Monday, December 31, 2012

Loss of the Ultimate Heat Sink

Hi, I am Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds.

This is the second December since the Fukushima Daiichi accident. I thought I would use this video to talk about things that were painfully obvious to Fairewinds viewers back in 2011, that really have not been internalized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission even since then. So we are going to use this video as a training video for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, so that they can better understand what Fairewinds viewers have known for the last 2 years.

The problems that I want to talk about today are twofold. One is the containment integrity and the other is what happens when you do not cool a nuclear power plant, something that we call the loss of the ultimate heat sink. Well let's get right to it. The first topic is the containment integrity. Tokyo Electric released a report in September of this year, and they gave it to the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency. The report is a more thorough analysis of the explosions at Fukushima Daiichi. And it discusses things that they have learned in 2012 that they did not incorporate in their analysis back in 2011. Well, if you have been watching the Fairewinds site, we knew exactly the problems that Tokyo Electric is now identifying in 2012. 

Watch Video and Read Article

Peach Bottom Supplemental Information Needed for Acceptance of Requested Licensing Action

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3, SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION NEEDED FOR ACCEPTANCE OF REQUESTED LICENSING ACTION RE: EXTENDED POWER UPRATE (TAC NOS. ME9631 AND ME9632)

Download ML12312A443

Peach Bottom: NRC Security Baseline Inspection Report

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3:  NRC SECURITY BASELINE INSPECTION REPORT 05000277/2012404, 05000278/2012404, AND 07200029/2012401

Download ML12355A196

Wyden say NWF should be used for dry casks at BWRss

DECEMBER 18, 2012, 7:26 AM

Come January, Another Try on Nuclear Waste

By MATTHEW L. WALD

The incoming chairman of the Senate Energy Committee suggests that the Energy Department should stop billing utilities more in waste disposal fees than the department is actually spending on addressing nuclear wastes. And he wants the department to pay for moving some of the wastes out of spent fuel pools at the nation's highest-risk reactors and into dry casks.

Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, will take over as the committee's chairman when Congress begins its new session next month. In an interview on Monday, he pointed out that the department collects about $750 million a year in waste disposal fees at the rate of one-tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour generated by the reactors that feed those utilities. Yet the government is spending nearly nothing, he noted.

Read Article

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Emergency Preparedness & Response News - Vol 4 Issue 4

Attached is NSIR/DPR's Emergency Preparedness & Response News, Volume 4 Issue 4, a quarterly newsletter that is published by NSIR/DPR to highlight recent and upcoming events of interest to the radiological emergency preparedness community.  Feel free to pass it on to others. Please contact me at 301-415-0705 or carolyn.kahler@nrc.gov with any questions. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Carolyn

Carolyn J. Kahler
Communications and Outreach
Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

ALERT FILTERED VENT ----ANY OTHER COMMUNITIES GETTING LETTERS IN FROM INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS---TIME IS RUNNING OUT----LET'S MAKE 2013 A SAFER YEAR!

Duxbury Reporter - Duxbury selectmen to send letter to NRC

Letter to papers below

To Filter or Not to Filter That is the Question

Pilgrim, like other GE Mark I reactors in the U.S., is the same design as the failed Fukushima reactors.  Almost forty years ago, the NRC identified a serious design flaw in these reactors - in certain accident scenarios where hydrogen and or steam pressure builds up the containment would fail because the suppression chamber (enclosed area around the reactor core) is too small. Fukushima proved NRC’s earlier prediction correct, Units 1, 2 and 3 exploded and released unfiltered toxic radiation.

A supposed “fix” - a direct torus vent (DTV) to relieve excess pressure - was recommended and put into place at Pilgrim and other reactors, including Fukushima’s.  But three major problems remained. First, the vents were not filtered. Not having to pay for filters saved the industry money, but left the public’s health and property at risk because a release through the vent would be highly radioactive.   The second problem is whether plant operators will open the vent when appropriate to do so  At Fukushima the fear of what an unfiltered release would do to those in the area surrounding the plants resulted in the operators delaying opening the vents, and increased the risk of catastrophic explosions and the widespread uncontrolled release of radioactivity. Finally, and another lesson learned from Fukushima, when the operators finally tried to open the vents, they failed.  The vents did not have a rupture disc - relatively thin sheets of steel that break and allow venting automatically when the pressure reaches a specified level, without the need for human intervention or moving parts.

Following Fukushima, the NRC asked its technical staff to advise the Commission whether to require filters. After months of study, the staff recommended that Pilgrim and all operators of GE Mark I and Mark II reactors in the United States be ordered to install high capacity radiation filters on containment vents.  Such filters are already deployed throughout Europe, and having learned its lesson the hard way, they are soon to be installed in Japan.  Not surprisingly, the nuclear industry is adamantly opposed to spending the money to install filters.  The Commission will begin its deliberation process and is expected to vote in early 2013 whether to accept their staff’s recommendation.

The Commission decision should be a no-brainer. Reactors like Pilgrim are already required to filter the releases that occur daily in the course of normal operation.  There is no satisfactory explanation for the fact that nuclear power plants such as Pilgrim are not required to filter releases in the case of a severe accident when the amount of radiation and threat to workers and the public is by far the greatest. Direct Torus Vent filters are readily available. They have been tested for over 3 decades of use in Sweden, and are in use today throughout Europe.

Whether or not to require filters has a simple answer when you think about it. We are required to filter our car’s tail pipe emissions but Pilgrim is not required to filter its dangerous radioactive emissions in a severe accident. It makes no “sense” but a lot of “cents” to the industry.

How the NRC Commissioners vote early in January depends on whether they listen to industry or you. Consider emailing the Commissioners at NRCExecSec@nrc.gov reminding them that the Commission was formed to protect public health and safety not industry’s pocketbooks.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

TMI Request for Additional Information Regarding Relief Request

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING RELIEF REQUEST RR-12-02, RELIEF REQUEST CONCERNING FULL STRUCTURAL WELD OVERLAY OF DISSIMILAR METAL WELDS ON THE LOWER COLD LEG LETDOWN NOZZLE AND SAFE-END (TAC NO. ME9818)

Download ML12340A274

Susquehanna Exemption from the Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise Requirements

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 - EXEMPTION FROM THE BIENNIAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS OF 10 CFR PART 50, APPENDIX E, SECTION IV.F.2.b (TAC NOS. ME9845 AND ME9846)

Download ML12345A273

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dark November for PPL's Nuclear Power Plant

Nov. 7, 2012 – Unit 1 at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station resumed service after completing a turbine blade inspection. PPL, the plant owner, said the inspection found signs of cracking on a small number of turbines. The blades were replaced.

