January 2000 - " Instrument and Controls (I&C) technician found that the existing 4KV emergency bus degraded grid relays could not be calibrated to a new, higher voltage setpoint in a revision to technical specifications...Engineering personnel determined that the causes were deficiencies in procedure adherence, attention to detail, and design review during the modification process and they initiated appropriate corrective actions." (IR 0500277/199910, 05000278/1999010 &07201027/1999010.)

January 12, 2000 - "A contract painter inadvertently bumped an E4 emergency diesel generator coolant expansion tank drain valve, resulting in a partial drain down of the coolant expansion tank. The emergency diesel generator remained operable. The problem was similar to a recent previous event."

The NRC "determined" this incident was a "minor violation." (IR 05000277/1999010, 05000278/19990 & 07201027/199010.)

January 19, 2000 - "Procedure errors with a Unit 2 high pressure coolant injection (HPCI) system tests led to a longer-than-planned period of unavailability for the HPCI system. The system manger conducted a thorough investigation of the problem and concluded that incomplete reviews during the revision process failed to identify the procedure errors." (IR 05000277/199010, 05000278/19990 & 07201027/199010.)

January 21, 2000 - "...Unit 2 load was reduced to approximately 65% for condenser water box cleaning and a control rod pattern adjustment." (IR 05000277/1999010, 05000278/1999010 & 07201027/199010.)

January 26, 2000 - "...a Unit 3 turbine building equipment operator identified a degrading condition on the 3'B' RPS flexible coupling." (IR 05000277/199010, 05000278/1999010 & 07201027/199010.)

February 6, 2000 - "...during the transfer of a non-safety 4KV circuit breaker on the 2"b" control rod drive (CRD) pump, the breaker did not close as expected due to a mechanical failure of the anti-pumping relay." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

February 25, 2000 - "...Unit 3 load was reduced to approximately 63% power to perform a control rod pattern adjustment, scram time and primary containment isolation system testing and replacement of the outboard main stream isolation valve DC solenoid valves". (See May 11, 2000, for a similar challenge). (IR 05000/277 & 278/2000-001).

March 4, 2000 - "...Unit 2 load was rescued to approximately 65%power for condenser water box cleaning." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

March 15, 2000 - "...the Unit 2 HPCI steam admission valve (MO-2-23--014) failed to open when operations personnel attempted to align the HPCI system for post-maintenance testing. PECO determined that this event was caused by thermal binding of the valve disk in its seat. A similar event had occurred in November 1999 and was documented in the NRC Inspection Report 50-277(278)/9908. Several corrective actions were initiated for the November event, included plans to upgrade the valve motor and placing the valve in a Maintenance Rule (a)(1) status in February 2000. (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

March 15, 2000 - "Leakage from the reactor coolant system water into the reactor building closed cooling water system (RBCCW) increased to "approximately 4.125 gallons per hour". (See October 6, 1999, for background information). (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

March 22, 2000 - "...Unit 2 load was reduced to less than 20% power to allow personnel to enter the drywell and repair an instrument nitrogen leak. All Unit 2 inboard main steam isolation valves DC solenoids were replaced during this load drop." (See May 11, 2000, for a similar challenge at Unit 3). (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

March 23, 2000 - "...while the HPCI system was inoperable for surveillance testing, the Unit HPCI MO-16 would not re-open after being taken to the shut position. Troubleshooting revealed that this failure was caused by high resistance associated with a contact in the open logic circuit. Maintenance personnel cleaned the contact and initiated actions to replace it.

"A similar event occurred in November 1998, when the same valve (MO-16) on Unit 2 failed to close due to an auxiliary contact problem. The contacts for this valve were recently removed for analysis during a scheduled maintenance activity on March 15, 2000. The cause of this failure was under investigation (PEP 10009425) at the time of the Unit 3 failure "...Engineers appropriately recognized the possible recurring nature of this issue and the potential impact on system operability for similar failures on other DC motor-operated valves in the HPCI and reactor core isolation cooling systems. The inspectors noted that auxiliary contact failures have occurred in several safety and non-safety related valve breakers over the past few years. These failure have been documented in NRC Inspection Reports 50-277(278)99006, 98001 and 97005. (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

March 24, 2000 - PECO Energy reached a comprehensive settlement with parties intervening in the proposed Unicom merger. "The Company reached agreement with advocates for residential, small businesses and large industrial customers, and representatives of marketers, environmentalists, municipalities and elected officials." (PECO Energy, Press Release, March 24, 2000.) (See September 23, 1999 and April 1, 2000, for related developments.)

March 25, 2000 - "...Unit 2 load was reduced to approximately 66% power due to problems with the 4'C' feedwater heater lever control. (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-001).

April, 2000 - An unplanned isolation of the shutdown cooling occurred. (See September 24 & October 2, 2000, for similar incidents.) (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

April 1, 2000 - "Following the merger announcement, the shares of both firms dropped, indicating the market's clear disapproval of the merger. PECO fell 4.4 percent and Unicom fell 2.2 percent on the day of the announcement...After 60 days, the shares of both firms were still below the pre-deal prices. PECO has lost over $1 billion in market capitalization. Unicom lost nearly $600 million. PECO shareholders lost more than Unicom, reflecting the market's more positive initial view of of PECO. The market seems to think that the association with Unicom may decrease PECO's performance." (Public Utilities Fortnightly, April 1, 2000.) (See September 23, 1999 & March 24, 2000, for related incidents.)

April 25, 2000 - The NRC "determined that PECO Nuclear did not confirm or verify that the leak testing gauges used for preparation of a Type B shipping cask...conformed to accuracy requirements...The issue of PECO Nuclear's ability to assure proper closure and leak testing of shipping casks is more than a minor issue since such inabilities could be a precursor to more significant events."

The NRC deemed this infraction a Non-Cited Violation. This was the thirteenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998.(IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002). (See June 28, 1999 & August 3, 2000, for related incidents.)

May 2, 2000 - "...a supervisor at the York County '911' center inadvertently activated the York County portion of the alert and notification sirens". (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002).

May 7, 2000 - "Unit 2 load was reduced to approximately 90% power after the 2 'A' circulating pump was removed from service due to high motor upper guide temperatures." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002).

May 10, 2000 - "Unit 3 load was reduced to approximately 35% power after the 3 'B' recirculation pump was removed from service due to low motor oil level". (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-02). (See May 11, 2000, for related incidents).

May 11, 2000 - "Unit 2 load was reduced to approximately 98% due to unexpected speed changes on the 2 'B' recirculation pump while raising or lowering pump speed." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002). (See May 15 and 19, 2000, for related incidents.)

"Unit 3 power was further reduced to approximately 19% on to allow entry into the drywell to support adding oil to the 3'B' recirculation pump motor, repair of an instrument nitrogen leak, and replacement of all inboard main steam isolation valves DC solenoids". (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002). (See November 27, 1998, February 25 and May 11, 200, for related problems. Also, refer to June 1, 1998 and March 22, 2000, for similar challenges at Unit 2).

May 12, 2000 - "Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. said on Friday that agreements to sell its nuclear assets to AmerGen Energy Co. have been mutually ended by the two companies." (See June 25, 1999, for background information.)

May 13, 2000 - The National Weather Service reported that a tornado touched down in the Peach Bottom-area.

May 15, 2000 - "Unit 2 load was reduced to approximately 86% to isolate the 'B' feedwater heater string due to a leak in the 'B2' feedwater heater." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002). (See May 11 and 19, 2000, for related incidents).

May 19, 2000 - "Unit 2 was placed in cold shutdown (Mode 4) to facilitate repairs of the 'B2' feedwater heater tube leaks." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-002). (See May 11 and 15, 2000, for related incidents).

May 22, 2000 - At Unit 2, "a steam leak was discovered in the piping from the 'F' moisture separator to the 'B' low pressure turbine. The turbine was removed from service on May 22 and the leak was repaired. Unit 2 returned to 100% power on May 23." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-006 & 07201027/2000-006).

May 27, 2000 - The United States Department of Justice, "filed an action claiming breach of contract against the Company in the United States Middle District of Louisiana arising out of the Company's termination of the contract to purchase Cajun's 30% interest in the River Bend nuclear power plant. The action seeks the full purchase price of the 30% interest in the River Bend nuclear power plant, $50 million, plus interest and consequential damages. While the Company cannot predict the outcome of this matter, the Company believes that it validly exercised its right of termination and did not breach the contract." (PECO Energy Company 1999 Annual Report, p. 46). (See June 5, 1997 and May 27, 1998, for background information).

May 28, 2000 - "The most recent packing gland follower cracking event occurred on a similar Unit 3 root isolation valve on May 28 ,2000 and resulted in the leakage of contaminated reactor coolant system water outside of the primary coolant. Leakage of contaminated reactor coolant system water outside of the primary containment is a significant condition adverse to quality." (See August 7, 2000, for more problems with packing gland follower cracking." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-008)


April 11, 2000 - The North American Reliability's Council's (NERC) General Counsel, David Cook, testified before a Senate Committee, and "repeated findings of a recent NERC survey that several control area operators in the Eastern Interconnection were 'leaning' on the interconnection during nine peak hours (i.e., selling energy that they didn't have). (Public Utilities Fortnightly, May 15, 2000, p. 16)

May 9, 2000 - "The Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) power pool implemented a five percent voltage reduction on May 9 to ease pressure on the distribution system.

"The action was taken to avoid emergency rolling blackouts where power is interrupted for short durations - typically 20 to 30 minutes." (Update, The Department of Environmental Protection, May 12, 2000, p. 2).

May 16, 2000 - The electric utility industry predicted a 17% difference between supply and demand in a service area stretching from Virginia Beach to Detroit.

"The all time maximum PJM demand of 51,700 MWQ occurred on July 6, 1999." (PECO Energy Company, Form 10 K/A, p.7).

June 28, 2000 - "This summer, (residential customers) probably have fewer choices than they did a few months ago, and the choices they do have are more expensive than they were...Combine strong economic growth with hot weather and the bad luck of having things like a number of power plants being shut down at the same time because of outages, and you certainly have problems." (Sony Popowsky, Consumer Advocate, Investor's Business Daily).

In June, San Francisco suffered a blackout, and California has mandated usage restrictions for commercial, industrial, and residential customers.

June 9, 2000 - The NRC "approved transferring the operating license for the Oyster Creek nuclear station in New Jersey to AmerGen Energy Co." The New Jersey utilities board, which will meet on June 22, still needs to approve the transfer. ("Reuters", June 9, 2000, 3:12 pm.) (See September 11, 1997, for background information. Refer to August 16, 2000, for follow-up problems).

July 20, 2000 - "U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson on Thursday said the government has agreed to allow PECO Energy Co. to defer up to $80 million in nuclear waste fee payments for its Peach Bottom plant in Pennsylvania, to compensate for the Energy Department's failure to store its waste...The deal allows PECO to reduce the projected charges passed into the Nuclear Waste Fund to reflect costs reasonably incurred by the company due to the department's delay." Press Release, U.S. Department of Energy. July 20, 2000.)

July 21, 2000 - "During the inspection, [April 14-18, 2000] the NRC identified two findings associated with the adequacy of post-fire safe shut down equipment circuit analyses at the station. Both of these issues were determined to be apparent violations...It is our understanding that you do not consider either of these two issues to be violations of 10 CFR 50 or your operating license. Additionally, we recognize that other commercial nuclear power plant operators, represented by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), have adopted a similar position regarding these issues. As such, in accordance with our current enforcement policy...the NRC will defer any further enforcement action relative to these issues until the staff evaluates NEI's proposed resolution methodology." Wayne D. Lanning, NRC, Director, Division of Reactor Safety. (See May 19, 1998 and October 12, 1999, for related events.)

August 3, 2000 - PECO was assessed a "White" level Violation for its "failure to properly classify radioactive waste for shallow land burial...Specifically, the shipment was identified as Class A waste containing 99 curies when it should have been classified as Class B waste containing 407 curies." (NRC, Hubert J. Miller, Regional Administrator). (Refer to June 28, 1999, for background information. See April 25, 2000, for a related incident.)

August 7, 2000 - Unit 3 "automatically shutdown from 100% power when a one inch instrumentation rack root valve packing gland follower failed and caused a false reactor low level input into the RPS [reactor protection system]. The failure occurred when the packing gland follower broke into two pieces allowing package leakage of contaminated reactor coolant system water from the instrumentation piping. The leak was immediately isolated by actuation of the excess flow check valve in the instrumentation piping line. Unit 3 also experienced Groups II and III primary containment isolation valve closures due to the false reactor low level signal." The NRC issued a Non-Cited Violation. This was the fourteenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998.

