Exelon: Meeting Regarding Spent Fuel Pool Storage Racks

Summary of May 17, 2011, Meeting with Exelon Re: Proposed Amendment Request to Modify Spent Fuel Pool Storage Racks at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3
ADAMS Accession No.: ML111540243

Nuclear Update

Peach Bottom:


May 13, 2011 – The NRC said there would be no significant environmental impact with the transfer of low-level radioactive waste from the Limerick Generating Station in southeastern Pennsylvania to a storage facility at the Peach Bottom plant.


Peach Bottom officials initially requested a license amendment to allow the transfer of the waste on Jan. 6, 2010. The waste does not include any transfer of spent nuclear fuel from Limerick.


Exelon operates both nuclear power plants.


The Limerick plant does not have the capacity to store all of the low-level radioactive waste it generates. The NRC noted that the Barnwell disposal facility in South Carolina is no longer available for Limerick, but Peach Bottom has the ability to store a large amount of low-level waste on an interim basis.


In its environmental analysis, the NRC noted that there would be two or three shipments a year from Limerick to Peach Bottom. “The distance between the plant sites is less than the distance that was previously traveled to the Barnwell disposal facility in South Carolina,” the NRC noted.


“The staff concludes that the radiological impacts associated with the transportation, handling and storage of low-level radioactive waste at Peach Bottom will not result in a significant impact to plant workers and members of the public,” the NRC said.


“The proposed action will not significantly increase the probability or consequences of accidents. No changes are being made in the types of effluents that may be released offsite. There is no significant increase in the amount of any effluent released offsite. There is no significant increase in occupational or public radiation exposure. Therefore, there are no significant radiological environmental impacts associated with the proposed action.”



Berwick plant


May 16, 2001 – Operators of the Susquehanna nuclear plant near Berwick shut down the Unit 1 reactor for an inspection of the main turbine.


The precautionary shutdown was done to inspect the blades of the turbine. Workers detected defects on similar blades in the Unit 2 turbine during a routine inspection as part of a refueling and maintenance outage.


Officials said the defective turbine blades on Unit 2 are being replaced. Unit 1 will be returned to service when the inspection and any needed repairs are completed, PPL officials said.



Peach Bottom to store low-level nuclear waste from Montgomery County

From the York Dispatch:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday approved an Exelon Nuclear application to store low-level radioactive waste from Montgomery County at a facility in Peach Bottom Township.

Under the amendment to Peach Bottom's operating license, Exelon can immediately begin transporting the waste from Limerick Generating Station to a containment building at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.

He said Limerick is running out of space for the waste, while Peach Bottom has excess capacity.

The waste includes items - such as discarded clothing, equipment, tools, and filters - that were exposed to radiation. The authorization does not include the transfer of spent nuclear fuel, Sheehan said.

The NRC reviewed Exelon's proposal, submitted in January 2010, to make sure exposure levels for workers and the public and all are within allowable levels, Sheehan said.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Entergy’s CEO’s total annual compensation, 2010, was $27.32 million.

Pilgrim is the same design as the failed Fukushima reactors – all are GE, Mark I, BWRs.  Almost forty years ago, the NRC identified a serious design flaw in these reactors - in certain accident scenarios the containment would fail in the event of pressure build up. A supposed “fix” was recommended, and put into place – a direct torus vent (DTV) to relieve pressure in order to save the containment by releasing unfiltered material directly into the air.

At Fukushima’s three sister reactors to Pilgrim, they had installed the same unfiltered vents.

Because the Japanese reactor operators were reluctant to vent fearing contaminating the area, they waited too long – and the 3 units melted.

Entergy estimated the cost to put a filter on the vent in their 2006 license renewal application  at $3,000,000 – it was deemed too expensive. (LRA, Appendix E, pgs., E-2-15, E-2-24).

Would it be too much to ask Entergy’s CEO to only take home $24.32 million a year so we could have a filtered vent here?

This article was first published by
Pilgrim Watch.

No Nukes Party

JUNE 25, 1-8PM
(And discuss non-violent action plans 3-5:30pm)
Sponsored by: Wendell Conservation Commission                                 
Co-sponsors: Clamshell Legacy and Antinuclear Mobilization (info@clamshellalliance.org),       
Citizens Awareness Network (nukebusters.org),   Safe & Green (safeandgreencampaign.org)
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Traprock Center for Peace and Justice (traprock.info); Solar Rollers
More information, contact info@clamshellalliance.org

Susquehanna: Closure Letter on Managing Gas Accumulation


Download ML11146A021 (PDF)

Exelon nuclear reactor shuts down unexpectedly in Limerick

From newsworks:

A malfunction led to the sudden shutdown of one of the nuclear reactors at Exelon’s Limerick Nuclear Generation Station early Sunday morning.

Exelon said in a press release that Unit 2 shut down Sunday at 5:02 a.m. “after the turbine tripped following scheduled testing and maintenance on an electrical system in the non-nuclear section of the plant.”

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Two damaged reactors may have holes in their containment vessels: TEPCO data

From the Mainichi Daily News:

At least two reactors at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant may have holes in their containment vessels, according to a report released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on May 24, a finding that could hamper efforts to meet a government-sanctioned timetable to end the crisis.

TEPCO, the operator of the troubled nuclear power plant, said in the report that meltdowns had occurred at the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors. The report revealed for the first time the possibility of the No. 1 and 2 reactors having a hole about 7 centimeters in diameter and multiple holes about 10 centimeters in diameter in their respective containment vessels.

TEPCO said the damage caused by meltdowns to the pressure vessels of the No. 2 and 3 reactors was "limited." But experts had questioned the status of their pressure vessels as well as their containment vessels because highly contaminated radioactive water was leaked into their turbine buildings. Therefore, it has become increasingly unclear whether the utility and the government can deliver on the roadmap that seeks to bring the nuclear power plant under control within six to nine months.

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Risk From Spent Nuclear Reactor Fuel Is Greater in U.S. Than in Japan, Study Says

From the New York Times:

The threat of a catastrophic release of radioactive materials from a spent fuel pool at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant is dwarfed by the risk posed by such pools in the United States, which are typically filled with far more radioactive material, according to a study released on Tuesday by a nonprofit institute.

The report, from the Institute for Policy Studies, recommends that the United States transfer most of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel from pools filled with cooling water to dry sealed steel casks to limit the risk of an accident resulting from an earthquake, terrorism or other event.

“The largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet will remain in storage at U.S. reactor sites for the indefinite future,” the report’s author, Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the institute, wrote. “In protecting America from nuclear catastrophe, safely securing the spent fuel by eliminating highly radioactive, crowded pools should be a public safety priority of the highest degree.”

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Swiss officials: Let's close all our nuclear plants


The Swiss Cabinet on Wednesday called for the decommissioning of the country's five nuclear power reactors and new energy sources to replace them.

The recommendation by the seven-member Federal Council will be debated in parliament, which is expected to make a final decision next month. If approved, the reactors would go offline between 2019 and 2034 after they reach their average lifespan of 50 years, unless their use could be safely extended for a few more years.

Switzerland has four nuclear power plants with a total of five reactors.

The country will keep the reactors running as long as they are safe, but gradually hopes to turn to entirely non-nuclear sources of power, Energy Minister Doris Leuthard and other Swiss energy officials said.

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