PPL also said it will shut down Unit 2 for a similar inspection in the near future.

Nov. 9, 2012 – Unit 2 at the Berwick area plant was shut down because a computer system controlling the reactor’s water level was not functioning properly.

Nov. 13, 2012 - The NRC issued a report on its third quarter inspection of Units 1 and 2 at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.

The report listed two NRC-identified findings and one self-revealing finding of very low safety significance.

Download PDF

Friday, November 30, 2012

Status of 60-Day Response to Orders Modifying Licenses Regarding Recommendations 4.2, 5.1, and 7.1 of the Near-Term Task

STATUS OF 60-DAY RESPONSE TO ORDERS MODIFYING LICENSES REGARDING RECOMMENDATIONS 4.2,5.1, AND 7.1 OF THE NEAR-TERM TASK FORCE RELATED TO THE FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT ACCIDENT

Download ML12326A829

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Upcoming December 5 and 6 Waste Confidence Webinars

Greetings,

The Waste Confidence Directorate received feedback that the webcast for the November 14 afternoon scoping meeting cut off at 4pm EST.  We were able to get the webcast running again after a short delay; however, if you missed the end of that meeting, you can view archived video of the meeting at http://video.nrc.gov/.  After you open the webpage, scroll down to the table of Archived Videos.  The afternoon scoping meeting is titled: Waste Confidence Scoping Meeting for the Environmental Impact Statement (Part 1).  The evening meeting (Part 2) is also available for viewing.

Transcripts for the November 14 meetings are now available in ADAMS:

Afternoon meeting transcript (ADAMS Accession No. ML12331A347): http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber='ML12331A347

Evening meeting transcript (ADAMS Accession No. ML12331A353): http://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber='ML12331A353

If you missed the November 14 meetings, please join us for our December 5 (1pm-4pm EST) and December 6 (9pm-12am EST) webinars.  The information presented and format of the webinars will be the same as the November meetings.  The NRC staff will start each webinar with a short presentation (view the slides here), and then we’ll open the phone lines for your questions and comments.  The webinars will be identical, and both will be transcribed so any comments presented over the phone will be included in the Waste Confidence docket.

To register for the December 5 or 6 webinars, please see our meeting notice (ADAMS Accession No. ML12326A911):  http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1232/ML12326A911.pdf
You can also call Ms. TR Rowe at 1-800-368-5642, ext. 492-3133 or Ms. Susan Wittick, ext. 492-3187 if you have questions about the webinars.

And finally, we have updated our Waste Confidence website with some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):  http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd/faq.html

Sincerely,

Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Waste Confidence Directorate

Not-so-Happy Anniversary

Twenty years ago today, Don Prevatte and I submitted a report under 10 CFR Part 21 to the NRC regarding a substantial safety hazard at nearly three dozen nuclear power plants.
Twenty years later, that substantial safety hazard still afflicts nearly three dozen nuclear power plants (slightly less now, because the Unit 1 reactor at the Millstone nuclear power plant permanently shut down in the interim).

How?

Why?

Who didn't do what?

The following blog post highlights, or lowlights, the case along with links to key documents along this safety cul-de-sac:

http://allthingsnuclear.org/20-years-of-nrc-inaction-and-counting/

Some of the stuff (like the NRC not realizing every other page was missing or falling asleep during our presentation on the subject) sounds made up. It wasn't. It was NRC inaction. (Nice if that someday became three words instead of two and it became easier to distinguish NRC's managers from store mannequins).

Will this substantial safety hazard remain unresolved twenty years from now?

Time will tell.

One would hope that a federal agency professing to give a hoot about nuclear safety might just be able to resolve a substantial safety hazard within forty years.

Thanks,
Dave Lochbaum
UCS

Monday, November 19, 2012

TMI Request for Additional Information Regarding 2011 Steam Generator Tube Inspection Report

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING 2011 STEAM GENERATOR TUBE INSPECTION REPORT (TAC NO. ME8735)

Download ML12306A481

Pilgrim Watch Comment Regarding Additional Requirements For Containment Venting Systems For BWRs With Mark I And Mark II Containments In Support Of Filters And Rupture Discs

Hello:
Attached please find Pilgrim Watch Comment Regarding Additional Requirements For Containment Venting Systems For BWRs With Mark I And Mark II Containments In Support Of Filters And Rupture Discs prepared for the NRC Commissioners that will vote on whether or not to require filters and rupture discs on vents used to relieve pressure from the containment in a severe accident.

In a severe accident the amount of radioactivity released offsite from an unfiltered vent would be very large and damaging. It makes no sense not to add a filter to protect our families and property from contamination. Filtered systems are available, tested and in use today - for example  in Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland and will be installed in Slovenia and Japan that learned the hard way the danger of not requiring filters and rupture discs before the accident.

Rupture discs are necessary so that neither water nor electrical supply is needed and operator intervention is not necessary to actuate the venting system to save containment in a pressure buildup.
Lessons learned from Fukushima showed the importance of requiring reactors designed like Mark I & II’s in the U.S. to install filtered DTV’s in order to:
     ·  Protect public health in the event that it is necessary to release.

     ·  Assure operators follow orders to open the vent. As in Japan, properly trained operators here are likely to decide not to open the DTV when they should because they fear the effects offsite of significant unfiltered releases.

As part of the Fukushima Lessons Learned Task Force, NRC Staff assigned to study whether to recommended filtering, did do (November 2012). It only made sense when considering that during normal operations and design based accidents gaseous releases are filtered but they are not filtered during severe accidents when the releases offsite will be the greatest.

Please consider contacting the NRC Commissioners in support of the attached comments ASAP; and also alert your members and elected officials to do the same.  I attached a word version for your convenience.

Vents affect all Mark I and Mark II BWRS that includes: Mark I BWR Reactors: Browns Ferry 1, 2 & 3 (AL); Brunswick 1 & 2 (NC); Cooper 1 (NE) Dresden 2 & 3 (Il); Duane Arnold 1 (IA);  Fermi 2 (MI);  Fitzpatrick 1 (NY);    Hatch 1 & 2 (GA); Hope Creek 1 (NJ); Monticello 1 (MN); Nine Mile Point 1 (NY);  Oyster Creek 1 (NJ);   Peach Bottom 2 & 3 (PA) ; Pilgrim 1 (MA); Quad Cities 1 & 2 (IL); Vermont Yankee 1 (VT). Mark II BWR Reactors: Columbia (WA); LaSalle, 1&2 (IL); Limerick 1 &2 (PA); Nine Mile (NY); Susquehanna, 1&2(PA)

Thank-you !

