Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Announcing Speakers for Energypath 2018

Grid Integration is an increasingly critical issue as the demand for electricity rises along with the growing need for reliable and diverse sources of electricity. Although progress has been made to improve grid stability and resiliency, more needs to be done to integrate renewables, batteries, and vehicles into the electric grid. This conference will evaluate the challenges of grid integration and discuss viable solutions.

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Entergy

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: IV-18-002 March 14, 2018

NRC Issues Confirmatory Order to Entergy

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued a Confirmatory Order to Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., and Entergy Operations, Inc., documenting actions they have agreed to take to implement programs designed to prevent willful misconduct at their fleet of seven operating nuclear power plants.

As a result of investigations at the Grand Gulf nuclear power plant in Port Gibson, Miss., Entergy identified that (1) an examination proctor deliberately compromised examinations by providing inappropriate assistance to trainees; (2) workers did not perform required rounds to check equipment and plant conditions; and (3) workers deliberately provided inaccurate documentation indicating they had done so. Three apparent violations of NRC requirements are described in a Nov. 20, 2017,inspection report.

Entergy requested the Alternative Dispute Resolution process with the NRC to discuss corrective actions. The process uses a neutral mediator with no decision-making authority to assist the NRC and its licensees in coming to an agreement.

Following a meeting on Feb. 6 with Entergy officials, the NRC issued a Confirmatory Order documenting actions the company agreed to take.

In addition to Grand Gulf, the Entergy fleet includes Arkansas Nuclear One in Russellville, Ark., Indian Point 2 and 3 in Buchanan, N.Y., Palisades in Covert, Mich., Pilgrim in Plymouth, Mass., River Bend in St. Francisville, La., and Waterford in Killona, La.

Groundwater Monitoring Reveals Widespread Radioactivity at Duke Energy Coal Plants​

Today is the deadline for coal-fired power plants to post the results of their groundwater monitoring under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 rule regulating the storage and disposal of coal ash. EPA required such monitoring to determine the extent to which coal ash impoundments and landfills were contaminating groundwater. The results confirm the widespread groundwater contamination caused by coal ash around the country. In particular, Duke Energy’s results reveal startlingly high levels of radioactivity at 11 out of 18 plants.

DEP Notifies Homeowners in Targeted High Radon Areas, Offers Free Test

Dept. of Environmental Protection

Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120


Deb Klenotic, DEP

DEP Notifies Homeowners in Targeted High Radon Areas, Offers Free Test

Harrisburg, PA –  Homeowners in eight townships in central Pennsylvania will receive letters in March from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and American Lung Association (ALA), notifying them of high radon levels in their vicinity and providing a coupon for a free radon test.

“Pennsylvania is prone to high radon levels. From years of data we know that some parts of the state have higher radon levels than others, and we want to get test kits into the hands of homeowners in these areas,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We certainly continue to encourage all Pennsylvania homeowners to test as well.”

Radon is an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas that can enter homes through the soil and is a known human carcinogen. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended guideline for radon levels is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

DEP uses data since 1985 that show radon levels at 100 pCi/L or higher to identify areas for targeted outreach and then invites municipalities to provide addresses, if they choose to participate. Almost 10,000 homeowners will receive the letters with coupons this month, beginning the week of March 5:

•    Centre County: 1,930 homeowners in Haines, Penn, and Potter Townships
•    Lancaster County: 2,471 homeowners in Colerain and Little Britain Townships
•    Lycoming County: 949 homeowners in Hepburn Township
•    Mifflin County: 2,999 homeowners in Derry Township
•    York County: 1,526 homeowners in Peach Bottom Township

This is the fourth year that DEP and ALA have teamed up on direct outreach to homeowners. About 30 municipalities have agreed to partner. The program receives funding from EPA.

The DEP Radon Division has also worked with laboratories for decades to be alerted to high radon levels and, as resources allow, make offers to homeowners in those areas. DEP provides ongoing public information at Radon in the Home, and people can also contact the division at 800-237-2366; 717-783-3594; or

Susquehanna: Annual Assessment Letter

ANNUAL ASSESSMENT LETTER FOR SUSQUEHANNA UNITS 1 AND 2 (REPORT 05000387/2017006 AND 05000388/2017006 REPORT 05000387/ 2017402 AND 05000388/2017402 REPORT 05000387/2017501 AND 05000388/2017501)

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

NRC Issues Annual Assessments for Nation’s Nuclear Plants

Nuclear Regulatory Commission
No: 18-008 March 5, 2018
CONTACT: Office of Public Affairs, 301-415-8200

NRC Issues Annual Assessments for Nation’s Nuclear Plants

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued annual letters to the nation’s 99 commercial nuclear power plants operating in 2017 regarding their operational performance throughout the year. All but three plants were in the two highest performance categories.

Of the 96 highest-performing reactors, 83 met all safety and security performance objectives, and were inspected by the NRC using the standard “baseline” inspection program.

The NRC determined that 13 reactors needed resolution of one or two items of low safety significance. For this performance level, regulatory oversight includes additional inspections and follow-up of corrective actions. Plants in this level are: Browns Ferry 1, 2 and 3 (Alabama); Catawba 2 (South Carolina); Clinton (Illinois); Columbia (Washington state); Diablo Canyon 2 (California); Fermi 2 (Michigan); Grand Gulf (Mississippi); Perry (Ohio); Sequoyah 1 and 2 (Tennessee); and Wolf Creek (Kansas).

Diablo Canyon 2 and Fermi 2 have resolved their findings since the reporting period ended and have transitioned to the highest performing level.

There were no reactors in the third performance category with a degraded level of performance. The NRC noted that there were three reactors in the fourth performance category. Arkansas Nuclear One 1 and 2 require increased oversight because of two safety findings of substantial significance. Pilgrim (Massachusetts) is in the fourth performance category because of long-standing issues of low-to-moderate safety significance. Additional inspections will be conducted to confirm that the performance issues are being addressed.

Later this spring and summer, the NRC will host a public meeting or other event near each plant to discuss the details of the annual assessments. A separate announcement will be issued for each public assessment meeting. In addition to the annual assessment letters, plants also receive an NRC inspection plan for the coming year.

Information on the NRC’s oversight of commercial nuclear power plants is available through the NRC’s webpage on the Reactor Oversight ProcessThe NRC routinely updates information on each plant’s current performance and posts the latest information as it becomes available to theaction matrix summary. Assessment letters are posted here; click on “2017q4” for each plant. Annual construction oversight assessments for new reactors at the Vogtle units 3 and 4 sites are also on the NRC website.

Peach Bottom: Annual Assessment Letter

2017006 AND 05000278/2017006 REPORT 05000277/2017402 AND
05000278/2017402 REPORT 05000277/2017501 AND 05000278/2017501)