On September 30, 2009, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed an inspection of your Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station (PBAPS). The enclosed report documents the inspection results, which were discussed, on October 2, 2009, by telephone with Mr. William Maguire and other members of your staff.Read more (PDF)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Plant operators and federal safety inspectors are investigating how two switches on a safety system at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant were improperly set, potentially impairing operators’ ability to respond in the event of a severe loss of cooling water.
The improperly set switches were discovered late last week during maintenance and testing conducted in a refueling shutdown of the reactor, said Emily Christensen Archer, plant spokeswoman.
The switches were set in such a way that they would have prevented operators from remotely opening two valves that feed cooling water back into the reactor after it had been spilled. Operators would have had to be dispatched to manually open the valves, a procedure operators are trained to perform, Christensen Archer said.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
On September 30, 2009, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed an integrated inspection at your Three Mile Island, Unit 1 (TMI) facility. The enclosed inspection report documents the inspection results, which were discussed on October 13, 2009, with Mr. William Noll and other members of your staff.Read more (PDF)
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station - NRC Security Inspection Report Nos 05000277/2009403 and 05000278/2009403
On September 18, 2009, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) completed a security baseline inspection at your Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, UNits 2 and 3. The inspection covered one or more of the key attributes of the security cornerstone of the NRC's Reactor Oversight Process. The enclosed inspection report documents the inspection results, which were discussed on September 18, 2009, with Mr. William Maguire and other members of your staff.Read more (PDF)
A French documentary has revealed that radioactive materials from nuclear power plants are being being stored in containers in a Siberian parking lot. Meanwhile the largest power company in Europe, France's EDF, which sent the materials there, says it is not responsible.Read more
John Rowe, the 64-year-old chief executive of Exelon Corp., has pledged that his utility will drastically reduce its "carbon footprint," including emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources. Recently, the company retrofitted the 10 stories it occupies in a high-rise Chicago office building, cutting its energy use there in half.
His support of carbon-emission reductions recently led him to clash with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and he pulled Exelon out of the group last month. That won him praise from some and enmity from others.
Certainly, as the country's largest operator of nuclear power plants, which don't spew carbon dioxide, Exelon could potentially emerge as a winner if Congress passes legislation to reduce carbon emissions.
Within the past year, estimates of the cost of nuclear power from a new generation of reactors have ranged from a low of 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to a high of 30 cents. This paper tackles the debate over the cost of building new nuclear reactors, with the key findings as follows:Read more (PDF)
From The Miami Herald:
Florida Power & Light will spend millions to assess whether the massive cooling canal system at the Turkey Point nuclear power plant is fueling salt contamination of the aquifer in South Miami-Dade County.
After nearly a year of balking at demands from water managers and county and state environmental regulators, FPL has bowed to expanded monitoring. It's a step the utility agreed to in its quest to complete an ``uprating'' plan intended to coax more power from its two reactors along Biscayne Bay.
The proposed agreement, designed to measure an underground plume of salt water thought to extend inland to at least Homestead-Miami Speedway, will be reviewed Wednesday by the South Florida Water Management District governing board.
Steve Jones, a house painter from Salt Lake City, Utah, who summers on Chappaquiddick, knows preparing for nuclear war is not high on most people's to-do list.
"It's not something you're going to spend time on but what if it happened?" he said. "You wouldn't have a clue."
That is why he is pitching local public safety officials with a simple credit-card size device that detects radioactive fallout. Jones volunteers for Arizona-based Physicians for Civil Defense, a nonprofit group trying to provide officials with information on what to do in case of a nuclear detonation.