The NRC also criticized PECO's corrective action program: "Two previous packing gland follower cracking incidents had occurred on similar valves at the facility during the past eighteen months. The most recent packing gland follower cracking event occurred on a similar Unit 3 root isolation valve on May 28, 2000 and resulted in the leakage of contaminated reactor coolant system water outside of the primary coolant. Leakage of contaminated reactor coolant system water outside of the primary containment is a significant condition adverse to quality.The identification of this significant condition adverse to quality was not adequately documented in PECO's corrective action system, and as a result, the cause of the condition was not determined, corrective actuation was not taken to prevent repetition, and generic concerns with potential packing gland follower cracking on other valves were not addressed." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-008)

The NRC issued a Severity Level IV violation "related to the identification and resolution of problems on leakage of contaminated reactor coolant system water caused by cracking of instrument root valve packing gland followers."

August 14, 2000 - AmerGen reported a valve failure [reactor building isolation valves] at Oyster Creek that forced the plant to shutdown at 82% power. "It's too premature to guess at a date the unit may return. We're still evaluating the problem and will likely replace the valves that failed, " AmerGen Spokeswoman, Debra Piana. ("Reuters", August 16, 2000.) (Please refer to September 11, 1997 and June 9, 2000 for additional information.)

August 22, 2000 - The NRC issued a Non-Cited Violation related to "inservice tests for the standby liquid control pumps. A two-minute wait was not mandated, as required in the applicable Code, by the test procedure before pump flow and pressure measurements were recorded. Because of the very low safety significance, the violation was non-cited." This was the fifteenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. (NRC, Wayne D. Lanning, Director, Division of Reactor Safety, IR 05000277 & 278/-005.)

August 23, 2000 - "Operators reduced power [at Unit 2] to approximately 68% to remove the 'B' feedwater heater string from service due to suspected leaks and on August 24 returned the unit to 83% power." (See September 7 & 13, 2000, for related incidents.) (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-010.)

August 31, 2000 - Exelon issued an LER after determining that three of four EDGs "were inoperable during the summer of 1999, based on their inability to mitigate a postulated loss-of-coolant-accident plus loss-of-off-site-power design basis accident for a maximum of approximately 25 hours. The licensee attributed the cause of the event to be an original design deficiency on the EDGs, which allowed cross-flows between the jacket water coolers and the intake-air coolers." (IR 50-277/01-06, 50-278/01-06.).

September 7, 2000 - "Operators reduced power [at Unit 2] to approximately 16% in response to pressure perturbations in the 'B' feedwater heater string and on September 8 returned the unit to 75% power." (See August 23 & September 13, 2000, for related incidents.) (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-010.)

September 13, 2000 - Operators reduced power to approximately 16% at [Unit 2] in response to pressure perturbations in the 'B' feedwater heater string and on September 8 returned the unit to 75% power." (See August 23 & September 7, 2000, for related incidents). (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-010.)

September 15, 2000 - "...with Unit-2 at approximately 16% power and 24% flow, operators performed a manual scram to prevent operation in the restricted zone of the power flow map after an unplanned trip of the 2B reactor recirculation pump." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

September 16, 2000 - Three workers failed to follow oral and written instructions, and "either worked in proximity of , passed through, or transported radiation shielding materials through elevated radiation fields (up to 13.9 R/hr) in the drywell. As a result, one of the workers did not contact radiation protection personnel upon alarm of the dosimeter, also as specified in written and oral radiation protection instructions.

"This issue was considered to be of very low safety significance...a Non-Cited Violation" was issued. This was the sixteenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-010.)

September 24, 2000 - During the 2R13 refueling outage, a "spurious" unplanned isolation of the shutdown cooling occurred. (See October 2, 2000, for similar incidents.) (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

September 28, 2000 - "...operations personnel determined, during in-service testing, that ESW [Emergency service water] check valve 2-33-514 failed [sic] open. The check valve is designed to prevent reverse flow from the safety-related ESW into the Unit 2 non-safety related water service system. Operators declared both ESW systems inoperable, because ESW flow to the EDGs and emergency core cooling system room coolers and motor oil coolers could be inadequate..." "The inspectors and operations personnel noted that, during two periods in which the ESW system was declared inoperable, operators did not address the operability status of the EDGs or associated Technical Specifications action statements and/or applicable limiting conditions for operation of Unit 2 which was in Mode 5 (refueling) at the time..."

"The inspectors determined that this event required further evaluation in the significance determination process." (See October 1 through November 18, 2000, for an identical problem). (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-010.)

September 30, 2000 - Operators reduced power to approximately 18% in response to a low oil level in the 3B recirculation pump motor. Unit 3 was at approximately 35% power." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-010.)

October 1 through November 18, 2000 - "Emergency service water (ESW) system check valve 2-33-514 failed [sic] open, allowing safety-related ESW flow to be partially diverted from emergency diesel generators(EDGs) and emergency core cooling system room coolers. The inspectors and the licensee identified that this risk important component had not been included in a preventive maintenance program.

"This issue caused the ESW system and the EDGs to be degraded for a period of up two years. This finding was of very low safety significance because, although the ESW flow rate to the EDGs was below the design basis minimum value engineering personnel determined that the EDGs would have remained available during accident conditions." A Non-Cited Violation was issued." This was the seventeenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. (See September 28, 2000, for a related incident.) (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

October 2, 2000 - Three unplanned isolations of the shutdown cooling (SDC) occurred. "Engineering personnel stated that these events were caused, in part, by an ILRT (Integrated Leak Rate Test) procedure that did not fully account for the reduced operating margin to the high pressure isolation setpoint..."

"At the time of the isolations during the ILRT, SDC was the only operable decay heat removal system..."

"The inspectors identified that there were previous occurrences of SDC isolations on Unit 2 that were not fully investigated. For example, on October 2, 1999, a similar SDC isolations occurred, but no cause was identified. The pressure switches were found to be in calibration. No PEP corrective action plan document was initiated. Further, in April 2000, engineering personnel initiated an action item to troubleshoot isolations, but no action had been taken prior to the outage. The inspectors brought this issue to the attention of engineering management. Engineers also noted that there were two other not-fully-understood SDC isolations on Unit 2 since 1994. The inspectors concluded that engineering personnel had missed opportunities to investigate previous SDC isolations and this constituted a corrective action performance issue."

The inspectors did not identify a violation of NRC requirements. (See September 24, 2000, for related incident.) (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

October 4, 2000 - Unit-2 was taken critical.

Unit-2 "operators halted the reactor startup following the discovery of a missed post-maintenance test on a control rod." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

October 17, 2000 - Unit-2 "operators reduced power to approximately 65% to repair a condenser tube leak. The unit was restored to 100% on October 18." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

October 22, 2000 - "...the failure of the Unit-2 'H' torus/drywell vacuum breaker to fully close during surveillance testing rendered primary containment inoperable...Unit load was reduced to 16% due to an inoperable torus/drywell vacuum breaker...Because of the very low safety significance of this item and because the licensee has included it in their corrective action program (PEP I0011883), this procedure violation is being treated as a Non-Cited Violation." This was the eighteenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998 (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

October 23, 2000 - Unit-2 was shut down to repair the torus/drywell vacuum breaker. The reactor was taken critical on October 24 and unit load was 100% on October 26." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

November 13, 2000 - "Operators reduced load to 79% [at Unit-2] to repair the 2C circulating water pump traveling screen. The unit was restored to 10% power on the same day." (IR 05000277 & 278/2000-012.)

December 17, 2000 - An LER was issued "when a lightning strike caused the failure of a communications circuit board to a main off gas stack radiation monitor which resulted in a spurious invalid signal causing the isolation." Unit 3 was at approximately 18% power when the lightning strike caused the isolation. (IR 05000277&278/2001-002).

March 23, 2001 - Examinations for reactor operators and senior reactor operators held from February 5-12, 2001,"indicated that a relatively high percentage of the applicants were not well prepared for the exam." (Richard J. Conte, NRC, Chief, Operations Safety Branch, Division of Reactor Safety.)

May 20, 2001 - Corbin A. McNeill's base salary after the merger increased from $659,857 to $855,830 and his bonus was increased from $1 million to $1,081, 4572. In addition, McNeill's restricted stock increased from $942,188 to $2.8 million. (See June 13 and September 28, October 24 & December 21, 2001, for information on 900 job cuts, and refer to January 29, 2002, for further job cuts. Also, reference February 26, 2002, for information on McNeill's "retirement package.")

May 29, 2001 - At Unit 3, "... the fifth stage feed water heaters were removed from service for end-of-cycle coast down. Unit 3 ended the inspection period at approximately 98 percent power with the four stage feedwater heaters removed from service." (IR 50-277/01-05, 50-278/01-05 & 07201027/01-05).

June 13, 2001 - Exelon Nuclear "announced its intent today to eliminate 292 Local 15 Union positions, including 138 layoffs in Exelon Nuclear and 154 at Commonwealth Edison." (Exelon, New Release, June 13, 2001.) (See September 3, 1998, for further Exelon "downsizing"). (Refer to May 20, 2001, for Corbin A. McNeill's pay raise.)

June 22, 2001 - After widespread public criticism, AmerGen "notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that it intends to delay submitting its application seeking approval for a standardized emergency plan for Three Mile Island, Peach Bottom and Limerick." (Exelon Nuclear, Press Release, June 22, 2001.) (See August 15, 2001 for more information & November 7, 2001, for a related development)

June 30, 2001 - At Unit 2, "...operators commenced an unplanned power reduction to approximately 63 percent to allow repair of an electro-hydraulic control system leak at a servo on the No. 2 main turbine control valve. Later that same day, operators returned the unit to 100 percent power." (IR 50-277/01-05, 50-278/01-05 & 07201027/01-05).

"...Exelon Nuclear notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that it intended to file for renewal of the operating licenses for Peach Bottom Units 2 and 3...

"If approved, Unit' 2's license would be extended from 2013 to 2033 and Unit 3's from 2014 to 2034... "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to take two years to thoroughly review the license renewal application before determining whether to grant the license extensions..."

"The total cost of obtaining the renewed licenses for Peach Bottom will be about $18 million, including the NRC review, or about $8 per kilowatt hour...Exelon Nuclear also has notified the NRC that it intends to file for license renewal[s] for its Dresden and Quad Cities Stations in Illinois." (Exelon Nuclear, Press Release, July 2, 2001.)

August, 15, 2001 - The NRC's Office of Investigation documented criminal behavior by two of Exelon's Emergency Preparedness personnel. The NRC found that the "technicians fabricated siren testing maintenance records, performed deficient siren tests on the off site EP response sirens and intentionally installed jumper wires in the siren boxes disabling important system functions." (Wayne D. Lanning, NRC, Director of Reactor Safety.) (Refer to August 22, 2001, for background information, and see October 23, 2001, for penalty assessment.). (See June 22 & November 7, 2001, for related developments.) (See October 5-9, 2001, for a related problem at TMI.)

August 20, 2001 - "...the inspectors observed a health physics technician that was inattentive to his duties when he was assigned to restrict access to a posted high radiation area on the Unit 3 turbine floor...that applies to high radiation areas with dose rates in excess of 100 millirem per hour but less than 1000 millirem per hour at 30 centimeters from the source..." (IR 50-277/01-09, 50-278/01-09). This was the nineteenth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998.

August 22, 2001 - The NRC determined that a white "finding" (Violation) was warranted for the following infractions relating to the plants Public Address (PA) system and evacuation alarm/siren (EA) system:

1. From 1992 to December 19, 2000, approximately 47% of the PA system's speakers were either inaudible or degraded to the point that personnel were not able to clearly hear instructions.

2. From January 19, 2001 to February 13, 2001, and again from March 20, 200 to April 17, 2001, the plant PA system was operated only on the backup power breaker, which would have tripped after about 49 seconds of evacuation alarm actuation on the first sequence. (The primary breaker had tripped following the monthly test the beginning of each period.)

3. On February 13 and April 17, 2001, the plant PA/EA system would not properly function in that both the primary and the backup breakers were tripped for periods of 4.5 hours and 1.5 hours resulting in no system capability to provide instruction or sound the evacuation alarm. (Hubert J. Miller, NRC. Regional Administrator.) (See August, 15, 2001, for a related development.)

September 6, 2001 - A Non-Cited Violation "of very low safety significance" was recorded for, "The failure to test the Units 2 and 3 HPCI [high pressure coolant injection] torus suction check valves for seat leakage in the reverse flow direction was more than minor because it had a credible impact on safety. Significant leakage in the reverse flow direction could prevent HPCI from performing its function when HPCI is aligned to pump water from the torus. The failure to leak test these valves affected the Mitigating System cornerstone since HPCI performs an accident mitigation function." (IR 50-277/01-06, 50-278/01-06).

This was the twentieth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998.