Mary Lampert
Pilgrim Watch, Director
148 Washington Street Duxbury, MA 02332

Susquehanna - NRC Baseline Security Inspection Report

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 _ NRC BASELINE SECURITY INSPECTION REPORT O5OOO387/201 2405 AND 05000388/2012405

Download ML12324A040

PPL Act 129 Phase II Plan

Dear Stakeholder:

On November 1, 2012, the PA PUC issued a Secretarial Letter granting EDCs the ability to file their Act 129 Phase II EE&C Plan any time between November 1st and November 15th. This extension was granted in recognition of the need for EDC personnel to focus on storm response duties due to Hurricane Sandy.

PPL Electric Utilities would like you to know that we filed our Act 129 Phase II Plan on November 15th. The Phase II Plan is available for your review on our website by clicking here.

On behalf of PPL Electric Utilities, I’d like to thank you for your participation in our stakeholder meetings, as well as the input and ideas you shared with us during the plan development process.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mary Thompson Grassi at methompsongrassi@pplweb.com
Thank you.

Tom Stathos
Director, Customer Programs and Services

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TMI Request for Additional Information Regarding 30- Day Report

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING 30-DAY REPORT FOR EMERGENCY CORE COOLING SYSTEM MODEL CHANGES PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF 10 CFR 50.46 (TAC NO. ME8237)

Download ML12310A175

Three Mile Island Siren Test on Thursday, Nov. 15

LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, PA (Nov. 13, 2012) – Exelon Generation in cooperation with county emergency management officials will conduct up to six separate emergency warning siren tests on Thursday, Nov. 15.  Each test will last about three minutes.  The first test will be held at approximately 8 a.m.

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Peach Bottom Notification To Perform An Inspection of Temporary Instruction

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNITS 2 AND 3, NOTIFICATION TO PERFORM AN INSPECTION OF TEMPORARY INSTRUCTION 2201/004, "INSPECTION OF IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERIM CYBER SECURITY MILESTONES 1 - 7" AND REQUEST FOR INFORMATION

Download ML12318A002

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Inspector General Reports

From NRC:
In accordance with the 1988 amendment to the Act, the NRC's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) was established on April 15, 1989, as an independent and objective unit to conduct and supervise audits and conduct investigations relating to NRC's programs and operations. The purpose of OIG's audits and investigations is to prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, and promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in NRC programs and operations. In addition, OIG reviews existing and proposed regulations, legislation, and directives, and provides comments, as appropriate, regarding any significant concerns.
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LIHEAP Program Opened Nov. 1

HARRISBURG – Eligible Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

LIHEAP helps low-income people pay their heating bills through home energy assistance grants and crisis grants. Cash grants are awarded based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided in the event of a heating emergency, including broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, lack of fuel, termination of utility service or danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated. In most counties, assistance with home heating crisis situations is available 24 hours a day.

The Department of Public Welfare is sending all LIHEAP clients who applied online last year a postcard notice encouraging them to reapply online. In the past, the department sent only paper applications to all perspective clients, even if those individuals applied online the previous year. Previous recipients of LIHEAP had the opportunity to apply prior to the LIHEAP program opening date of Nov. 1.

Prior applicants who did not apply online last year will still be mailed paper applications.

By way of the new postcard, clients will be provided with a pre-registration number giving them access to an online application that has already been filled out using last year’s data. Clients will simply have to ensure online information is correct and update anything that may have changed, such as an address.

All online applications are sent straight to the county office to determine eligibility, thereby eliminating mail and hand processing time.

New applicants can now begin applying for the program.

Susquehanna Supplemental Info. Needed for Acceptance of Requests Licensing Action Re: Exemption Request from the Biennial Emergency Preparedness Exercise Requirements of 10 CFR 50, Appendix E, Section IV.F.2.b

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 ­ SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION NEEDED FOR ACCEPTANCE OF REQUESTED LICENSING ACTION RE: EXEMPTION REQUEST FROM THE BIENNIAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS OF 10 CFR 50, APPENDIX E, SECTION IV.F.2.b (TAC NOS. ME9845 AND ME9846)

Download ML12310A208

"Focusing on the NRC Mission: Maintaining Our Commitment to Safety" Remarks by: NRC Chairman Allison M. Macfarlane

As a Commission, we are charged by statute to work as a collegial body. We each bring different backgrounds to the table and our ability to collaborate enhances public trust and industry confidence in our work.

I value this opportunity to meet with leaders of the nuclear industry to discuss a number of important issues. I have met many of you when you stopped by the NRC to introduce yourselves and your companies to me. I have appreciated these meetings as an opportunity to better understand your concerns.

Together, we maintain an important yet complex relationship. The NRC exists to independently oversee your industry and we provide the country with the reassurance that you alone cannot provide: that nuclear facilities will operate in a manner that protects the public’s health, safety, and security, as well as the environment.

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Federal Register notice (77 FRN 65137) for Waste Confidence EIS and Scoping - - and Nov. 14 Public Meeting Notice

Greetings,

The NRC intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to support the rulemaking to update the Commission’s Waste Confidence Decision and Rule, and is conducting scoping to gather information necessary to prepare the EIS.  A Federal Register notice (77 FRN 65137) was published on October 25, 2012, that announced the scoping period and provided additional details about upcoming public meetings and webinars.  The FRN can be found at the following web address:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2012-26295.

Public comments on the scope of the Waste Confidence environmental review will be accepted through January 2, 2013.  Comments may be submitted through the Federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2012-0246; by mail to Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; or by fax to 301-492-3446.  Please do not send comments to this email address.

As part of the scoping process the NRC is planning to hold two webcast public meetings this Wednesday, November 14, 2012, and two webinars on December 5 and 6, 2012.  Meeting notices will be posted on the NRC’s public meeting website at http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm.  The meeting notices will contain additional information, including agendas, teleconference phone line details, and information on how to access and participate in the webinars. 