Having helped distribute radiation detection meters to fire and police officials on Martha's Vineyard and in Arizona, Jones now has his sights set on the rest of Massachusetts.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials in King of Prussia, Pa., have selected Adam Ziedonis as the new resident inspector at the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Delta, Pa. He joins NRC Senior Resident Inspector Fred Bower at the two-unit site, which is operated by Exelon Nuclear. Ziedonis joined the agency’s Region I office in 2004 after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of the NRC’s Nuclear Safety Professional Development Program, a two-year training program that provides specialized training in nuclear safety and a broad perspective of NRC regulatory activities. Ziedonis also completed a rigorous NRC inspector qualification program. Most recently, he was assigned as a reactor inspector in the Region I Division of Reactor Safety, performing engineering inspections. “Adam Ziedonis has the training and commitment to safety that will help the NRC carry out its mission of protecting people and the environment, and ensure the safe operation of Peach Bottom,” said NRC Region I Administrator Samuel J. Collins. Each U.S. commercial nuclear plant has at least two NRC resident inspectors. They serve as the agency's eyes and ears at the facility, conducting inspections, monitoring major work projects and interacting with plant workers and the public. Resident Inspectors can be assigned to any one site for up to seven years. The Peach Bottom resident inspectors can be reached at 717/456-7614.
Anything that hops, burrows, buzzes, crawls or grazes near a nuclear weapons plant may be capable of setting off a Geiger counter. And at the Hanford nuclear reservation, one of the dirtiest of them all, its droppings alone might be enough to trigger alarms. A government contractor at Hanford, in south-central Washington State, just spent a week mapping radioactive rabbit feces with detectors mounted on a helicopter flying 50 feet over the desert scrub. An onboard computer used GPS technology to record each location so workers could return later to scoop up the droppings for disposal as low-level radioactive waste. The Hanford site, overseen by the federal Department of Energy, produced roughly two-thirds of the plutonium used in the nation’s nuclear weapons arsenal, beginning in World War II and ending in the 1980s. Today it is the focus of the nation’s largest environmental cleanup, an effort that has cost tens of billions of dollars and is expected to continue for decades.Read more
Douglas J. Brown was named senior vice president and CIO of Exelon Corp., Chicago, effective Nov. 16.
He was assistant treasurer and CIO of Chrysler Group LLC, Auburn Hills, Mich., where he oversaw about $30 billion in assets, including $20 billion in defined benefit assets.
Mr. Brown succeeds George Shicora , who is retiring. Mr. Brown will lead a team managing $15 billion in assets, including $6.7 billion in DB assets and $2.7 billion in defined contribution assets, as well as post-retirement plans, nuclear decommissioning trusts and non-qualified plans, according to SEC filings.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission today voted to investigate a proposal to allow PPL customers the option of time-of-use (TOU) rates.
The Commission voted 5-0 to examine the proposal and to approve a motion by Commissioner Kim Pizzingrilli to complete that investigation by Jan. 31, 2010. Act 129 of 2008 required that TOU plans must receive Commission consideration within six months of being filed. PPL filed its plan on July 31, 2009.
According to the filing, the proposed TOU program would provide optional pricing for electric service for residential and small commercial and industrial customers. Under the plan, customers could choose a billing option that provides different pricing for “on-peak” and “off-peak” hours. Higher rates would be charged for on-peak hours while lower rates would be charged for off-peak hours. The rates would be set on a flat cents per kWh basis and be different for summer and non-summer periods.
Fasteners made for spent fuel storage devices at Oyster Creek Generation Station and several other power plants did not meet standards, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.Read more
The NRC Web site lists information by Transnuclear Inc. that reported "a potential Part 21 violation and has reason to believe that Hwa Shin Bolt Ind. Co. provided unsubstantiated certified material."
Transnuclear is performing an evaluation and does not believe the issue has safety significance. However, the company is reporting this issue because Hwa Shin may have supplied parts that may have safety significance, the report stated.The firm also reported that in addition to Oyster Creek, affected plants include Millstone Power Station in Connecticut, Susquehanna in Pennsylvania, Ginna in New York, Brunswick in North Carolina and Cooper Nuclear Station in Nebraska.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing this information notice (IN) to inform addressees of recent plant events that were attributed at least in part to human performance issues. The NRC expects recipients to review the information for applicability to their facilities and to consider actions, as appropriate, to avoid similar problems. Suggestions contained in this IN are not NRC requirements; therefore, no specific action or written response is required.Download PDF
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Full text of Markey’s letter
Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee,“There is absolutely no reason why the NRC’s deliberations should be shrouded in the type of secrecy that characterized the old Soviet Politburo,” Markey wrote in the letter. “As an independent regula
today sent a letter toNuclear Regula tory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, calling for the Commission toopen its decision-making process topublic examination. Unlike other independent regula tory agencies, the Nuclear Regula tory Commission does not vote in public. tory agency operating in a democracy, the Commission has an obligation toconduct, the public’s business in public tothe fullest extent possible.”