September 8, 2001 - Unit 2 was taken critical and "operated at approximately 100% power for the remainder of the inspection period except for scheduled power changes to support rod pattern adjustments." (IR 50-277/01-09, 50-278/01-09).

September 14, 2001 - Unit 3 "began this inspection period at approximately 81 percent power, in end-of-cycle coastdown, with the fourth and fifth stage feedwater heaters removed from service on. On September 14, 2001, Unit 3 was manually scrammed, in preparation for the 3R13 refueling outage. Unit 3 ended the inspection shutdown in Mode 5 (Refueling)." (IR 50-277/01-09, 50-278/01-09).

September 17, 2001 - TMI-Alert filed a Petition for rule making with the NRC requiring the Agency to mandate armed security guards at the entrance to all nuclear rower plants. A final decision is expected in November l, 2002. The Nuclear Energy Institute, Exelon's s "voice in Washington, "recommended" that the Petition be "denied."

September 28, 2001 - With third quarter profit projections down from $1.35 to $1.80 a share, Exelon announced the elimination of 450 jobs. (See June 13, 2001, for earlier job losses.)

Exelon's stock dropped from $5.95 to $44.50 on September 27, 2001. (See May 20, 2001, for Corbin A. McNeill's pay raise, and October 24, December 21, 2001, for related downgrades.)

October 1, 2001 - The NRC reported on Exelon's Emergency Preparedness program:

Although you believe the current EP program remains ready to effectively protect public health and safety, you stated it did not meet Exelon's vision of an industry leading program. Your presentation included changes and improvements to: (1) EP organization/staffing; (2) EP equipment reliability; (3) EP program processes; and 94) the corrective action process. (Richard J. Conte, Chief, NRC, Operations Safety Branch, Division of Reactor safety, October 18, 2001. (See June 22 August 15, 2001 for background information & November 7, 2001, for a related development)

October 5-9, 2001 - At TMI, "Licensee sirens in Lancaster County were inoperable October 5 through October 9, 2001, due to a radio tasmitter being deenergized at the county facility. The transmitter is part of the siren actuation system. This issue is unresloved pending further investigation into the lines of ownership and maintentaince of the actuation system." (IR 50-289/01-07.) (See August 15, 2001, for a related problem at Peach Bottom.)

October 6, 2001 - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filed a "show cause" order relating to PECO Power Team's purchase during a power auction that may have benefited from "informational advantage" from Peco. ("Philadelphia Inquirer", October 6, 2001.) On December 19, 2001, according to Exelon, the FERC "terminated its investigation into alleged wrongdoing..." (Exelon Corporation, Press Release, December 19, 2001.)

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a downed airliner in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, the NRC has issued a "Security Advisory", and requited 13 "prompt actions which are "safeguarded" and "classified." (See October 17, 2001 & November 2, 2001, for related incidents).

October 8, 2001 - The NRC issued another Non-Cited Violation, and concluded that Exelon's "Troubleshooting, Rework, and Testis Process" (TRT) "would not adequately control Unit 3 reactor vessel water levels." (IR 50-277/01-09, 50-278/01-09)

This was the twenty-first Non-Cited Violation since June 1998.

Unit 3 was taken critical and "operated at approximately 100% power for the remainder of the inspection period except for scheduled power changes to support rod pattern adjustments." (IR 50-277/01-09, 50-278/01-09).

October 12, 2001 - "....during the Unit 3 startup from a refueling outage, when the jet pumps had been cleaned, core flow exceeded 100% (at 106.3%) for a period of ninety minutes before operations personnel initiated actions to reduce core flow to within 100%." (IR 50-277/01-07, 50-278/01-07.)

This was the twenty-second Non-Cited Violation since June 1998.

October 17, 2001 - Due to a "credible threat" against Three Mile Island, the Harrisburg and Lancaster airports were closed for four hours, air travel was restricted in a 20-mile radius, a fighter jets were scrambled around TMI. (See October 6, 2001, & November 2, 2001, for a related evens.)

October 19, 2001 - PSE&G acquired Atlantic City and Electric Company's stake in Peach Bottom. (See December 1, 1999, for a related acquisition by Connectiv).

October 23, 2001 - On August, 15, 2001, the NRC's Office of Investigation documented criminal behavior by two of Exelon's Emergency Preparedness personnel.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $55,000 is considered for Severity Level III violation or problem. Because the Severity Level problem was deliberate, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Identification and Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. In this case, the NRC decided that credit for Identification is warranted because you identified the misconduct and informed the NRC." (Hubert Miller, NRC, Regional Administrator, October 23, 2001).

This was the twenty-third Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 23 Non-Cited Violations = $1,155,000.

October 23, 2001 - At Unit 2, "an automatic reactor shutdown occurred due to a generator lockout and main turbine trip. Following troubleshooting and repairs, the unit was restarted on October 27 and reached 100% power on October 30. (IR 50-277/01-09, 50-278/01-09).

October 24, 2001 - Exelon Corporation's stock was downgraded from "Buy" to "Mkt Perform" by Banc of America and from "Strong Buy" to "Hold" by UBS Warbug. (See May 20, 2001, for Corbin A. McNeill's pay raise, and September 28 and December 21, 2001, for related downgrades.)

October 30, 2001 - "...the E-2 emergency diesel generator (EDG) tripped on low jacket coolant discharge presurre during routine testing of the EDG...Although Exelon was unable to detemine who closed this valve or exactly when it was closed, they did determine that the valve was closed somewhere in the period between October 12, 2001 and Ocotber 30, 2001...The EDG was successfully tested and returned to service on October 31, 2001." (IR 50-277/01-10, 50-278/01-10.)

This was the twenty-fourth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 24 Non-Cited Violations = $1,205,000.

November 2, 2001 - Governor Mark Schweiker reversed an earlier decision, and ordered the National Guard to Pennsylvania's nuclear power plants.The Commonwealth joins over a dozen states with National Guard and/or Coast Guard detatchments depolyed to protect nuclear facilities against terrorist attacks. (See October 6 & 17, 2001, for related incidents).

November 7, 2001 - Exelon met with the NRC to discuss the consolidation of Emergency Plans for TMI, Peach Bottom and Limerick. Exelon requested the plans be approved and implemented by January 2, 2002. The following personnel (17), including a "Security Coordinator" would be affected:

* LGS and PB Emergency Plan Positions Affected:
1 Communicator
2 Dedicated Maintenance Technicians
1 Dose Assessor
2 Dedicated Off-Site Survey member

* TMI Emergency Plan Positions Affected:
4 Technicians
1 On-Site OSC Coordinator
1 Dose Assessor
1 Off-Site Field Team Member
1 Communicator
1 Security Coordinator
2 Auxiliary Operators

(Presentation by: William Jefferson, Director, Generation Support, Exelon Nuclear, MidAtlantic Regional Operating Group, May 16, 2001.) (See June 22, August 15, & October 1 2001, for related developments.)

November 8, 2001 - At Unit 3, "...operators commenced a schedlued power reduction to approximatley 19% because a primary containment isiolation valve in the redisual heat removal system in the drywell failed to close when it was tested."(IR 50-277/01-10, 50-278/01-10.)

November 28, 2001 - Exelon Power Team stated that the collapse of Enron will cost the Company "less than $10 million. The current direct exposure (i.e., for current energy sales from Exelon to Enron) is less than $20 million. (Exelon Corporation, Press Release, November 28, 2001.)(See October 8, 1997, for a related development.)

Three days later, on December 1, 2001, PPL stated that the collapse of Enron may cost the Company $40 million for energy already purchased. Enron also owns 45% of power plant in New England operated by PPL. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Business, December 1, 2001.)

November 30, 2001 - At Unit 2, "...operators commenced a schedlued power reduction to approximatley 19% to repair an instrument nitrogen leak in the drywell. Following repairs, the unit power was increased and reached 100% on Decmber 2, 2001." (IR 50-277/01-10, 50-278/01-10.)

December 5, 2001 - Business Day of Joahnnesburg South Africa reported Exelon was negotiating to but 40 Pebble Bed Modular Reactors from Eskom. The order, estimated to be as much as $6 billion, assumes delivery of the reactors to the Untied States by 2007. (See December 10, 2001, for related development.)

Refer to April 17, 2002, for information realting to Exelon's decision to pull-out of the project.

December 10, 2001 - Unreco, a uranium supplier, is seeking regulatory approval to build the first new enrichment facility in the US in half a century. The project, estimated to cost $10, is a joint venture of Exelon and duke Power. (Financial Times, December 10, 2001) (See December 5, 2001, for a related development.)

December 21, 2001 - Exelon Corporation's stock was downgraded from "Accumulate" to "Hold" by Jeffries & Co., and Lehman Brothers stated, "We believe an economic recovery is key to the Exelon story, which is highly leveraged to power prices..." (Reuters, December 21, 2001.) (See May 20, 2001, for Corbin A. McNeill's pay raise, and September 28 and October 24, 2001, for related downgrades. Also, refer to January 29, 2002, for further job cuts.)

January 9, 2002 - A well-armed, disgruntled former employee at the San Onfore nuclear power plant in San Clemente was arrested for making threats against the plant.

January 11, 2002 - Siren testing at TMI ecountered numerous problems: all sirens failed in York County and one siren failed in Lancaster County. AmerGen attributed to computer malfucntions. (August, 15, 2001, and October 5-9, 2001.)

January 29, 2002 - Exelon announced it would cut 3,400 or 15% of its work force by the end of 2002. (See May 20, 2001, for Corbin A. McNeillıs pay raise, June 13 and September 28, October 24 & December 21, 2001, for information on 900 job cuts. Also, reference February 26, 2002, for information on McNeillıs "retirement package.")

January 30, 2002 - President Bushıs State of the Union Address including a warning that nuclear power plants may be targeted for a terrorist attack. (See October 6 & 17 and November 7, 2001, and January 9, 2002 for related events.)

February 14, 2002 - Exelon prepared an "inadequate critique" of their "emergency preparedness exercise." (See July 1, 2002.)

February 26, 2002 - Corbin McNeill Jr. announced his retirement, and he is expected to receive $7 million when leaves the Company in April, 2002. He will also receive a bonus payment. McNeill made $2.5 million in 2001.*

"His severance equals triple the sum of his annual base salary plus the average of his bonus over the last two years.

"McNeill is the companyıs largest individual shareholder. His 1.53 million shares are worth $79.1 million based on yesterdayıs closing price of $51.70." (Philadelphia Inquirer, C-1, March 14, 2002.)

* Corbin A. McNeillıs base salary, after the merger increased, from $659,857 to $855,830, and his bonus was increased from $1 million to $1,081,572. In addition, McNeill's restricted stock increased from $942,188 to $2.8 million. [May 20, 2001.]

(See June 13 and September 28, October 24 & December 21, 2001, for information on 900 job cuts, and refer to January 29, 2002, for further job cuts.")

March 28, 2002 - The NRC admitted that and the Peach Bottom and the 102 nuclear power plants could not withstand an impact of airplane the size of those that crashed into the Pentagon and World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (March 28, 2002, Patriot News.) (See October 2001 & October 17, 2001 and January, 9 and 30, 2002, for related incidents.)

April 3, 2002 - "Two men and a male juvenile from Mexico face possible deportation after attempting to enter an unprotected area of the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station. All three remained in INS custody Wednesday."(York Daily Record, April 4, 2002.) (See January, 2001, October 6, 2001 & October 17, January, 9 and 30, 2002, and March 21 and May 15, 2002, for related incidents.)

April 17, 2002 - Exelon Corp., the country's largest nuclear plant operator, said yesterday that it would end its bid to develop the next generation of nuclear reactors.

The Chicago-based parent of Peco Energy Co. said it would terminate its nearly two-year relationship with Eskom, South Africa's state-owned utility, in building a prototype gas-cooled reactor. Exelon is getting out of the business of designing nuclear plants and will concentrate instead on operating them.

The company spent $20 million on the project, of which it owned 12.5 percent. Exelon said it already had paid for its share as a research-and-development expense. It has not decided what to do with the 12 employees it had working on the project, a spokeswoman said. (Benjamin Y. Lowe, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 17, 2002.) (See December 5 & 10, 2001, for background information.)

April 22, 2002 - Exelon's 1st-Quarter Net Income Fell 98%... as mild winter weather and maintenance costs hurt results.

"The country's largest operator of nuclear power plants reported late Monday net income of $8 million, or two cents a share, compared with net income of $399 million, or $1.23 a share, a year earlier.

"The latest results included a charge of $230 million, or 71 cents a share, from the effect of adopting SFAS 142 for goodwill amortization, while year- earlier results included a tax benefit for the implementation of SFAS 143 for derivatives. Excluding these items, the company said it had operating earnings of 77 cents a share, compared with operating earnings of $387 million, or $1.19 a share." (Mon Apr 22,10:53 PM ET , CHICAGO -- Exelon Corp. )

(See June 13 and September 28, October 24 & December 21, 2001; and, January 29 & February 26, 2002. For information related economic developments.)