This information will also be provided on the NRC’s Waste Confidence public website –http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd.html – which will be updated regularly with new public documents and information regarding the waste confidence EIS and rule.
We will send additional emails providing links to the meeting notices once they are issued.  Any immediate questions regarding the scoping process can be directed to Sarah Lopas, NEPA Communications Project Manager – Sarah.Lopas@nrc.gov or telephone (301) 492-3425.

AN UPDATE:
The first meeting notice for the November 14 meetings has been published:  http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1230/ML12306A224.pdf  (ADAMS Accession No. ML12306A224).  Please see that notice for details on how to register for the November 14 public meetings and how to view and participate in the webcasts of these meetings.  An additional meeting notice for the December webinars will be published soon.

Sincerely,

Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Waste Confidence Directorate

Susquehanna Request for Additional Information

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING REVISION 9 TO THE PPL SUSQUEHANNA LLC SECURITY PLAN, TRAINING & QUALIFICATION PLAN, SAFEGUARDS CONTINGENCY PLAN, AND INDEPENDENT SPENT FUEL STORAGE INSTALLATION SECURITY PROGRAM (TAC NO. D91660)

Download ML12292A322

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1 Docket (FEMA-2012-0026) Has Reopened

This email is to notify you that docket FEMA-2012-0026 for the revision of NUREG-0654/FEMA-REP-1 has been reopened and is now able to receive comments. The docket can be accessed through the weblink http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FEMA-2012-0026 or by logging on towww.regulations.gov and searching for FEMA-2012-0026.  The docket will remain open until January 31, 2013.

The NRC and FEMA encourage people to share their thoughts and ideas about the proposed revision. Regulations.gov is a website used by Federal agencies to collect thoughts and formal comments on proposed changes to current regulations and guidance, or new regulations and guidance. The site can also be used to search for original regulatory documents, and to view comments that have been submitted by other individuals.  

Feel free to pass this email on to others. Please remember that comments should focus on the process and proposed scope of the revision. The opportunity for comments on specific changes to the guidance will be available during the revision process itself.  FEMA and NRC will review your comments and suggestions on the path forward.  Please contact me at 301-415-0705 or carolyn.kahler@nrc.gov with any questions. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Carolyn J. Kahler
Communications and Outreach
Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission

UPDATE 4-Sandy curtails US nuclear plants, oldest under alert

From Reuters:
NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Hurricane Sandy slowed or shut a half-dozen U.S. nuclear power plants, while the nation's oldest facility declared a rare "alert" after the record storm surge pushed flood waters high enough to endanger a key cooling system.
Exelon Corp's 43-year-old Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey remains on "alert" status, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said early Tuesday. It is only the third time this year that the second-lowest of four emergency action levels was triggered.
"Oyster Creek is still in an alert but may be getting out of it as long as water levels continue to drop," NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan told Reuters.
Read Article

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Exelon Nuclear Stations Well Prepared for Hurricane Sandy Pre-storm Inspections and Safeguards Completed

All Exelon nuclear stations are robust and fortified facilities, capable of withstanding the most severe weather, including hurricanes and floods. Extra precautions have been taken at each Pennsylvania facility, including increased staffing, pre-staging of emergency equipment, activating back-up communications, and securing outside equipment and materials.

“These extra storm precautions make our safe facilities even safer,” said Chris Mudrick, Exelon Senior VP for Mid-Atlantic Operations. “Our plants are designed to withstand the most severe weather conditions and we will continue to take actions that keep our stations, our workers and the public safe.”

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NRC Prepared For Approach Of Hurricane Sandy, Stations Inspectors At Nuclear Plants Expected To Be Most Impacted

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made preparations for Hurricane Sandy, with inspectors at all nuclear power plants that could potentially experience impacts from the storm. The inspectors are independently verifying that plant operators are making the proper preparations, are following relevant procedures and are taking appropriate actions to ensure plant safety before, during and after the storm.

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Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Zone Study Shows Worldwide Deficiencies

From SimplyInfo:
The US has a 10 mile (16km) evacuation zone around nuclear plants but have stated they may not issue evacuation orders for everyone inside that zone. Instead they intend to ask only select people to leave based on their location and prevailing winds. Most evacuation zones in Germany are 10km (6.21 miles) some are 2km (1.24 miles) and 10km (6.21 miles) with an outer 25km (15.53 miles) zone. The IAEA suggests 30km evacuation zones (18.84 miles), the US and Germany do not meet that standard. The IAEA also suggests evacuating anywhere the levels reach 100 mSv, the Japanese models found this quickly would happen even outside the 30km zone. The US also declared an 80km evacuation suggestion around Fukushima Daiichi yet impose no such idea back in the US.
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NRC and Dreams of Safety Blog Post

From Union of Concerned Scientists
When the NRC says that the Oconee nuclear plant is safe despite not having yet implemented many required safety upgrades, or that San Onofre is safe despite not knowing why the plant’s steam generator tubes are degrading almost as fast as if they were water soluble, or that Browns Ferry is safe despite not meeting fire protection regulations adopted more than three decades ago in response to a disastrous fire at Browns Ferry, it’s not necessarily because these plants are safe. It may be because the NRC’s vocabulary is limited to only that label.
Read Article

Federal Register Notice (77 FRN 65137) For Waste Confidence EIS and Scoping

Greetings,

The NRC intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to support the rulemaking to update the Commission’s Waste Confidence Decision and Rule, and is conducting scoping to gather information necessary to prepare the EIS.  Today’s Federal Register notice (77 FRN 65137) announcing the scoping period and providing additional details about upcoming public meetings and webinars can be found at the following web address:  https://federalregister.gov/a/2012-26295.

Public comments on the scope of the Waste Confidence environmental review will be accepted through January 2, 2013.  Comments may be submitted through the Federal government’s rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2012-0246; by mail to Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; or by fax to 301-492-3446.  Please do not send comments to this email address.

As part of the scoping process the NRC is planning to hold two webcast public meetings on November 14, 2012, and two webinars on December 5 and 6, 2012.  Meeting notices will be posted on the NRC’s public meeting website at http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfmapproximately two weeks before each meeting date.  The meeting notices will contain additional information, including agendas, teleconference phone line details, and information on how to access and participate in the webinars.  This information will also be provided on the NRC’s Waste Confidence public website – http://www.nrc.gov/waste/spent-fuel-storage/wcd.html – which will be updated regularly with new public documents and information regarding the waste confidence EIS and rule.

We will send additional emails providing links to the meeting notices once they are issued.  Any immediate questions regarding the scoping process can be directed to Sarah Lopas, NEPA Communications Project Manager – Sarah.Lopas@nrc.gov or telephone (301) 492-3425.

