readily available. They have been tested for over 3 decades of use in Sweden, and are in use today throughout Europe.

Whether or not to require filters has a simple answer when you think about it. We are required to filter our car’s tail pipe emissions but Pilgrim is not required to filter its dangerous radioactive emissions in a severe accident. It makes no “sense” but a lot of “cents” to the industry.

How the NRC Commissioners vote early in January depends on whether they listen to industry or you. Consider emailing the Commissioners at NRCExecSec@nrc.gov reminding them that the Commission was formed to protect public health and safety not industry’s pocketbooks.

TMI Request for Additional Information Regarding Relief Request

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING RELIEF REQUEST RR-12-02, RELIEF REQUEST CONCERNING FULL STRUCTURAL WELD OVERLAY OF DISSIMILAR METAL WELDS ON THE LOWER COLD LEG LETDOWN NOZZLE AND SAFE-END (TAC NO. ME9818)

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Susquehanna Exemption from the Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise Requirements

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 - EXEMPTION FROM THE BIENNIAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS OF 10 CFR PART 50, APPENDIX E, SECTION IV.F.2.b (TAC NOS. ME9845 AND ME9846)

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Dark November for PPL's Nuclear Power Plant

Nov. 7, 2012 – Unit 1 at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station resumed service after completing a turbine blade inspection. PPL, the plant owner, said the inspection found signs of cracking on a small number of turbines. The blades were replaced.

PPL also said it will shut down Unit 2 for a similar inspection in the near future.

Nov. 9, 2012 – Unit 2 at the Berwick area plant was shut down because a computer system controlling the reactor’s water level was not functioning properly.

Nov. 13, 2012 - The NRC issued a report on its third quarter inspection of Units 1 and 2 at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.

The report listed two NRC-identified findings and one self-revealing finding of very low safety significance.

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Vermont SC Judge refuses to send VT Yankee protesters to jail following jury trial and "guilty" verdict

A Vermont Superior Court judge refused the request of the six members of the “Shut It Down Affinity Group” to send them to jail following a jury’s verdict of “guilty” on charges of criminal trespass.  Instead, Judge John Wesley banned the women from further protest at the Fukushima-style nuclear reactor during a 45-day suspended sentence and fined them $350 each.  The women refused to pay any fines and vowed that they would return to the controversial reactor site. The activists, Mary Kehler, Ellen Graves, nancy First, Hattie Nestel, Francis Crowe and Paki Wieland, all Massachusetts women ranging in ages from  69 to 93 years old, had freely admitted that they entered walked onto the property of Vermont Yankee  operated by the New Orleans-base nuclear utility Entergy, pad locked the front gate closed and chained themselves t o the fence.  The affinity group has carried out 22 nonviolent direct actions at the GE Mark I Boiling Water Reactor since 2006. “This is about shutting Vermont Yankee down. The state should be putting a padlock on the gate,” said Hattie Nestel.  As American historian, Professor Howard Zinn has eloquently pointed out civil disobedience and democracy are inseparably intertwined in many major policy changes and social movements.

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Status of 60-Day Response to Orders Modifying Licenses Regarding Recommendations 4.2, 5.1, and 7.1 of the Near-Term Task

STATUS OF 60-DAY RESPONSE TO ORDERS MODIFYING LICENSES REGARDING RECOMMENDATIONS 4.2,5.1, AND 7.1 OF THE NEAR-TERM TASK FORCE RELATED TO THE FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENT

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Upcoming December 5 and 6 Waste Confidence Webinars

Greetings,

The Waste Confidence Directorate received feedback that the webcast for the November 14 afternoon scoping meeting cut off at 4pm EST.  We were able to get the webcast running again after a short delay; however, if you missed the end of that meeting, you can view archived video of the meeting at http://video.nrc.gov/.  After you open the webpage, scroll down to the table of Archived Videos.  The afternoon scoping meeting is titled: Waste Confidence Scoping Meeting for the Environmental Impact Statement (Part 1).  The evening meeting (Part 2) is also available for viewing.

Transcripts for the November 14 meetings are now available in ADAMS:

Afternoon meeting transcript (ADAMS Accession No. ML12331A347): http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber='ML12331A347

Evening meeting transcript (ADAMS Accession No. ML12331A353): http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber='ML12331A353

If you missed the November 14 meetings, please join us for our December 5 (1pm-4pm EST) and December 6 (9pm-12am EST) webinars.  The information presented and format of the webinars will be the same as the November meetings.  The NRC staff will start each webinar with a short presentation (view the slides here), and then we’ll open the phone lines for your questions and comments.  The webinars will be identical, and both will be transcribed so any comments presented over the phone will be included in the Waste Confidence docket.

To register for the December 5 or 6 webinars, please see our meeting notice (ADAMS Accession No. ML12326A911):  http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1232/ML12326A911.pdf
You can also call Ms. TR Rowe at 1-800-368-5642, ext. 492-3133 or Ms. Susan Wittick, ext. 492-3187 if you have questions about the webinars.

And finally, we have updated our Waste Confidence website with some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):  http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd/faq.html

 

Sincerely,
 
Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Waste Confidence Directorate

Not-so-Happy Anniversary

Twenty years ago today, Don Prevatte and I submitted a report under 10 CFR Part 21 to the NRC regarding a substantial safety hazard at nearly three dozen nuclear power plants.

Twenty years later, that substantial safety hazard still afflicts nearly three dozen nuclear power plants (slightly less now, because the Unit 1 reactor at the Millstone nuclear power plant permanently shut down in the interim).

How?

Why?

Who didn't do what?

The following blog post highlights, or lowlights, the case along with links to key documents along this safety cul-de-sac:

http://allthingsnuclear.org/20-years-of-nrc-inaction-and-counting/

Some of the stuff (like the NRC not realizing every other page was missing or falling asleep during our presentation on the subject) sounds made up. It wasn't. It was NRC inaction. (Nice if that someday became three words instead of two and it became easier to distinguish NRC's managers from store mannequins).

Will this substantial safety hazard remain unresolved twenty years from now?

Time will tell.

One would hope that a federal agency professing to give a hoot about nuclear safety might just be able to resolve a substantial safety hazard within forty years.
 
Thanks,
Dave Lochbaum
UCS

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