May 11, 2002 - "Exelon Corp. is the subject of a shareholder lawsuit alleging the electric and gas utility made false and misleading statements that artificially inflated its share price. The law firm of Charles J. Piven said it filed a lawsuit on behalf of buyers of Exelon shares between April 24, 2001, and September 27." (Philadelphia Inquirer, D-3, May 11, 2002.)

May 15, 2002 - "A foreign intelligence service recently warned that a nuclear power plant in the Northeast could be the target of a July 4 terrorist attack...Published reports suggested that the target could be Pennsylvaniaıs Three Mile Island, but a second US official with knowledge of the information said no specific facility had been named." (Knight Ridder, May 15, 2002.) (See January, 2001, October 6, 2001 & October 17, January, 9 and 30, 2002, and March 21, for related incidents.)

May 28, 2002 - "Exelon Corp. and three other utilities [Main Yankee Atomic Power Co., Omaha Public Power District & Sacramento Municipal Utility District] lost a $2.2 billion legal challenge to the federal governmentıs nuclear-waste cleanup plan...In 1992, Congress ordered utility companies that use government uranium-enrichment services to pay one-third of the cleanup bill. The U.S. Supreme Court said yesterday that it would not hear an appeals from the companies that argue that the assessments are unconstitutional." ("Associated Press", May 29, 2002.)

June 2, 2002 - An alert began at around 12:30 am, ending at 3:01 am, relating to the activation of the fire suppression system due to EDG failure which released carbon dioxide into a room where two employees were working. No injuries were reported and both Peach Bottom 2 & 3 remained at 100% power. (Exelon Nuclear, News Release, June 2, 2002, 4:10 am.) (See November 26, 2002 for follow-up, and July 11, 2003 for absolution.)

June 12, 2002 - The Bioterrorism Bill signed into law on June 12, 2002 mandates KI stockpiles out to 20 miles.

June 25, 2002 - "...station emergency preparedness personnel discovered that the emergency planning siren base station at the site, was unable to communicate with the off site sirens, due to external radio frequency noise in the area." (IR-50-277/02-05; 50-278/02-05)

July 1, 2002 - The NRC found that on February 12, 2002, Exelon "did not identify that key information needed by the emergency director (ED) to classify the simulated event as a General Emergency was not provided to the ED by members of the Emergency Response Organization (ERO). The finding was preliminary classified as White because the critique failed to identify a problem associated with the implementation of a risk significant planning standard."

Exelon disputed the findings on September 4, 2002.

The NRC reasserted that "the critique problems were more than minor but the Issuance of the White finding is not appropriate because the inadequate critique did not result in a failure to identify a risk significant planning standard (RSPS) problem."

The incident is classified a Non-Cited Violation.

(Final Significance Determination for Green and White Findings and a Notice of Violation at Peach Bottom, IR-50-277/02-07; 50-278/02-07).

This was the twenty-fifth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 25 Non-Cited Violations = $1,255,000.

July 21, 2002 - At Unit-2, "the fifth stage feed water heaters were removed from service for end-of-cycle coast down." (IR-50-277/02-05; 50-278/02-05). (See August 4, 2002 for related event.)

July 23, 2002 - "Exelon did not evaluate in a prompt manner whether it was appropriate to disable the electrical trips of the EDGs from the cardox injection fire protections system after NRC inspectors identified that the trips were still active with the EDG cardox system isolated" (IR-50-277/03-02; 50-278/03-02) (Also refer to IR-50-277/02-04; 50-278/02-04).

(See April 23, 2004 for NCV).

August 4, 2002 - At Unit-2, "the fourth stage feed water heaters were removed from service." (IR-50-277/02-05; 50-278/02-05). (See July 21, 2002 for related event.)

August 15, 2002 - Despite a favorable EIS of Exelonıs request for a license extension at Peach Bottom-2 & -3, the NRC listed three safety issues that need to be addressed prior to approval: replacement o electric fuse clips; removal of the anti-aging plan; and, replacement of faulty cables.

August 30, 2002 - At Unit-3, "power was reduced to approximately 90% prior to shut down the 3 ŒAı recirculating water pump because of high differential pressures on the circulating water intake screens. The high differential pressures were caused by a sudden surge in the amount of fish (Gizzard Shad) that entered the intake canal and clogged the screens. Unit 3 power was returned to 100 percent following cleaning of the circulating water screens and restating of the 3ıAı circulating water pump." (IR-50-277/02-05; 50-278/02-05).

August 31, 2002 - New security budget increased to $2.2 million annually or $550,300 less than John W. Roweıs base salary.

September 5, 2002 - Three Mile Island Alert filed a formal Petition for Rulemaking with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to include day-care centers and nursery schools in emergency evacuation planning. The proposed rule would affect all 103 operating nuclear plants in the United States.

September 10, 2002 - The Office of Homeland Security announced that the "yellow" warning had been increased to a heightened state of alert or an "orange" upgrade at 1:00 pm. (Exelon Public Relations.)

"...Unit 2 was manually scrammed, in preparation for the 2R14 refueling outage" (IR-50-277/02-05; 50-278/02-05).

November, 2002 - Governor Schweiker "directed the National Guard to join State Police in a joint security mission at the stateıs nuclear facilities." In December, the Governor extended the joint mission of the National Guard and the State Police at the Commonwealthıs five nuclear generating stations until March 4, 2002. (DEP, Update, December 6, 2002.)

September 21, 2002 - A Non Cited Violation was issued for incident "when a chain broke" on a "rigging hoist and the motor, weighing approximately 48,000 pounds, fell approximately ten inches into the pump/motor stand."

This was the twenty-sixth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 26 Non-Cited Violations = $1,355,000.

November 26, 2002 - Initially classified as a White, the incident was classified a Non-Cited Violation. (See June 2, 2002, for precursor event.) (Final Significance Determination for Green and White Findings and a Notice of Violation at Peach Bottom, IR-50-277/02-07; 50-278/02-07).

This was the twenty-seventh Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 27 Non-Cited Violations = $1,355,000.

December 10, 2002 - A security challenge occurred at an Exelon nuclear power plant outside of Chicago.

"BRAIDWOOD -- A crazed Chicagoan, swearing to be an extraterrestrial alien, crashed his car through the gates of the Braidwood nuclear facility late Monday before speeding away only to be arrested for reckless driving in Wilmington minutes later.

No injuries resulted. Metta said the intruder is alleged to have penetrated the parking area by crashing through closed gates, flashing past a plant checkpoint and then doing "donuts" in the parking lot. ("The Daily Journal", Kankakee IL.)" (See January 9 and December 20, 2002, for related incidents.)

December 12, 2002 - TMI sirens malfunctioned in Cumberland and York counties. In Dauphin County, 28 sirens malfunctioned due to the "inadvertent" discharge of the "space bar" by a computer operator. (Refer to June 22, August 15 and October 5-9, 2001 and January 11, March 3 2002, for related problems.)

December 20, 2002 - Another security challenge occurred at an Exelon nuclear power plant outside of Chicago:

"BRAIDWOOD -- She was the second driver to breeze past the guard station at Braidwoodıs nuclear facility in the span of a week.

"But its unclear if the trespasses arrest of Wilmingtonıs Christina Staley, Tuesday, will result in changes to the nuclear generating stationıs security apparatus.

"Neal Miller, station director, noted that Ms. Staley, 31, had apparently become disoriented and was looking for some place to turn around when she drove past the security at 9 a.m."

("The Daily Journal", Kankakee IL.)
(See January 9 and December 10, 2002, for related incidents.)

December 13, 2002 - A security challenge occurred at a nuclear facility north of Peach Bottom, on the Susquehanna River

"At 1450 EST on 12/13/2002, Susquehanna LLC Main Control Room received a request for additional information from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). PEMA received rumors that a HAZMAT team had been dispatched to Susquehanna in response to a spill associated with a potential sabotage event.

December 17, 2002 - "...Unit 2 power was reduced to approximately 16 percent to facilitate leak repairs on the Caldon LEFM flow measurement system. After repairs, Unit 2 returned to 100 percent power in the afternoon of December 21" (IR 50-277/02-06; 50-278/02-06). (See April 30 - May 11, 2003, for a similar problem).

December 21, 2002 - An LER was recorded after "Unit 2 automatically shutdown from 100% power when the main steam isolation valves closed due to a Group I Primary Containment Isolation System (PCIC) actuation" (IR 50-277-03-02; IR-50-278/03-02).

January 28, 2003 - An NCV was issued relating to Exelon's failure to correct and maintain "preventative maintenance activities and procedures on critical, safety related ventilation dampers since 1988...A contributing cause to the length of time that Exelon did not identify this issue was related to the Problem Identification and Resolution crosscutting area. Peach Bottom plant personnel did not identify the lack of preventative maintenance for safety-related dampers following the identification of excessive stroke June 2000 or...failure to stroke on June 16, 2002" (IR 50-277-02-06; IR-50-278/02-06).

This was the twenty-eighth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 28 Non-Cited Violations = $1,405,000.

February 11, 2003 - A Severity Level IV violation was issued by the NRC. Exelon made changes to their emergency plans without prior NRC approval.

"The finding was determined to be more than minor as its significance was related to the impact it would have on the mobilization of the emergency response organization and preclude offsite agencies from being aware of adverse conditions on site" (NCV 50-277; IR-50-278/03-006-01);

This Violation was classified a Non-Cited Violation. This was the twenty-ninth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 29 Non-Cited Violations = $1,455,000.

February 17, 2003 - PEACH BOTTOM-2 WAS REDUCED TO 45% POWER AFTER A RECIRCULATION PUMP tripped. Exelon spokesman Dave Simon said the trip occurred Feb. 17 at 6:48 a.m. The root cause of the trip has not yet been determined, he added. Simon declined to say how long the unit is expected to be operating at the reduced power level. Peach Bottom-2 was at full power prior to incident (Reuters.) The plant ramped up to full power by February 20, 2003.

Reuters: Exelon's Pa. Peach Bottom 2 nuke drops to 41 pct
Tuesday February 18, 8:25 am ET

NEW YORK, Feb. 18 (Reuters) - Exelon Nuclear's 1,110 megawatt Peach Bottom 2 nuclear unit in Pennsylvania was at 41 percent power early Tuesday, down from full power on Friday, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in its power reactor status report.

It was not immediately known why the unit, located in Delta, Pennsylvania, had been reduced.

Meanwhile, the adjacent 1,110 MW Unit 3 continued to operate at full power on Monday.

The NRC did not issue a reactor status report on Monday due to the U.S. Presidents Day holiday.

Exelon Nuclear is a unit of Exelon Corp. of Chicago.

April 12-15, 2003 - At Unit-2, "an automatic reactor shutdown occurred due to high reactor pressure after the ŒDı outboard main steam isolation valve (MSIV) collapsed. The MSIV closes as a result of a failed instrument line valve. Unit 2 returned to 100% power on April 15, 2003".

April 19, 2003 - A Green Non-Cited Violation was issued "when approximately 25 minutes into a planned load endurance test run for the E2 EDG, a small fire occurred on the EDG manifold" (IR 50-277-200-3003; IR-50-278/200-3003). This was the thirtieth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 30 Non-Cited Violations = $1,505,000.

April 23, 2003 - A Non-Cited Violation was issued for problems associated with the EDG cardox system on July 23, 2002.

This was the thirty-first Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 31 Non-Cited Violations = $1,555,000.

April 23, 2003 - A Non-Cited Violation was issued for problems associated with emergency lighting units from November 6, 2002 through March 30, 2003. Eight-hour support batteries for three areas were not provided, i.e. Unit 2 RHR room, Unit 3 RHR room and Unit 3 RB "south isolation valve room." (IR 50-277-03-02; IR-50-278/03-02).

This was the thirty-second Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 32 Non-Cited Violations = $1,610,000.

April 30 - May 11, 2003 - Unit-2 power "was reduced to approximately 30 percent to facilitate repairs to the Caldon leading edge flow meter (LEFM) system and for power suppression testing, to identify a leaking fuel assembly. During power ascension to approximately 85 percent, on May 6, following repairs to the Caldon LEFM system and after the leaking fuel assembly was identified and the adjacent control rod was inserted and de-energized, the #3 main turbine control valve started oscillating. Unit power was reduced to approximately 40 percent to facilitate repairs to the main turbine control valve. On May 11, 2003, Unit 2 returned to 10o percent power after the #3 main turbine control valve was repaired" (IR 50-277-200-3003; IR-50-278/200-3003). (See December 17, 2002, for a similar problem).