Sincerely,

Staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Waste Confidence Directorate

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Price Anderson Coverage Cleanup Costs

Does Price Anderson Cover Offsite Economic Costs? ANI implied that it does to the NRC Commissioners; NRC OGC representative told ACRS that he doesn’t know; Inside EPA investigative report, supported by emails between EPA, NRC, FEMA obtained by FOIA, July 2010 concluded that Price Anderson only covered partial costs-not cleanup. The report said that,
NRC officials also indicated during the meetings that the industry-funded account established under the Price Anderson Act -- which Congress passed in 1957 in an effort to limit the industry's liability -- would likely not be available to pay for such a cleanup. The account likely could only be used to provide compensation for damages incurred as the result of an accident, such as hotel stays, lost wages and property replacement costs, the documents show, leaving federal officials unsure where the money to pay for a cleanup would come from.
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Dominion Resources to close Kewaunee, Wis., nuclear power plant after failing to find buyer

From The Washington Post:
The Richmond, Va.-based energy provider said that the 556-megawatt facility in Carlton, Wis., is expected to stop producing power in the second quarter of 2013 and move to safe shutdown status. Dominion plans to record an after-tax $281 million charge in the third quarter related to the closing and decommissioning of the station.

The company had announced plans in April 2011 to sell the facility it purchased from Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and Wisconsin Power & Light Co. in 2005 for $220 million, as part of a strategic review of its assets. Dominion had previously planned to acquire additional plants and build a business around that portfolio.
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Request for Withholding Information From Public Disclosure for Peach Bottom

REQUEST FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE FOR PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNIT NOS. 2 AND 3 (TAC NOS. ME9631 AND ME9632)

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Request for Withholding Information From Public Disclosure for Peach Bottom

REQUEST FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE FOR PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNIT NOS. 2 AND 3 (TAC NOS. ME9631 AND ME9632)

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NRC has Failed to Adequately Address Flood Risks at Nuclear Plants from Dam Failures, Report Finds

From Union of Concerned Scientists:
Thirty-four nuclear reactors—one-third of the U.S. fleet—could face flooding hazards greater than they were designed to withstand if an upstream dam fails, according to the report, which was written by NRC staff members in July of last year. The NRC has known about these risks for at least 15 years and has failed to adequately address them.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Susquehanna Acceptance of Requested Licensing Action

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 ­ ACCEPTANCE OF REQUESTED LICENSING ACTION RE: CHANGE TO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SURVEILLANCE REQUIREMENTS TO INCREASE DIESEL GENERATOR MINIMUM STEADY STATE VOLTAGE (TAC NOS. ME9607 AND ME9608)

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Susquehanna Acceptance of Requested Licensing Action

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 ­ ACCEPTANCE OF REQUESTED LICENSING ACTION RE: CHANGE TO TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION SURVEILLANCE REQUIREMENT 3.8.1.19 TO INCREASE DIESEL GENERATOR E'MINIMUM STEADY STATE FREQUENCY (TAC NOS. ME9609 AND ME9610)

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Susquehanna Issuance of Amendments

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 - ISSUANCE OF AMENDMENTS RE: APPROVAL OF CYBER SECURITY PLAN MILESTONES 3 AND 6 (TAC NOS. ME8521 AND ME8522)

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Exelon Fleet Physical Security Plan

BRAIDWOOD STATION, UNIT NOS 1 AND 2; BYRON STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; CLINTON POWER STATION, UNIT NO.1; DRESDEN NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNIT NOS. 1, 2AND 3; LASALLE COUNTY STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; LIMERICK GENERATING STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; OYSTER CREEK NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION; PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNIT NOS. 1,2, AND 3; QUAD CITIES NUCLEAR POWER STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2; AND THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING PHYSICAL SECURITY PLAN, TRAINING AND QUALIFICATION PLAN, AND SAFEGUARDS CONTINGENCY PLAN

Download ML12277A238

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TMI, Unit 1 - NRC Security Inspection

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - NRC SECURITY INSPECTION REPORT NO. 0500028912012403

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Exelon Generation Completes Installation of State-of-the-Art Siren System for TMI

Comprehensive Testing Schedule Announced

LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, PA (Oct.2, 2012) – Exelon Generation has completed the installation of a new state-of-the-art siren system around Three Mile Island (TMI) Generating Station, part of a $13 million investment to upgrade sirens around the company’s nuclear stations.

The new system includes 96 sirens with improved sound coverage and battery back-up capability. This ensures the sirens will be able to operate and provide notification if electrical service is interrupted.

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Request for Withholding Information From Public Disclosure for Susquehanna

REQUEST FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE FOR SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION (TAC NOS. ME9083 AND ME9084)

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Monday, October 1, 2012

Bell Bend Nuclear Plant On Hold; Water Use Plan Denied

SRBC is currently reviewing both surface water and consumptive use applications for BBNPP. Based on our review of PPL’s consumptive use mitigation needs, SRBC staff has determined that it cannot recommend approval of operations at Holtwood, as proposed, to meet the mitigation requirement at BBNPP. Holtwood’s downstream location would leave approximately 120 river miles unmitigated during designated low flow periods. This does not preclude using operations at Holtwood as potential mitigation for other, more appropriate PPL assets.

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Susquehanna Notice of Licensee Meeting with PPL

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2
October 16, 2012
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Meeting

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NRC Seeks Comment on Proposed Guidance for Examining Plant Response to Updated Flooding Hazards

The NRC began examining flooding issues, in the form of upstream dam failures, prior to the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. That work was incorporated into the agency’s post-Fukushima efforts, which include requiring all U.S. plants to re-analyze potential flooding hazards at their sites using the latest available information. The plants will use present day guidance and analysis methods that have been used in new reactor applications to analyze hazards including stream and river flooding, hurricane storm surges, tsunami, and dam failures. In May, the NRC announced a schedule for all U.S. nuclear power plants to complete the hazard re-analysis by March of 2015.

