News

Good Day:

Daily Event Report No. 46164 dated Augusr 10, 2010, involves an incident at the Susquehanna Unit 1 reactor.

It reported that "a member of the SSES work force was feeling ill effects from a Freon-12 leak."

It also reported that no "medical attention was required."

Section 26.23 of 10 CFR Part 26 defines the performance objectives for fitness-for-duty programs.

Paragraph (b) explicitly states that one of those performance objectives is:

"Provide reasonable assurance that individuals are not under the influence of any substance, legal or illegal, or mentally or physically impaired from any cause, which in any way adversely affects their ability to safely and competently perform their duties."

Freon-12 is a "substance, legal or illegal."

Freon-12 "physically impaired" a worker at SSES Unit 1.

That "physically impaired" worker received no "medial attention."

This is not, repeat not, an allegation that the licensee violated 10 CFR Part 26.

Instead, this is a question. Will the NRC be looking into whether this licensee complied with 10 CFR Part 26 when it provided no medical attention to a worker inside the protected area who self-declared being impaired by a substance, legal or illegal?

Thanks,

David Lochbaum
Director, Nuclear Safety Project
Union of Concerned Scientists
PO Box 15316
Chattanooga, TN 37415
(423) 468-9272 office
(423) 488-8318 cell

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Facility: SUSQUEHANNA

Event Number: 46164

Event Date: 08/10/2010

ALERT DECLARED DUE TO FREON-12 LEAK IN REACTOR BUILDING CHILLER

"At 0911 EDT, the Susquehanna LLC Shift Manager was notified that a member of the SSES [Susquehanna Steam Electric Station] work force was feeling ill effects from a Freon-12 leak located in a plant vital area. This met the declaration criteria for an Alert under [EAL] OA-7 of the emergency plan which was declared at 0922 EDT.

"The affected area has been evacuated and recovery actions are in progress to isolate the leak. No personnel were injured or medical attention was required."

The leak is in the 1A Reactor Building chiller unit. At the time of notification, the leak was still active. The licensee is preparing a team to enter the area to investigate. No outside assistance is required.

Notified DHS (Hill), FEMA (Heyman), DOE (Smith), USDA (Mitchell) and HHS (Rolle).

* * * UPDATE FROM DARVIN DUTTRY TO DONALD NORWOOD AT 0044 EDT ON 8/11/2010 * * *

"At 2335 EDT on 8/10/10, the Alert was terminated. The Chiller has been evacuated of Freon-12. Freon detectors show no presence of Freon-12 on U1 Reactor Building Elevation 749 [feet], except in the immediate vicinity from the leak site with temporary ventilation in service.

"All state and local agencies have been advised, the NRC Resident Inspector has been notified and a press release will be made."

Agencies that the licensee notified included the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency, the Luzerne County Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Notified R1DO (Ferdas), NRR EO (Nelson), IRD Manager (Gott), DHS (Doyle), FEMA (O'Connell), DOE (Morrone), HHS (White), and USDA (Timmons).

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PRESS RELEASE

BERWICK, Pa., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- While an alert remains in effect at PPL's Susquehanna nuclear power plant in Luzerne County, Pa., workers have made significant progress to stop a leak of Freon vapor in the Unit 1 reactor building.

"We're safely removing the Freon from a chiller in the Unit 1 reactor building and placing it in storage tanks on site," said Miriam Mylin, spokeswoman for the Susquehanna plant. "The work is going well, and the leak has been significantly diminished."

Mylin said public safety is not at risk, plant employees are safe and there have been no injuries reported.

The plant declared an alert Tuesday morning (8/10) when employees detected Freon leaking in an area that contains plant safety systems. An alert is the second lowest of the four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for nuclear power plants.

Freon is used as a refrigerant in the air-conditioning system for the reactor building and provides cooling to pump motors in the reactor building.  

Unit 1 continues to operate at full power. Unit 2 is not affected and continues to operate at full power.

PPL has activated its Joint Information Center at the East Mountain Business Center just off Route 115, south of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The phone number is 1-866-832-4474.

The Susquehanna plant, located about seven miles north of Berwick, is owned jointly by PPL Susquehanna LLC and Allegheny Electric Cooperative Inc. and is operated by PPL Susquehanna.

PPL Susquehanna is one of PPL Corporation's generating facilities. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) controls or owns nearly 12,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets and delivers electricity to about 4 million customers in Pennsylvania and the United Kingdom. More information is available at www.pplweb.com.

Note to Editors: A Susquehanna Nuclear Energy Guide is available on the PPL media Web site at www.pplnewsroom.com. The guide provides specific plant and general nuclear energy information.

SOURCE PPL Susquehanna

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From the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is monitoring PPL’s response to an “Alert” declared this morning at the Susquehanna nuclear power plant, which is located in Salem Township (Luzerne County), Pa. The Alert – the second-lowest of four emergency classifications used by the NRC – was declared at 9:22 a.m. after toxic gas – believed to be Freon – was identified by workers in the Unit 1 Reactor Building. As a precaution, PPL, which owns and operates the two-reactor plant, has evacuated that building.  No injuries have been reported. 

Freon apparently leaked from a chiller, or air-conditioning, system used to maintain certain temperatures inside the Reactor Building. That structure houses safety systems used to support the operation of the reactor, but those systems have not been impacted by the event.

The NRC has two Resident Inspectors stationed at Susquehanna who are following PPL’s response to the event. In addition, the NRC Region I Office, in King of Prussia, Pa., has activated its Incident Response Center and is closely monitoring the company’s actions from there.

PPL is seeking to identify the exact source of the Freon leakage and terminate it. Both reactors at the site remain in operation. As of earlier today, Susquehanna 1 was at 100-percent power and Susquehanna 2 was at 94-percent power.

Appropriate federal and state officials have been notified regarding the event.

 

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From WYFF:

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THREE MILE ISLAND UNIT 2: - REVISED POWER REACTOR SECURITY RULE

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From the Guardian:

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Greenpeace said at least 20 fires – three of them in a highly contaminated forest area – had broken out in the Bryansk region, bordering northern Ukraine, in recent days.

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