May 8, 2003 - The NRC RENEWED THE OPERATING LICENSES FOR PEACH BOTTOM-2 AND -3 FOR AN additional 20 years, the agency said today. The licenses will now expire on August 8, 2033 for unit 2 and July 2, 2034 for unit 3. Exelon had submitted the license renewal application on July 2, 2001 (Platts, Nuclear News.)

May 8, 2003 - EXELON LOWERED POWER AT PEACH BOTTOM-2 TO FIX A TURBINE CONTROL VALVE. The problem was discovered at around 3 p.m. yesterday as the unit was powering back up following completion of power suppression testing, company spokesman Dave Simon said. The unit had been operating at around 61% since April 30 while the power suppression testing was being conducted. It reached as high as 86% before being lowered to 42% to repair the control valve. Simon declined to say how long the repairs would take or when the unit would be returned to full power (Platts, Nuclear News.)

May 13, 2003 - During a surveillance test, technician discovered a " wire for the station power supply" was broken. (IR 50-277-03-02; IR-50-278/03-02).

This was the thirty-third Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 33 Non-Cited Violations = $1,665,000.


"On May 14, 2003, at approximately 0410, the shift supervisor determined that the Alternate Shutdown Panel on Unit 3 was not operable following discovery of a de-energized power supply. The panel provides the capability to maintain a safe shutdown path for a fire in the cable spreading room, main control room or main control room fan room. Therefore, operators would have been prevented from implementing required actions for a fire in those areas. The apparent cause of the loss of power was a broken wire, which was discovered during routine testing of the panel.

"Power was restored to the Alternate Shutdown Panel at approximately 1030 on May 14, 2003 and further investigation is in progress to determine the cause of the broken wire and full extent and effect of the de-energization of the panel." (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Operations Center, Event Reports For 05/14/2003 - 05/15/2003.)

May 14, 2003 - "Pa. Nuclear Operator Found Drunk on Job"

An employee at two Pennsylvania nuclear power plants has been suspended for being intoxicated on the job, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report.

The employee tested positive as being under the influence of alcohol during a random May 14 drug test at the Limerick Generating Station, according to the report. The test was given at 9:45 a.m., when the employee had already been at work for several hours, the report stated.

The employee had been licensed to operate reactors at the Limerick plant in Montgomery County and the Peach Bottom plant in York County before being suspended by Exelon Nuclear, officials said.

The NRC considers nuclear workers with a blood-alcohol content of 0.04 or above to be intoxicated. The state of Pennsylvania considers drivers with a 0.10 reading to be intoxicated and unfit to drive.

The NRC is considering whether to issue the company a violation for the incident or revoke the operator's license. (See November 14, 2003, for a related development.)

May 21, 2003 - EXELON'S FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE MADE THE TOP 10 LIST OF BEST-PAID U.S. energy executives for 2002, according to a compilation by the Platts Energy Business & Technology (EB&T) magazine. Corbin McNeill, Jr., the ex-chairman and co-CEO of Exelon Corp. had a compensation package of nearly $29.8- million last year, making him the fourth highest paid CEO out of the 250 executives that were examined. McNeill's 2002 package included a severance payment and benefits from a pension benefit plan from PECO Energy. He retired from Exelon in April 2002. The highest-paid executive in 2002, at $46.6-million, was Charles Watson, former CEO of Dynegy Inc., the EB&T listing shows. The survey, which will be published in the June issue of EB&T, considered the executives' salary, bonuses, restricted stock awards, underlying options, value of options exercised, long-term investment pool pay outs, and any other compensation. (See July 9, 2003, for staff cuts).

May 22, 2003 - The NRC identified a Green violation relating to Appendix R, i.e., fire protection. The NRC deemed the issue as being of "very low safety significance" (IR 50-277-03-009; IR-50-278/03-009).

This was the thirty-fourth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 34 Non-Cited Violations = $1,720,000.

May 22, 2003 - THE PENNSYLVANIA NATIONAL GUARD IS INCREASING ITS PRESENCE at the state's nuclear plants, Gov. Edward Rendell (D) announced yesterday. Since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks until the end of last month, Pennsylvania had had a 24-hour Guard presence at the plants, but then had switched to random, unannounced security patrols, Rendell spokesman Michael Lukens said. But under Rendell's order, which went into effect yesterday, the two elements are being combined, Lukens said. He said the order would remain in effect "indefinitely," and the governor's office would continue to assess it. Rendell's announcement said he took the action in response to the recent elevation of the national threat level to orange, but Lukens said the state's assessment of the need for the Guard would not necessarily be tied to future changes in that threat level. (Platts Nuclear News Flashes. ( See October 6 & 17, 2001, January 30, 2002, and November 2, 2002 for related incidents).

May 28, 2003 - A License Event Report was generated after "licensed operators were notified that approximately 4 inches of water [170 gallons] was discovered at the bottom of the ŒAı Standby Gas Treatment (SBGT) filter plenum during the performance of annual surveillance (IR 50-277/2003004; IR-50-278/2003004).

June 13, 2003 - LOSS OF BOTH OFFSITE POWER SOURCES TO TECHNICAL SUPPORT CENTER: "During severe thunderstorms in the area power was lost to the onsite technical Support Center (TSC) for approximately 90 minutes. These storms caused both offsite power sources to the TSC to de-energize at 2021. Grid operators began restoration activities immediately and power was restored to the facility at approximately 2200. Investigation is in progress for the cause of the line tripping."

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

June 17, 2003 - Pensions: Utility Obligations Add Up, By Ken Silverstein Director, Energy Industry Analysis

Already, stock values and credit ratings have taken a hit because of the failure to mitigate risks to their unregulated operations. Now, their credit status may get cut even more, given the level of "unfunded" pension liabilities. If the money in the pension plan to pay retirement obligations falls short, then a "minimum pension liability" must be recorded on the financial statements. In lay terms, it means that if a company were to be liquidated today, then it would be compelled to pay up. The liability recorded could therefore impede the debt-to-capital ratio, which could harm credit quality and even trigger violations of covenants.

And while regulated utilities have a chance to recover such costs from their customers, many are now in the midst of rate moratoriums and cannot seek recovery, says Steven Fleishman, analyst with Merrill Lynch in New York City. Others would prefer to avoid a rate case, given that regulators may revisit their entire rate structure and reduce their allowable returns, he adds.

Those with the largest underfunded pensions at year-end 2002, says Merrill Lynch, include Exelon ($2.4 billion), FirstEnergy Corp. ($977 million), Public Service Enterprise Group ($837 million) and American Electric Power ($788 million.) Companies with the largest underfunded pensions as a percentage of equity market value, include CMS Energy (60 percent), Sierra Pacific Resources (30 percent), AES Corp. (29 percent) and CenterPoint Energy (17 percent).

FirstEnergy, for instance, has said that its pension liabilities had forced it to cut its 2003 earnings picture. Profits, it says, will grow by 4-5 percent-not the 7-8 percent that it had projected. DTE Energy, meanwhile, said that its pension expenses would be $50-$55 million higher in 2003 than in 2002. (See December 3, 2003, for related GAO Study).

July 9, 2003 - EXELON HAS RESTRUCTURED ITS NUCLEAR OPERATIONS BY ELIMINATING regional operating groups in favor of a single organizational unit. The restructuring was made public today in an NRC Weekly Information Notice, but was announced internally to Exelon employees June 23. As part of the restructuring, Chris Crane was named chief operating officer of Exelon Nuclear, William Levis vice president of mid-Atlantic operations, and Chip Pardee senior vice president of nuclear services. Also, Robert Braun will replace the retiring Joel Dimmette as vice president of nuclear operations. The changes will become effective by Aug. 1, said Exelon spokeswoman Ann Mary Carley. She said that when Exelon Nuclear was formed in 2002, it set up the regional operating groups to accommodate the nuclear organizations of the former PECO Energy and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), as well as AmerGen, a joint venture between Exelon and British Energy. Exelon was created by the merger of PECO and ComEd parent Unicom Corp. Over time, the two regional groups' policies and procedures have aligned and all 10 Exelon plants are now using the same policies and procedures, Carley said (Also refer to May 21, 2003 --EXELON'S FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE MADE THE TOP 10 LIST OF BEST-PAID U.S. energy executives for 2002, according to a compilation by the Platts Energy Business & Technology (EB&T) magazine. )

July 11, 2003 - The NRC conducted a supplemental inspection to "assess the licensee's evaluation and corrective actions regarding the...June 2, 2002, carbon discharger event". The NRC diluted its previous "White" finding and noted the event "will only be considered in assessing plant performance through the period concluding at the end of the second calendar quarter of 2003..." [In other words, 20 days from the NRCıs promulgation the event becomes a "non-event".] (See November 26, 2002 additional data.) (IR Supplemental Report 50-277-03-11; 50-278/03-011).

This was the thirty-fifth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 35 Non-Cited Violations = $1,775,000.

July 16, 2003 - The NRCıs Office of Investigationıs (OI) concluded that Exelon was in violation of a License Amend met Restriction that requires notification when a reactor operator (RO) medical status changes. Such a change occurred to an RO on September 13, 2001, and the forenamed operator returned to work between April and December 2002 without notifying the NRC about the reactor operator Fitness for Duty in the control room.

The NRCıs investigation began on January 3, 2003. "After careful consideration of the information developed during the investigation, the NRC has concluded that a violation of NRC requirements occurred" (PBAPS, NRC O&I No. 1-2003-002).

This was the thirty-sixth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 36 Non-Cited Violations = $1,830,000.

July 22-29, 2003 - Unit 2 experienced an automatic reactor shutdown "due to generator lockout from foreign material causing a short in the bus duct. Unit 2 returned to 100% power on July 29, 2003." (IR 50-277/2003004; IR-50-278/2003004).

July 23, 2003 - PEACH BOTTOM-2 REMAINED DOWN TODAY AFTER TRIPPING AUTOMATICALLY yesterday due to an actuation of the main generator protective relay, Exelon spokeswoman Dana Fallano said. She said Exelon is investigating the root cause of the actuation (Source: Platts, Nuclear News).

July 24, 2003 - The NRC identified a Green violation relating to the inoperability of ŒAı train was inoperable between November 200s through may 28, 2003 (IR 50-2772003003 IR-50-278/2003003).

This was the thirty-seventh Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 37 Non-Cited Violations = $1,885,000.

July 29, 2003 - 11:55:05 AM EST Peach Bottom plant back to full power; Shutdown of nuclear generating unit 2 last week cited as non emergency By LANCASTER INTELLIGENCER JOURNAL

The Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station returned to full power today after an outage of one of its two power generation reactors last week.

Peach Bottom's Unit 2 reactor returned to service at about 10:15 a.m. Saturday. As of yesterday, the unit was operating at approximately 90 percent of capacity, said Dana Fallano, spokeswoman for Exelon Nuclear, which owns the plant.

Unit 2 shut down one week ago after generator problems forced an automatic shutdown.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said all safety systems functioned properly during the shutdown and any radioactive steam that could have been released was contained and isolated in the reactor vessel. "It seems like a pretty straightforward event," he said.

Exelon reported the shutdown to the NRC at 5:30 p.m. July 22. The commission classified the shutdown as a "non emergency event."

According to Exelon's event report, Unit 2's generator malfunctioned at 1:45 p.m. that afternoon while operating at full power. With no way to output electricity, the plant's main turbine tripped off, which then triggered an automatic reactor shutdown.

Exelon employees had no firm answers last week on what caused the generator to malfunction, Sheehan said.

Yesterday, Fallano said the generator's protective electronic relay system activated after sensing some type of movement. She said the company is still investigating what type of movement that was.

NRC reaction: Sheehan said it's unlikely the NRC will send a team of inspectors to investigate because the problem occurred in the generator, not the reactor vessel, and the shutdown appears to have gone smoothly.

The utility may be concerned, Sheehan said, about losing a reactor during heavy summer demand for electricity. Fallano declined to discuss how much revenue was lost, calling it private, competitive information. When both Peach Bottom reactors are running, the power station supplies enough electricity for 2 million homes.

The event marked the second shutdown at Peach Bottom's Unit 2 in seven months. On average, the nation's 103 commercial reactors automatically shut down only once every other year, according to the NRC.

On Dec. 21, computer failure closed valves that direct steam from Peach Bottom's Unit 2 to the main turbine that generates electricity. The reactor automatically shut down to avoid a steam buildup.

The NRC sent a team of inspectors to the plant and cited Exelon for two safety violations involving human errors and equipment problems that occurred during that shutdown.

Staff writer Charlie Young contributed to this report.