If the re-analyzed flood hazards exceed the levels a plant was originally designed for, the plant will tell the NRC what interim measures it will use to safely deal with the new hazard. The plant will also perform an “integrated assessment” to identify specific vulnerabilities and examine how existing or planned systems or procedures will prevent or mitigate flood damage.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Status of the Environmental Review for the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant Combined License Application

STATUS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW FOR THE BELL BEND NUCLEAR POWER PLANT COMBINED LICENSE APPLICATION

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Three Mile Island Back On-Line

LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, PA (Sept. 22, 2012) – Three Mile Island Unit 1 returned to service today at 9:12 a.m. EDT when operators connected the plant’s turbine generator to the regional power grid. The unit automatically shut down on Sept. 20 due to an unexpected actuation of a relay switch on a reactor coolant pump. Plant personnel replaced the relay, installed additional monitoring capabilities of the relay and tested the pump prior to restarting the plant.

“We performed the necessary repairs safely and efficiently and are committed to a reliable operating cycle,” said Rick Libra, TMI Site Vice President.

Three Mile Island is located about 12 miles south of Harrisburg, Pa. The plant generates 852 megawatts of carbon free power - enough electricity for about 800,000 homes. Electric customers were not affected by the plant being off-line.

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Forthcoming Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC

FORTHCOMING MEETING WITH EXELON GENERATION COMPANY, LLC
Thursday, October 4, 2012 9:00 a.m. - 11 :00 a.m.

Download:
ML12265A149
NRC Counterparts PowerPoint Presentation

GAO Report: Spent Nuclear Fuel Stored Onsite Could Double Before Disposal

From Power Magazine:
One option to temporarily resolve the nuclear waste conundrum is to transfer spent fuel from wet to dry storage, the GAO said. This has costs and risks—including those associated with moving it—but it would allow safe storage of spent fuel for decades after nuclear reactors retire. However, the length of time that spent fuel can be safely stored in dry casks is "uncertain," the report noted. Though experts say it can safely be stored for about 100 years, an NRC determination in December 2010 stated that spent fuel can be stored for up to 60 years beyond the licensed life of the reactor in a combination of wet and dry storage.

In a landmark decision, a federal appeals court this June remanded that determination back to the NRC, saying it lacked a necessary environmental impact statement. The NRC later this August voted not to issue final licenses dependent on the determination until it could address the court's remand. The agency is meanwhile preparing an environmental impact statement on the effects of storing spent fuel for 200 years.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Susquehanna - NRC Marterial Control and Accounting Program Inspection

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION - NRC MATERIAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTING PROGRAM INSPECTION
REPORT NO. 05000387/2012403 AND 05000388/2012403

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Peach Bottom Request for Withholding Information From Public Disclosure

PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNIT NO.3: REQUEST FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PUC Weighs $45,000 Settlement With PPL Over Termination Investigation

September 13, 2012

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued for comment a $45,000 settlement with PPL Electric Utilities Corp. over an informal investigation into a residential termination.

The Commission voted 5-0 to issue the settlement for comment between the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E) and PPL for comment. The settlement follows an investigation into a 2011 incident concerning a home in Lititz, Lancaster County, that had been terminated for non-payment.

The PUC’s I&E alleged that PPL violated PUC regulations and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code during contacts with the customer prior to and after termination of service. The account was terminated for non-payment. According to the investigation, the customer contacted PPL and the company failed to place the account into dispute, which should have affected some of the steps toward termination.

Under the proposed settlement, PPL will pay a $30,000 civil penalty and $15,000 to its Operation HELP Hardship fund, which helps low-income customers maintain service. The company also will retrain some of its customer service personnel and provide copies of its monthly call monitoring reports and provide for direct monitoring of calls by PUC staff.

PPL provides electricity to about 1.4 million customers in 29 counties in central and eastern Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner. For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov.

Docket No. M-2012-2264635

Radiation Exposure At Peach Bottom

Roughly 50 workers at Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station were exposed to low levels of radiation early Tuesday after a discharge of contaminated steam.

At 1 a.m. that morning, workers were loosening a two-inch vent on top of the Unit 2 reactor vessel head when a "puff" of radioactive steam escaped from a flange, said Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Radiation monitoring alarms sounded as workers, dressed in bright yellow radiation-protection suits, hurried to close the vent. In total, the length of the release lasted about 2 minutes.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

TMIA To Testify Before The NRC & FEMA On Nuclear Evacuation Plans

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will meet with the public, state and local officials and other interested groups Sept. 13 in Rockville, Md., to discuss a proposed update to the agencies’ guidance for emergency preparedness plans at U.S. nuclear power plants.

Both the NRC and FEMA currently evaluate those plans using a single set of guidance, “Criteria for Preparation and Evaluation of Radiological Emergency Response Plans and Preparedness in Support of Nuclear Power Plants.” The agencies are starting what is expected to be a multiyear process for revising these criteria to incorporate what’s been learned since the guidance was published in 1980. This is the second of two explanatory meetings before the process starts; many additional meetings will be held around the country as the process continues.

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Public Meeting
NRC

Monday, September 10, 2012

NRC Directs Staff to Conduct Two-Year Environmental Study and Revision to Waste Confidence Rule

Washington (Platts)--6Sep2012/1218 pm EDT/1618 GMT

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission will develop an environmental impact decision and a revised waste confidence rule on the temporary storage of utility spent nuclear fuel, the commission said in a directive it issued to agency staff Thursday.

The EIS and new rule are to be completed within 24 months, NRC said in a statement Thursday.

The directive responds to a June 8 ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that called NRC's assessment of storing spent fuel for at least 120 years "deficient" and said the agency should have calculated "the environmental effects of failing to secure permanent storage" if a repository is never built. The rule was remanded to NRC.

The court also found deficiencies "with the agency's consideration of leaks and fires involving spent fuel pools," the agency said.

At issue was a revised waste confidence rule that NRC issued in 2010 that expressed the commission's confidence that spent fuel can be safely stored for at least 60 years after a reactor's operating license expires. Most, if not all, reactors have renewed their original 40-year operating licenses for another 20 years, which would make the oldest fuel at least 120 years old. The agency reached that conclusion without conducting an EIS.

NRC said in the statement that the commission's staff requirements memorandum "directed the staff to 'proceed directly' with development of the EIS and a revised waste confidence rule to satisfy the deficiencies the Appeals Court found in the NRC's 2010 waste confidence revision."

"Resolving this issue successfully is a Commission priority," NRC Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane said in the agency statement. "Waste confidence plays a core role in many major licensing actions, such as new reactors and license renewals."

Last month, the commission issued an order suspending final action on all license applications dependent on waste confidence, such as applications for new reactors and for the license renewal of existing ones, until the court's remand on waste confidence is addressed. That meant the agency could review those applications, but would hold in abeyance any decision on whether to issue a license.