Markey also expressed concerns about the use of notation voting, through which Commissioners privately circulate different versions of written decisions along with their “yes” or “no” vote. This practice has greatly curtailed the ability of the public
tohear open debate on critical issues affecting nuclear reac tors, materials, and waste regulation.
“Members of Congress must cast their votes in public, and there is no reason why the NRC cannot join other independent regulaIn 2005, Markey offered an amendment
tory agencies in doing the same,” Markey wrote. tothe Energy Advancement and Conservation Act toencourage the NRC toeither hold more public meetings or for the results of non-public meetings tobe made public, consistent with the requirements of the Sunshine Act, which sets public transparency standards for federal agencies.
By letters dated April 11, 2008 (Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML081020758), and October 14, 2008 (ADAMS Accession No. ML082880706), AmerGen Energy Company, LLC, the licensee, now Exelon Generation Company, LLC, provided a response to Generic Letter 2008-01 , "Managing Gas Accumulation in Emergency Core Cooling, Decay Heat Removal, and Containment Spray Systems" (ADAMS Accession No. ML072910759), for Three Mile Island Nuclear Station, Unit 1.Download PDF
The amendment removed cycle-specific core parameter limits from the TS and added an administrative requirement to submit a Core Operating Limits Report to the NRC, prior to each core reload. During the ongoing TMI-1 license renewal review, it was identified that certain figures that were the subject of the application dated April 28, 1989, were present in the NRC version of the TMI-1 TS, but not in the licensee version. This discrepancy was traced to an incorrect inserUremove page included in the issuance letter for Amendment 150. This inserUremove page did not specify the removal of Figures 3.5-2A through 3.5-2L as it should have. Therefore, please remove Figures 3.5-2A through 3.5-2L from the TMI-1 TS, if you have not already done so.Dowload PDF
Thursday, October 1, 2009
China's cabinet, the State Council, has formally approved the construction of Shandong Haiyang Nuclear Power Station, State Nuclear Power Technology Corp (SNPTC) said on Friday.
The power station in eastern Shandong province is the second in the country that will be based on the third-generation AP1000 technology imported from U.S.-based Westinghouse Electric Co., owned by Toshiba Corp..
Two nuclear power generating units, each with a capacity of 1.25 gigawatts (GW), would be brought online in 2014 and 2015 respectively, SNPTC said in a post on its website (www.snptc.com.cn)
We're excited to announce that Tom Ridge, former secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Pennsylvania, will be giving the keynote address at our nuclear power symposium on October 15 and 16, entitled Nuclear Power: Back on the table. The symposium will focus on nuclear energy in Pennsylvania and the mid-Atlantic region. It is designed for professionals, academics, government officials, and students with an interest in nuclear energy. The symposium will feature experts from academia, industry, and government discussing nuclear power economics, environmental impact, energy policy, and nuclear power research. Scheduled speakers include representatives from Westinghouse Electric, AREVA, Energy Resources International, the Electric Power Research Institute, Bisconti Research, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Idaho National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Oregon State University, North Carolina State University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Texas at Austin. The event is part of the fiftieth anniversary celebration of Penn State's nuclear engineering program. Information and registration can be found online atwww.nuclearpowerpa.org. Thanks in advance for your support of this symposium, and we hope to see you in October. Arthur T. Motta Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Selects Constellation NewEnergy as Service Provider for Electricity Program
A final, independent safety review has recommended that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approve 20-year operating license extensions for FirstEnergy Corp.'s two nuclear reactors in Shippingport, Beaver County.
The report by the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards includes a detailed discussion of containment liner corrosion problems and future testing mandates for the Beaver Valley Unit 1 and Unit 2 reactors but clears the way for the NRC's final decision on the license renewals as soon as next month.
The NRC staff has reviewed your application and concluded that it does provide technical information in sufficient detail to enable the NRC staff to complete its detailed technical review and make an independent assessment regarding the acceptability of the proposed request for relief in terms of regulatory requirements and the protection of public health and safety and the environment.Download PDF