July 30, 2003 - EXELON REPORTED SECOND QUARTER 2003 EARNINGS OF $402-MILLION, an 8.9% increase over the $369-million earned in the same quarter one year ago. The company said an increase in sales, lower interest expense, and lower depreciation and amortization offset weather-related decreases in electricity deliveries and lower energy margins at Energy Delivery. Exelon reported its nuclear fleet, excluding the plants in the AmerGen joint venture (Clinton, Oyster Creek and Three Mile Island-1) generated 29,619 gigawatt-hours in the second quarter, compared to 28,776 GWH in the second quarter of 2002. Capacity factor of the Exelon fleet, including the AmerGen plants, improved to 94% during the second quarter this year from 92.1% in the second quarter last year, Exelon reported. AmerGen is a joint venture between Exelon and British Energy (Source: Platts, Nuclear News).

August 8, 2003 - The NRC identified a Green violation "concerning the failure to properly correct an equipment deficiency that subsequently resulted in a challenge to the plant and operators. Specifically, a solenoid associated with a reactor feed pump turbine (RFPT) overspeed trip device exhibited degradation during RFPT overspeed testing on two occasions [September 27 and November 27, 2001], however, your staff failed to determine the root cause for this problem until a third problem occurred that resulted in a RFPT trip and plant transient" (IR 50-2772003012 IR-50-278/2003012).

This was the thirty-eighth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 38 Non-Cited Violations = $1,940,000.

August 14, 2003 - "...the fifth stage feed water heaters were removed from service for end of cycle coast down." (IR 50-277-200-3004; IR-50-278/200-3004).

August 18, 2003 - Exelon Corp debt ratings unchanged by Sithe deal-S&P

NEW YORK - Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today that its ratings on Exelon Corp. (nyse: EXC - news - people) (A-/Stable/A-2) and its subsidiaries will not be affected by the company's announcement that it will sell 50% of its equity interest in Sithe Energies Inc. Further, subsequent full sale of Sithe, which remains a distinct possibility given the put and call options attached to Sithe ownership, would not affect Exelon's ratings...Exelon's announced equity interest sale demonstrates the company's intention to sell off the disappointing merchant assets it acquired several years ago, a positive for credit quality. However, the fact that Exelon recorded a $200 million write-down related to its original 49.9% investment in Sithe demonstrates the inherent risk associated with the remaining high-risk portion of this business. Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service. (See August 29, 2003 for a related development).

August 24, 2003 - "The fourth stage feed water heaters were removed from service [for end of cycle coast down]". (IR 50-277-200-3004; IR-50-278/200-3004)

POLL: Security officers expect another blackout in 12 months

August 25, 2003 - CSO Magazine polled 382 chief security officers (CSO) and senior security executives showed 59% blamed the electric industry and not the government for the blackout of 2003.

CSOs showed their lack of confidence in the power industry and grid with 59% predicting another major blackout within 12 months. Over three-quarters said they doubt the electric industry will be modernized in five years. That percentage want a probe by an independent investigator without ties to the industry.  Almost half (47%) ask that the probe's results be classified to keep terrorists from learning about US vulnerabilities.

Those surveyed included 156 whose firms felt some direct impact of the outage. Many want the federal government to expand oversight of the electric industry. "Regulations are often regarded as the necessary evil in securing the nation's infrastructure," said Lew McCreary, editor of the Framingham, Mass, publication, but he was surprised that CSOs -- traditionally anti-regulation -- are calling for increased government control in this industry, "having now been faced with a glaring example of so-called market forces at work," the editor cleverly observed.

The magazine did the survey online Aug 19-21, having sent an email invitation to the web-based survey to 12,200 subscribers. The 382 are the ones that met qualifications and fully completed the survey.  The sample was chosen randomly and each subscriber had an equal probability of being selected.  Figure a 5% margin of error, the magazine said.

Results are at (Story originally published in Restructuring Today 8/25/03)

August 29, 2003 - LEXINGTON, Mass. -(Dow Jones)- Raytheon Also Sues BNP Paribas Over Exelon Projects

Raytheon Co. (NYSE:RTN - News) sued an indirect subsidiary of Exelon Corp. (NYSE:EXC - News) , as well as BNP Paribas SA , about Exelon's decision to turn over the subsidiary to its bank lenders.

Raytheon said it is "seeking to protect Raytheon's rights" in connection with the Exelon Mystic and Exelon Fore River power plant projects in Massachusetts. In a press release, the aerospace and defense company said the suit was filed in Massachusetts' Suffolk County Superior Court.

On July 29, Exelon said it planned to turn Exelon Boston Generating LLC, its indirect subsidiary, over to its bank lenders. It decided to do so after continued evaluation of Boston Generating's power-plant projects and discussions with lenders.

Raytheon turned over the Mystic and Fore River projects to owner Exelon - one in April, one in July. The projects weighed down Raytheon's balance sheet for several years.

Raytheon was forced back into the construction business to complete the projects in Weymouth and Everett, Mass., after Washington Group International Inc. (NasdaqNM:WGII - News) filed for bankruptcy.

Representatives from Exelon and BNP Paribas were not immediately available to respond to the lawsuit.

Raytheon named the Mystic and Fore River units as defendants as well.

Raytheon said that since Exelon's announcement, Raytheon has continued to perform final close-out work on the projects. Raytheon said it seeks to "obtain adequate assurances of payment" and protect its rights under its support agreements.

Raytheon, through a subsidiary, was the original contractor of the plants. It sold that subsidiary to Washington Group in 2000, but got project responsibility back in a settlement from Washington Group after Washington filed for bankruptcy in 2002.

Exelon seeks to transfer ownership of Boston Generating without the subsidiary filing for bankruptcy. Exelon has about $700 million invested in Boston Generating. Exelon has said it plans to spend nothing further on Boston Generating outside of limited administrative and operational services.

Therefore, Raytheon is seeking a declaratory judgment and injunction from the court that will assure it is paid by either Exelon, its subsidiaries and subunits, or its lenders.

Exelon has refused to refund about $36 million in prepaid liquidated damages that Raytheon advanced, the court papers said. Raytheon also said that the defendants have no right to draw upon about $73 million in letters of credit that the defense contractor posted for them. Raytheon said it posted the credit to ensure the performance of its contractual obligations.

Throughout the court filing, Raytheon says that it spent, during the lifetimes of its guarantee agreements, more than $1 billion for the benefit of Exelon, its subsidiaries and subunits, and the lenders.

BNP Paribas' alleged role in the matter dates back to January 2001, when a former owner of the plants, Sithe Generating, secured financing from the French bank to pay for the construction of the Mystic and Fore River facilities. After Washington Group abandoned work on the facilities, BNP and other lenders insisted on credit facility changes. One of those changes was that BNP, court papers indicated, would provide Raytheon with prompt written notice of any continuing events of defaults under the credit agreement.

Raytheon said that, from November 2002 -- when Exelon bought Sithe -- to the day Exelon announced it was handing the units over to its lenders, it never received any notices from BNP Paribas.

Because of the lack of notice, Raytheon claims it has continued to spend money in good faith and has been damaged by BNP's alleged omissions.

-Thomas Derpinghaus; Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5400.

(See August 29, 2003 for a related development).

September 4, 2003 - The commission investigated a loss of power at Peach Bottomıs power station in May, by SEAN ADKINS Daily Record

For about nine days in May, an undetected broken wire caused a loss of power to a redundant control station for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Unit 3.

A failure to observe work order test instructions after maintenance on the panel prevented plant technicians from immediately discovering the broken wire, according to a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report.

Damage to the power supply wire occurred during maintenance to the high-pressure coolant injection alternative control station ‹ a system used to shut down the plant if the operators are forced to leave the main control room because of a fire, said NRC spokeswoman Diane Screnci.

While the violation is under commission review, the incident did not pose a safety threat since the plant repaired the wire and restored power to the back-up station on May 14, Screnci said.

"There are other ways you could shut down the plant even if you donıt have the station active," she said.

Depending on the commissionıs findings, the infraction could mean additional plant inspections.

In June, Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station was the subject of a supplemental NRC inspection for a violation committed the year before.

Last year, a light bulb dropped from the ceiling onto a circuit board and caused the plantıs fire-suppression system to discharge carbon dioxide [Refer to July 11, 2003] into the E-3 emergency diesel generator room in the Diesel Generator Building.

The supplemental inspection found that the plant had taken the proper corrective actions and the power station could return to a routine inspection schedule.

While the plant showed that its fire-suppression system was in working order, a malfunction in one of its diesel generators garnered a non-cited commission violation of very low safety significance.

In June, NRC inspectors found that Exelon technicians had not adequately tightened the engine top cover flange joint bolts of an emergency diesel generator during a maintenance procedure.

As a result, lube oil leaked from the joint and caused a small fire on the exhaust manifold during a test.

During that same time period, Three Mile Island Unit 1 violated an NRC reporting requirement.

In June, NRC inspectors found that, on three instances, TMI officials found potentially disqualifying medical conditions among its licensed operators but had not reported them to the NRC within the required 30 days.

TMI requested its doctor to confirm with the patientıs physicians, which extended past the 30-day NRC reporting period.

September 15, 2003 - Two units at nuke plant shut down; grid disturbance cited

An electrical disturbance on the power grid cut off incoming electricity at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant and caused both reactors to shut down automatically early Monday, Exelon Nuclear officials said.

Plant officials declared an "unusual event" just after 2:30 a.m.

The plant's four emergency backup diesel generators provided emergency power for about an hour, said Exelon spokesman David Simon. One of the generators malfunctioned, and then another backup source of power was used to power vital equipment, such as lights and emergency feed water pumps, until power was restored later in the morning, Simon said.

... PJM Interconnection, the company that operates the power grid in the Mid-Atlantic, said it was investigating the grid disturbance. PJM spokesman Ray Dodter said the company couldn't yet say what caused the disruption.

İNEPA News 2003

Unit-2 was operating at 100% power, and retuned to full power on September 25, 2003.

Unit-3 was operating at 91% power, and remained shut for the 3R14 refueling outage.

September 15, 2003 - THE U.S. COAST GUARD PROPOSED ESTABLISHING A PERMANENT SECURITY ZONE on the waters adjacent to Peach Bottom. According to a notice of proposed rulemaking published in yesterday's Federal Register, the zone "would protect the safety and security of the plant from subversive activity, sabotage, or terrorist attacks initiated from surrounding waters. This action would close water areas around the plant." A temporary final rule issued June 4 established the security zone on the Susquehanna River by restricting any person or vessel from entering or navigating the security zone without Coast Guard permission. The Coast Guard said in the notice that it wants to make the security zone permanent. Comments on the proposed rule are due by Nov. 14. (Source: Platts, Nuclear News).

October 24, 2003 - Exelon Corp. Posts Quarterly Net Loss of $102 Million - Oct. 24--Commonwealth Edison parent Exelon Corp. reported solid operating profit in the third quarter, but special items -- including a mammoth $573 million charge to write off a disastrous investment in East Coast electricity-generating projects -- pushed the holding company's bottom-line results into the red. In the latest quarter, Exelon reported a net loss of $102 million, or 31 cents a share. (Knight Ridder Tribune Business News.)

October 27, 2003 - NRC AGREED TO RELAX TWO REQUIREMENTS IN AN APRIL ORDER ON SECURITY FORCE personnel working hours. NRC Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation Director James Dyer Oct. 23 issued notices to all reactor licensees that the agency would allow shift turnover time to be excluded from total group work hours that must be tracked. The NRC staff had wanted accounting of all hours worked for tracking overtime, which it says could lead to worker fatigue, but now agrees with the industry that tracking the extra time does impose some additional burden. Industry officials argued the shift change time is usually not more than 15 minutes. The second relaxation allows licensees to increase the work hours during force-on-force exercises from a 48- to 60-hour per week average. Dyer said the staff understands that the simulated exercises put additional demands on the security guards but the mock attacks extend only for a short period of time (Platts, Nuclear News).

October 29, 2003 - OPERATING POWER REACTOR LICENSEES MUST BE IN FULL COMPLIANCE TODAY with NRC's April 29 order imposing measures to control the work hours for security force personnel. The industry had asked for relief in two areas of the order, and the NRC staff recently approved those requests. The industry will not have to track the time it takes for guards to change shifts in the overall group work hours and will be allowed a 60-hour limit--up from the usual 48 hours per week--in scheduling guards during the week of a force-on- force exercise. Two other April orders, one on security officer training and the other on changes to the design basis threat, require full implementation by Oct. 29, 2004. A Nuclear Energy Institute official said at a conference in Arlington, Va. today that the industry plans to ask the NRC to rescind the three orders after licensees adopt the requirements in their security plans (Platts, Nuclear News).

November 3, 2003 - S&P placed Exelon on credit watch after the Company announced it wanted to buy Illinois Power from Dynergy for $2.2 billion, if Illinois legislators grant it single-digit rate increases.