That order still remains in effect, NRC said in the statement. NRC said that the agency's Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, which has regulatory responsibility over spent fuel storage and disposal, has set up a waste confidence directorate to develop the EIS. The directorate will be headed by Keith McConnell, the current deputy director of the division of waste management and environmental protection in NRC's Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs.

--Elaine Hiruo, elaine_hiruo@platts.com --Edited by Katharine Fraser, katharine_fraser@platts.com

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Susquehanna Mid-Cycle Performance Review and Inspection Plan 2012

MID-CYCLE PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND INSPECTION PLAN - SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNlTS 1 AND 2

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Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station Mid-Cycle Performance Review and Inspection Plan 2012

MID-CYCLE PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND INSPECTION PLAN – PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION

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TMI Mid-Cycle Performance Review and Inspection Plan 2012

MID-CYCLE PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND INSPECTION PLAN – THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1

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NRC Gives UniStar Brief Reprieve, French Nuclear Demise Almost Complete In US

NEWS FROM BEYOND NUCLEAR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, August 30, 2012

CONTACT: Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear, 301-523-0201

Reprieve for proposed third Maryland reactor just delays the inevitable
French nuclear demise almost complete in the US

Takoma Park, MD - The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) today gave a 60 day reprieve to embattled French governmental electric utility, √Člectricit√© de France (EDF), which remains in violation of the Atomic Energy Act while attempting to obtain a license for a third nuclear reactor at the Calvert Cliffs, MD site. But Beyond Nuclear, which has opposed the third reactor and supports a nuclear phase out, views the decision as simply a delay in the inevitable cancellation of all French reactor plans on US soil.

In a decision released late Thursday, the NRC found applicants Calvert Cliffs 3 Nuclear Project and Unistar “ineligible to obtain a license because they are owned by a United States (U.S.) corporation that is 100 percent owned by a foreign corporation.” However, the agency gave the applicants another 60 days to come up with the hitherto elusive US partner. If they fail to do so, “this proceeding will be closed,” the NRC order stated.

Calvert Cliffs 3 was intended to be an Areva design known in the US as the Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR). Areva is an energy corporation 90% owned by the French government. The application for the new reactor project was filed by UniStar, a corporate merger between EDF and its US domestic partner, Baltimore, MD-based Constellation Energy. But when Constellation withdrew from the project in 2010, citing the overriding financial risks of new reactor construction, EDF, a foreign corporation, was left as sole controlling owner, a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954.

“The NRC’s decision is just postponing the inevitable,” said Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear, one of the interveners opposing the Calvert Cliffs EPR application. “When Constellation ran for the exits two years ago, the writing was already on the wall,” Gunter continued. “It’s clear that nuclear energy development has become an economic black hole that smart CEOs are avoiding like the plague,” he said.

The EPR in Europe is an on-going financial and technical disaster. The two EPR projects under construction in Finland and France have both run into constant and lengthy delays, managerial problems, legal challenges, technical flaws and enormous cost over-runs. The Finnish EPR at Olkiluoto, abandoned by original partner Siemens, is now five years behind schedule and 120% over-budget.

The EPR underway in Flamanville, France is four years behind the completion schedule with soaring cost over-runs that exceed $7.5 billion. Three government safety regulators - from Finland, France and the UK - have raised safety concerns about Areva’s EPR design.

Areva had originally planned for seven EPR reactors at six US sites, in Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. But Calvert Cliffs was considered the “reference reactor” by the NRC. Its ultimate cancelation would effectively nullify the others.

“It’s just a matter of time - 60 days in fact - before we see the phantom promise of the so-called ‘new generation’ French reactor evaporate here in the US,” said Gunter of Beyond Nuclear. “In fact, industry-wide, nuclear power is proving too expensive and too risky with multi-year delays, fleeing corporate partners and ballooning costs the norm.”

In a similar instance, in the aftermath of the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, when US corporation, NRG Energy, pulled its investment from two proposed new reactors at the existing South Texas nuclear station near Houston, Japanese partner Toshiba attempted to continue with the project. But late last year, the NRC said it would not issue a construction license because the current project ownership did not meet foreign ownership restrictions.

In recent weeks, two planned reactors in Texas were canceled by the country’s biggest nuclear corporation, Exelon which sees no economic future in nuclear energy. Four reactors - in California, Nebraska and Florida - remain closed because of dangerous technical and structural flaws. Southern California Edison is about to lay off 730 workers. And the shutdown of the Waterford reactor in Louisiana in advance of Hurricane Isaac demonstrates that nuclear plants are a liability during a natural disaster when uninterrupted electricity supply can be critical.

In November 2008, three national safe energy groups - Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information & Resource Service, Public Citizen - and the local citizens group Southern Maryland Citizen Alliance for Renewable Energy Solutions - formally petitioned the NRC licensing board for a hearing opposing the Calvert Cliffs 3 application. The joint petition included the contention that EDF, as the dominate owner of the third proposed reactor, was in violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as amended and NRC licensing regulations, which prohibit controlling foreign ownership of a US nuclear plant.

For details on the shutdowns, cancelations, and cost-over-runs of nuclear projects in the US and worldwide, see the Beyond Nuclear Retreat web page at http://www.beyondnuclear.org/the-nuclear-retreat/ and World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2012, by Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt at http://www.beyondnuclear.org/storage/calvert-cliffs-cola/calv3_cola_order_contention1_08302012.pdf.

-30-

Beyond Nuclear works to end nuclear power and nuclear weapons. With a strongly rooted commitment to citizen action - and in the wake of the devastating Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan - Beyond Nuclear is empowering grassroots communities around the country to shut US nuclear reactors. This summer, through our campaign to “Freeze our Fukushimas,” we will organize town hall meetings, media campaign, actions, petitions and protests to ensure that the 23 US reactors identical in design to those at Fukushima are closed. More at www.beyondnuclear.org.

--
Paul Gunter, Director
Reactor Oversight Project
Beyond Nuclear
6930 Carroll Avenue Suite 400
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Tel. 301 270 2209
www.beyondnuclear.org

Friday, September 7, 2012

NRC To Weaken Worker Fatigue Rule

NRC REGULATORY ISSUE SUMMARY 2012-09 ENDORSEMENT OF NUCLEAR ENERGY INSTITUTE GUIDANCE FOR USING AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD TO MANAGE CUMULATIVE FATIGUE AT NUCLEAR POWER REACTOR SITES

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Study Shows Risk Of Cancer Appears To Last For Entire Lifetime After Exposure To Radiation

From Enformable Nuclear News:
After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the health effects of ionized radiation have become a hot topic around the globe.  A new study showing that survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings have continued to show a higher-than-normal risk of thyroid cancer, over half a century after their initial exposures.