The deal was canceled after Exelon determined it could not count on rate increases.

November 4, 2003 - NRC inspectors identified three, "Green" non-cited violations and Severity Level IV violation "associated with a lack of records to support changes made to the emergency plan" (IR 50-277-200-3004; IR-50-278/200-3004).

The Severity Level IV Violation, also Non-Cited, involved changes to Exelonıs Standard Emergency Plan, including Limerick, Peach Bottom and Three Mile island. Exelon changed "emergency plan commitments without documentation" which subsequently impacted "the NRCıs ability to perform its regulatory function..."

The three other "Non-Cited" violations include different aspect of plant operations and training:

Licensed Operator Requalification "Green. A non-cited violation...was identified regarding the licenseeıs method used to reactivate senior operator licensees to support refueling. The operators were reactivated without the required direct supervision being present during the shift under-instruction item. The Limited Senior Reactor Operator (LSRO) Requalification Program for Fuel Handlers is a dual site operator license program that applies to both Limerick and Peach Bottom sites."

Finding 1 -Unit 2 Reactor Core Isolation Coolant System During Unit 2 Scram "...Exelon did not adequately correct a significant condition adverse to quality identified during a December 21, 02 scram, associated with the inoperability of the Unit 2 reactor core isolation cooling (RCIC) pump in the automatic flow control mode"

Finding 2 -Unit 2 Main Steam Line High Temperature Switch "..during the period of July 2001 through July 2003, Exelon did not adequately correct a condition adverse to quality, specifically a high Unit 2 steam tunnel temperature condition that was not representative of a steam leak".

This was the thirty-ninth, fortieth, forty-first and forty-second Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 42 Non-Cited Violations = $2,160,000.

November 7, 2003 - "NRC: NRC Appoints New Senior Resident Inspector at the Peach Bottom...Craig Smith is the new senior resident inspector at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Delta, Pa. The two-unit site is operated by Exelon. Most recently, Mr. Smith was a resident inspector at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Middletown, Pa." ("NRC Press Release").

However, Eric Epstein, Chairman of TMI-Alert, noted: "Craig Smith was at TMI for five years and hid on the Island except for annual appearances." Mr. Epstein pointed to Mr. Smithıs last appearance before the public at the NRCıs Annual ROP Assessment meeting on Wednesday, April, 9, 2003.

Mr. Smith stated that the number of employees at TMI was 529. When the NRC was apprised that they were off by 114 employees, they reassured the community it didnıt matter how many people worked at TMI based on the color code, PI sequence and late hour. Local residents persisted, and told the NRC that Performance Indicators for Non- Performance does make sense, and weıre still old fashioned enough to prefer Zero Tolerance to color-coded lollipops.

November 8, 2003 - U.S. Warns of Al Qaeda Cargo Plane Plot - WASHINGTON (AP) -- The latest warning from the Homeland Security Department that al-Qaida may be plotting an attack is renewing calls for stricter security on cargo planes.

The department advised law-enforcement officials Friday night of threats that terrorists may fly cargo planes from another country into such crucial U.S. targets as nuclear plants, bridges or dams, Homeland Security spokesman Brian Roehrkasse (By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Published: Filed at 4:29 p.m. ET).

November 14, 2003On drugs, and on the job, Between July 1999 and December 2002, 143 workers at local power plants tested positive for drugs or alcohol. By SEAN ADKINS , Daily Record staff

Late in the afternoon of Sept. 24, 1999, a Three Mile Island security officer checked a tip about a short-term contractor smoking marijuana on the job.

Officer Darlene Ranck escorted George Lonnie McDaniel, 27, to TMI's security office to be questioned for violating the plant's Fitness-for-Duty Program.

Ranck and Officer Greg DeHoff asked McDaniel to empty his pockets.

The Jessup, Ga., resident pulled a small plastic bag of marijuana from his pocket, and plant security officers called the Pennsylvania State Police, according to an affidavit filed with District Justice David H. Judy in Dauphin County.

McDaniel's job at TMI did not grant him access to vital areas of the plant. Currently, Dauphin County has a fugitive warrant out for McDaniel's arrest. He could not be reached for comment for this article.

Between July 1999 and December 2002, 143 workers and short-term contractors at Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station tested positive for drugs or alcohol, according to biannual Fitness-for-Duty reports.

The York Daily Record obtained the reports from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Drugs listed in the reports include marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines and alcohol. All the workers tested were people who had or were applying for unescorted access to vital areas of the plants. Many were short-term workers, such as McDaniel. They travel the nation, from power plant to power plant, to work when reactors are shut down for refueling.

State Rep. Bruce Smith, R-Dillsburg, said he was disturbed by the number of positive drug tests reported by TMI officials. "There is no excuse or any way to defend substance abuse at a nuclear power plant," he said.

Smith said he plans to contact the NRC and acquire the plant's Fitness-for-Duty reports for his own records. A Daily Record investigation found:

Keeping fit for duty

In 1989, the NRC created a policy that each plant should follow an individual fitness-for-duty program. Collecting such data helps ensure that workers complete their jobs free of any physical or mental impairment such as drugs, said Neil Sheehan, commission spokesman. Twice a year, each plant files a report with the commission that details how many workers tested positive for legal or illegal substances.

The commission examines the data for trends in drug use among plant workers, Sheehan said. "It acts as a performance indicator of a plant," he said.

If a plant reports two or more fitness-for-duty program failures, the NRC will increase its level of oversight.

An example of a program failure could be a worker and plant physician working together to falsify screening results. Program failures could translate into increased inspections and possible fines, Sheehan said.

In 2001, the NRC hosted a specific investigation into whether a former commission- licensed chief shift operator at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in New York had deliberately provided false, inaccurate, or incomplete information on health history forms. The investigation uncovered that the operator deliberately failed to provide complete information on the forms in order to mislead an officer.

The fitness-for-duty violation case did not result in a fine, but the NRC could have issued a base civil penalty of $55,000.

Neither Peach Bottom nor TMI Unit 1 has been cited for a fitness-for-duty violation.

Test limits

Rather than have a zero-tolerance drug policy, the NRC relies on cutoff levels to test if a person has abused drugs or alcohol. For example, the NRCıs limit on marijuana is 100 ng/ml — about the equivalent of smoking one joint in a week. At those levels, it is possible that a worker could endanger himself, fellow employees and the community, said Jim Beek, a public information officer for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

A division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA sets guidelines for workplace drug testing for the NRC. The level of impairment depends heavily on a persons sensitivity to a specific drug, Beek said. Since most Œstreet drugı like marijuana and cocaine are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it can be difficult for experts to determine the strength of the drug, Beek said. "When someone takes a hit off of a joint, you donıt know how or when it might affect them," he said. "They could end up losing an arm or blowing up Delta, Pa."

From her living room, Marianne Adamski of Goldsboro has a view of TMIıs water cooling towers billowing steam. She said the lack of a zero-tolerance drug policy for plant workers is , "cary."

"They should regulate it much better than that," Adamski said. "They should be more responsible than that."

The NRCıs use of cutoff levels rather than zero tolerance is based on decades of research, Sheehan said. Studies indicate that drugs in quantities below the cutoff levels are not likely to affect job performance. For example, a plant employee who must report to work at 4 p.m. Monday and has cocktails Sunday night should not be affected by the alcohol once he reports to the plant, Sheehan said. "You might have a small amount of alcohol in your body, but based on evidence, it will not impair your ability to do the job effectively," Sheehan said.

One expert claims a zero-tolerance drug policy does not account for human digestion and passive exposure involving marijuana. The human body produces alcohol as a process of digestion, said Robert Stephenson, head of the SAMHSA Division of Workplace Programs. That amount of alcohol is below the level of impairment but above zero, Stephenson said.

Marijuana can stick to clothes and hair, he said.

If a person walks through a room where people are smoking marijuana, it may mean that they were exposed to second-hand smoke rather than ingesting the drug. "Zero tolerance means that we wonıt tolerate one free bite of the apple," Stephenson said.

Another hurdle that laboratories must traverse in the quest for a true zero-tolerance drug test is technology.

Many drug cutoff levels exist essentially to test how far down the screening equipment can reach, said Dr. Carla Huitt. "Much of the equipment can't accurately measure down to zero," said Huitt, medical director of the Industrial Resource Center at Memorial Hospital. "Below the cutoff level, they are just making an assumption that the person is not impaired."

Regardless of the equipment, doctors cannot determine how an illegal drug will affect one person compared to the next.

Marijuana, the most common drug found in plant workers, can remain in the body for up to a month, Huitt said.

Fitness offenders

On a regional level, most nuclear plant workers who tested positive for drugs were short-term contractors who work the sites during refueling. Between July 1999 and December 2002, 91 short-term contractors at Peach Bottom tested positive for drugs. At TMI, 45 temporary employees tested positive. The remaining seven workers who tested positive for drugs at both power plants were licensed employees.

A licensed worker is someone who has been certified by the NRC in their job and works at the plant full time.

One reason for the unbalanced figures could be that Peach Bottom has two operating reactors that require double the manpower, compared to the needs of TMIıs lone unit, Sheehan said.

Typically, plants temporarily hire hundreds of short-term contractors for repairs and maintenance when reactors are shut down for refueling. For example, short-term contractors have been involved with the installation of a reactor vessel head at TMI since Oct. 18. The plantıs unit 1 reactor is currently shut down.

"There really is no need to keep a staff that size on permanently," said David A. Lochbaum, of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit environmental group.

Power companies have the month-long outages every two years to conduct inspections, change out spent fuel rods, upgrade equipment and perform preventive maintenance that is difficult to complete while a plant is operational.

Since 1990, when the average refueling outage lasted 60 to 75 days, the industry has pushed to reduce the number of days the power plants are down, Lochbaum said. The more time a reactor is offline, the longer a plant goes without supplying power to the electrical grid — its main business. "They make their money when the plant is running," Lochbaum said. "Plant operators began to hire additional workers to get the required repairs completed in half the time."

But more workers means more drug screenings and a greater potential for positive chemical tests, Lochbaum said.

Most of the workers who fail the plants' drug tests are new hires who are screened for the first time and have not yet been assigned to the protected area, he said.

For those workers who actively take drugs and make it to the protected area of the plant, specific safeguards exist to expose that personıs habits to security.

Exelon Nuclear operates a computer program that randomly drug tests 50 percent of a plant's staff on an annual basis, said Hugh McNally, regional security manager for Exelon Generation. The process deters people from taking drugs under the assumption that a random test could take place at any time, he said. For example, the computer could randomly select a worker who was tested for drugs on Monday to be screened again on Thursday of the same week. "I could be tested three times in a year," McNally said. "Personally, Iıve been tested twice in one week"

As part of the plantıs training process, new workers are instructed to recognize the symptoms of narcotics use and must report any changes in behavior they notice in other employees. Failure to do so could result in a worker losing his job, McNally said. "If I smell alcohol on someoneıs breath,” he said, "I need to report it to my supervisor."

At the drug test, a worker must list all the prescription medications he may be taking. The employee must fill a container with urine, McNally said. The worker is allowed to complete the four-minute test in a bathroom in private, but the employee is not permitted to run any water or flush the toilet. "We try to have a lot of controls in place so a person canıt beat the system," he said. An onsite laboratory tests the samples. If a workerıs urine screens positive for drugs, the plant sends the sample to an outside laboratory for complete verification.

Exelon temporarily denies the employee access to the protected area of the plant. Once the outside laboratory has confirmed the test, the plant's medical review officer makes a final determination.

The commission requires a nuclear plant to restrict a worker's access to protected areas for at least 14 days. "For most people," Lochbaum said, "that means they lost their job. ŒThe plant may request a worker complete drug and alcohol counseling before the employee can return to the plant.

Plant officials make the final determination whether to reinstate the employeeıs access to the protected area or to fire the employee, McNally said.

Access is automatically denied for three years if a person screens positive a second time, he said.

A failed drug test could hamper a personıs chances for a new job, Lochbaum said. Power companies enter information relating to the failed test into a national database that is monitored by all power plants.

"It's a red flag that you lost unescorted access privileges to the plant, "Lochbaum said. "If you violated their drug policy, you've kissed your job goodbye."

Spike in marijuana use

Between July and December 2001, 10 TMI workers tested positive for marijuana while 20 Peach Bottom employees screened positive for the illegal drug — the largest single six-month jump since July 1999.

By contrast, no workers at Peach Bottom tested positive for marijuana during the previous six-month period. At TMI Unit 1, three people tested positive for the drug during that period.

Aside from fall refueling outages that require more workers, the jump in drug abuse may be attributed to stress. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks happened during the six months when the spike occurred.

Generally, an unstable political and economic climate can elevate stress to the point where a person could turn to drugs as a coping mechanism, said Helen Gyimesi, a drug and alcohol prevention specialist for Memorial Hospital. "These are mood-altering drugs," she said. "Working in a place like that after 9/11 could be scary". (See May 14, 2003, for a related incident).

November 15, 2003 - The NRC will increase its inspections after four unplanned shutdowns of the nuclear plantıs unit 2 reactor. By SEAN ADKINS, Daily Record staff

For the next year, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will increase the frequency of its inspections at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Stationıs unit 2.

Since October 2002, unit 2 has experienced four unplanned reactor shutdowns, said Neil Sheehan, commission spokesman. An NRC rule permits a utility to have three unscheduled reactor shutdowns within 7,000 critical hours of operation or about one year, he said.

If a reactor has more than three unplanned shutdowns, the NRC bumps its level of oversight of the reactor.

Dave Simon, spokesman for Exelon Nuclear, said the issue of the shutdowns will be addressed at a public meeting slated for next week. Exelon Nuclear declared an unusual event Sept. 15 when electrical breakers on the PJM Interconnection power grid failed to isolate a lightning strike in Chester County.

The strike generated a power surge on two electrical lines that feed into the plant, forcing the unit 2 and unit 3 reactors into automatic shutdown.

Exelon co-owns and operates Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station and Three Mile Island unit 1 in Dauphin County.

On July 22, a fault in the main generator system caused an automatic shutdown of Peach Bottomıs unit 2. The unitıs computerized reactor protection system received an over-current signal from the generator, which caused a trip of the main turbine and shut down the unit.

On April 12, the power stationıs unit 2 reactor shut down after an air line failure. The malfunction resulted in the closure of a main steam line isolation valve, which tripped the automatic shutdown.

An equipment failure that caused multiple bypass valves to open Dec. 21 of last year also led to an unplanned shutdown of Peach Bottom Atomic Power Stationıs unit 2 reactor.

In response to those four unscheduled reactor shutdowns, the NRC has labeled unit 2 with a white performance indicator. A green indicator is awarded to reactors that require the basic level of inspection. The next level up, a white performance indicator, is assigned to a reactor that requires extra monitoring.

As part of the additional inspections, NRC officials will examine the unit 2 reactor for equipment reliability and operator performance, Sheehan said.

"These shutdowns pose no danger to the public," he said.

November 19, 2003 - Mixed findings at plant: Team investigated Sept. shutdown of 2 reactors. By Kristin Finan, York Dispatch/Sunday News

A special team that analyzed the causes of, and responses to, an automatic shutdown of both reactors in September at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station reported mixed findings about the facility's handling of the event.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and representatives from Exelon, the company that operates the plant, presented their early report last night to the public at the Peach Bottom Inn in Delta.

Lightning struck the plant on Sept. 15 and disturbed the local electrical grid. Because Peach Bottom receives energy from the grid as well as provides it, it shut down automatically around 1:30 a.m. when those power sources were reduced.

The six-person team of specialists from the NRC regional office will release a full report by Dec. 18. As it outlined its findings last night, the team said it found both positives and negatives in the way the situation was handled.

Malfunction: The Peach Bottom facility, which has been generating electricity since 1974, is on the west bank of the Susquehanna River in southeastern York County and serves about 2.5 million homes. It is one of 17 generation units operated by Exelon Nuclear.

A major problem with the September shut- down was a malfunction with a system backup, said NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan. Typically, if there is a problem with a reactor, emergency diesel generators provide more power.

But the reactors shut off after an hour, and one of the diesel generators shut down.

Team members said that while the generator's failure appears to be an equipment problem, they were not yet sure who should have been accountable.

Team members also found degraded conditions within the plant that should have been updated and said concerns voiced by staff members were never investigated.

They noted lapses in the monitoring of equipment, procedural problems concerning what action should be taken after a shutdown and conflicts over which departments should take action about specific issues.

"We have not been as diligent at identifying problems and getting them out on the table as we need to," said Rusty West, Peach Bottom site vice president. "We need to better understand all the equipment anomalies that we have and pursue them with great vigor."

But the team noted that the Peach Bottom staff acted quickly and correctly determined how to respond to the incident, the team reported.

And managers have been diligent about conducting internal investigations and taking proactive actions --- such as cleaning equipment and defining emergency procedures, it said.

But some audience members said the NRC should be doing more to prevent future shutdowns.

Sept. 15 was the plant's fourth automatic reactor shutdown in the past year. On July 22, Peach Bottom's unit 2 reactor lost power after generator problems. The same unit shut down previously on April 12 and Dec. 21.

In response, the NRC recently labeled unit 2 a white performance indicator, meaning it will be monitored more closely, Sheehan said.

But Eric Epstein, chairman of Three Mile Island Alert, a group that monitors local nuclear plants, said the four shutdowns in a year are cause for concern.

"You should be concerned with the trend," Epstein said. "Any time there's a forced shutdown, it means the plant's safety systems are being challenged."


THE NRCıs Inspection team found six "Green: violations as a result of the incidents. All six were deemed Non-Cited violations.

This was the forty-third, forty-fourth, forty-fifth, forty- sixtth, forty-seventh and forty-eighth Non-Cited Violation since June 1998. Exelon's total cost avoidance, i.e., "credit" for 48 Non-Cited Violations = $2,490,000.

November 25, 2003 - Fitness For Duty Notification During Random Drug Testing (Power Reactor Event Number: 40355)

A contract employee tested positive during a random test. The employee's access to the protected area has been terminated. Contact the HOO for additional details. The licensee has informed the NRC Resident Inspector.

Dec 3, 2003 - Report: Funds set aside for nuke cleanup inadequate. By Ad Crable, Lancaster New Era

Congressional investigators say utilities are not adequately setting aside the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to clean up nuclear reactors at Three Mile Island and Peach Bottom when the plant sites close.

The report by the U.S. General Accounting Office claims that funds that, by law, must be set aside for restoring plant sites to their original condition may be as much as 25 percent lower than needed for TMI's Unit 2 reactor. Decommissioning for Peach Bottom's closed Unit 1 reactor appears to be 51 to 100 percent underfunded, according to the report.

The cost of closing down and removing TMI Unit 2 was estimated at $433 million in 1997. The cost of decommissioning Peach Bottom Unit 1 was recently estimated at $129 million by plant owner Exelon Nuclear. The report did not say how much actually had been set aside to date in the decommissioning funds for the two reactors.

However, the owners of the two plants, where other reactors remain in use, said today that the decommissioning funding report by the investigative arm of Congress is flawed and that the money will be there when the plant sites end their useful life several decades from now.

Updating a 1999 report that first warned that decommissioning funding at many U.S. nuclear plants was not adequate, the GAO said on Monday that the $27 billion saved by the nuclear industry through 2000 was actually ahead of schedule.

But breaking down the savings by individual plant owners, the study said that owners of 42 of the 125 nuclear plants that have operated in the United States had accumulated fewer funds than needed to be on track to pay for eventual decommissioning, after the plants close.

"Under our most likely assumptions, these owners will have to increase the rates at which they accumulate funds to meet their future decommissioning obligations," the 55-page report said. Furthermore, the report criticized the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission -- the nuclear industry's governmental watchdog -- for not taking action to force utilities to step up funding to address inadequacies.

In 1988, the NRC began requiring owners to certify that sufficient money would be available when needed to decommission their nuclear plants. Beginning in 1998, utilities were required every two years to show how much money had been set aside and where the money was coming from. Most funds come from ratepayers and investments in trust funds.

The GAO study singled out Exelon Nuclear, the owner of Peach Bottom and the active reactor at TMI, as being behind the curve on set-aside funding. GAO said the trust funds for 11 of the 20 nuclear power plants owned by the company were inadequate.

However, the GAO found that Exelon Nuclear was actually well above other utilities in saving for the future closure of TMI's active Unit 1 reactor and Peach Bottom's two active reactors. And Exelon spokesman Craig Nesbit said the more-than-adequate funding will take care of any deficiency for the other Peach Bottom reactor that closed in 1974. Nesbit criticized the GAO report, saying it looked only at individual units instead of entire plant sites, and did not consider specific decommissioning strategies, such as Exelon's.

He also said the GAO study was "skewed" because it did not take into account that most nuclear plants, such as Peach Bottom and TMI, will be relicensed for another 20 years, which gives utilities more time to save decommissioning funds. "All of Exelon's plants are adequately funded for decommissioning now, and will be in the future," Nesbit said.

Though Exelon owns the site, the responsibility for decommissioning the TMI Unit 2 reactor, closed since a 1979 accident, lies with FirstEnergy Corp., which bought out former TMI owner GPU.

The GAO study indicated the funding shortage is between 1 percent and 25 percent for TMI's Unit 2. FirstEnergy spokesman Scott Shields denied today that there were inadequate funds for restoring the Unit 2 site to its original condition. "We will continue to collect funds for the decommissioning for Unit 2 and we will be fully funded by the time the plant is retired," he said. Shields noted the site can't be cleaned up until Unit 1 is closed. TMI's license expires in 2014 but an extension is expected.

Eric Epstein, an expert witness on decommissioning before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and chairman of TMI-Alert, a safe-energy citizens group, is not so confident.

He said the GAO study on decommissioning shortcomings is just the tip of the iceberg. Citing the escalating costs of disposing of low-level and high-level nuclear waste, Epstein said "clearly the utilities underestimate and lowball decommissioning costs." Epstein fears utilities will not be making the profits in the future when plants are closed down and will not be able to pay for what it will actually cost to restore nuclear plant sites. People not yet born may have to pay for that shortcoming through higher electric bills, he said.

Inadequate funding for future closures was a constant concern expressed by former Lancaster mayor Art Morris when he chaired a citizens advisory panel on the cleanup of TMI in the 1980s.

"It's just the same old story. It's absolutely remarkable that after all these years of public comment and criticism that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission just sits and does nothing about (inadequate funding)," Morris said today. "The taxpayers will have to pay for it. There needs to be an NRC that stays on top of this and monitors it."

December 17, 2003 - PEACH BOTTOM-2 WAS AT 58% POWER AND RAMPING UP THIS MORNING FOLLOWING a reduction yesterday to 44% power in order to perform a planned control rod pattern adjustment, Exelon spokesman Ralph DeSantis said. (NUCLEAR NEWS FLASHES)

February 10, 2004 - NRC watching Peach Bottom - The power station was issued violations after a September reactor shutdown. By SEAN ADKINS, York Daily Record

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will be more vigilant of Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station's Unit 2 reactor as result of a second-tier safety violation.

The commission has penalized the Unit 2 reactor with a "white" finding related to the failure of an emergency diesel generator during an unscheduled Sept. 15 reactor shutdown.

A white violation refers to an event at the plant that is considered as of low to moderate safety significance.

Since the generator failure affected both of the plant's units, NRC officials tacked on a green violation in regard to the power station's Unit 3 reactor.

A green violation is an event characterized as being of very low safety significance, said Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the NRC.

The commission decided on a green violation because fewer safety-related electrical loads powered by the emergency generator exist for Unit 3.

"This will help us better know where we need to focus an increased level of attention going forward," Sheehan said.

A bolt of lighting struck a Chester County power pole Sept. 15, generating an electrical surge along power lines that feed into Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station.

The strike led to the automatic shutdown of the plant, which triggered the formation of a special, augmented NRC inspection team.

As part of its findings, the team found that faulty protection circuitry and a loose wire failed to contain the surge that disabled the plant.

Exelon has replaced all damaged fuses and tightened necessary wires to help ensure a similar event will not shut down the power station.

Within moments of the September shutdown, the plant's four diesel generators kicked on to power the station's vital equipment and offices.

About an hour later, one of the reserve generators seized. Exelon declared a "discretionary" unusual event ‹ the lowest of the NRC's emergency categories.

"This is not a common thing," Sheehan said. "These generators should operate smoothly."

The commission's inspection team found that deficient procedures were followed during the 1992 installation of generator adapter gaskets.

Combustion gas leaked into the jacket water cooling system ‹ a problem that led to the automatic tripping of the generator Sept. 15.

In March and April 2003, Exelon took corrective actions to repair the observed low jacket water pressure conditions.

The NRC team deemed those actions inadequate, since the problem was not resolved.

Last June, commission inspectors documented that lube oil had leaked from loose flange joint bolts on an emergency diesel generator at the plant. That leak caused a small fire in the exhaust manifold during a test.

The NRC responded to the fire by issuing a green violation.

Exelon has less than a month to reply to the commission's white finding. The company will not appeal the determination, said Craig Nesbit, a company spokesman.

Exelon agrees with the NRC's findings, he said.

February 22, 2004 - Peach Bottom Unit 2 reactor was manually scrammed due to degrading main condenser vacuum. Event Number: 40537