The researchers calculated that 36 percent of the 191 thyroid cancers that eventually developed in people who were kids or teens at the time of the attacks were likely due to radiation exposure.

“Thyroid cancer is one of the most radiosensitive cancers,” said Dr. Kiyohiko Mabuchi of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who worked on the new study.
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Status Of PPL Rate Requests

1) Distribution:

On February 28, 2012, PPL filed a Notice of Intent with the PUC to increase  “distribution rates and will allow the Company to begin to recover the costs incurred since 2010 for the improvement and expansion of its distribution system. The request also will reflect increases in operation and maintenance costs since 2010, including costs associated with major storm events, programs to enhance retail electric competition and customer education.”

PPL filed for a distribution  rate hike  of $104.6 million. PPL acknowledged the proposal “would produce an average increase in distribution rates of approximately 13%.” However, the actual rate increase for the average residential electric electric bill would be 16.5% or a $7.00 per month according to the Office of Consumer Advocate.

Reply briefs due:  September 14, 2012.
Effective: January 1, 2012.


2) Default Service Program and Procurement Plan for the Period June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2015

On May 1, 2012, PPL Electric filed a Petition requesting approval for the terms and conditions under which the Company will acquire supply and provide Default Service from June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2015 ("DSP”) including  a proposal for competitive procurement of Default Service supply and related Alternative Energy Credits ("ABCs"); an implementation plan; a proposed rate design, including a Time-of-Use ("TOU") rate for Default Service during the DSP II Program Period; an explanation of Regional Transmission Organization ("RTO") compliance and consistency; and a contingency plan for the DSP Program. The filing also contained several proposals designed to enhance retail competition in PPL Electric's service area.  (PPL Electric).

Two issues of note for County residents: 1) How customers are notified after their initial contract expires and whether the cost of paying for enhancing retail competition will fall on the shoulders of rate payers or suppliers.

Reply brief: October 19, 2012.
Effective date: June 1, 2013- May 31, 2015.


3) DISC: TBD

The DSIC is an automatic adjustment charge that enables companies to recover certain infrastructure improvement costs between base rate cases through a quarterly surcharge on customers’ bills.  The DSIC resets to zero when a company files a base rate case or if the utility is over-earning. The company also must notify customers of any change in the DSIC. An annual reconciliation audit is conducted by the PUC to ensure that no over-collections or under-collections have occurred.

The DSIC allows  companies to use a surcharge to fund more upgrades of aging infrastructure that would not otherwise be feasible at a reasonable rate for customers. (Pa PUC)

In 2004,  PPL's request for a distribution system improvement charge was not approved.

Filing date: November , 2012.
Effective date: TBD.


4) As needed costs: Pass through in transmission charges from the PJM Interconnection, the regional power pool.

Nukes On The Susquehanna River This Summer

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station

June 19, 2012 – Operators at the Unit 1 reactor performed a planned shutdown to investigate the source of a minor water leak inside the containment structure.

A plant official said the leak does not affect the safety of the plant or the public. Unit 2 is continuing to operate at full power.

May 7, 2012 – The NRC issued a report dealing with a supplemental inspection at the Unit 1 reactor from Feb. 13 through March 2, 2012. The inspection stemmed from unplanned scrams (plant shutdowns) in 2010 and early 2011, and an internal flooding incident in the third quarter of 2010 that resulted in a white finding from the NRC of low to moderate safety significance.

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June12berwick
NRCAug.2012

NRC Public Meetings Through October

The time listed is local to the jurisdiction where the meeting is being held. When a meeting offers video conferencing at multiple locations, these details will be provided.
Meetings presently scheduled from 09/01/2012 forward

Public Meeting Schedule

Friday, August 31, 2012

TMI Nuclear Station Request for Additional Information Regarding Security Plan Review

THREE MILE ISLAND NUCLEAR STATION, UNIT 1 - REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REGARDING SECURITY PLAN REVIEW

Download ML12233A630

TMI Operators Take Unit Offline

LONDONDERRY TOWNSHIP, PA (Aug. 22, 2012) – Operators at Three Mile Island Generating Station took the unit offline today to make repairs to a heater element on the plant’s pressurizer tank.  The repairs can only be done with the unit offline.  TMI will return to service after the repairs, inspections and testing on the heater element are complete. 

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spent Fuel Problems At Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station

BORAFLEX DEGRADATION SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS AND CORRECTIVE ACTIONS IN THE SPENT FUEL POOL

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Susquehanna - NRC Integrated Inspection Report

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station – NRC Integrated Inspection Report 05000387/2012003 and 05000388/2012003.

Download ML12223A154

Belgium Shuts Down Nuclear Reactor Over Suspected Vessel Cracking

From Bellona:
The reactor vessel is one of the most important safety elements, both holding hot water under pressure and preventing the escape of radionuclides into the environment. Theoretically, should Dael No 3’s vessel be damaged, a cement barrier surrounding it would prevent further spread of radionuclides. (Lampert emphasis)

Possible problems with the vessel were first suspected by FANC in June, it said on its website statement. The agency has also promised to publicize a dossier of its data confirming that the cracks “do not threaten the structural integrity of the reactor vessel,” suggesting that the regulator is attempting to justify the reactor’s further use.
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Susquehanna: Withdrawal of Relief Request

SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 ­ WITHDRAWAL OF RELIEF REQUEST NO. 3RR-19 (TAC NOS. ME8521 AND ME8522).

Download ML12219A329

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PA DEP News Release: Free Radon Test Kits Available in Nine Counties through American Lung Association


COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg PA., 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
08/9/2012

CONTACT:
Colleen Connolly, Department of Environmental Protection Northeast Regional Office
570-826-2035


Free Radon Test Kits Available in Nine Counties through American Lung Association


WILKES-BARRE -- Free home radon test kits are available to residents of nine counties in northeast and north-central Pennsylvania, thanks to a $75,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to the American Lung Association, or ALA.

The kits are offered to residents of Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland, Potter, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga counties.

“These test kits equip residents with information needed to confront the dangers of having radon in our homes,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “By providing this vital tool, DEP and ALA are making sure residents stay safe and informed.”

The testing is part of a three-year, community-based program ALA sponsors to promote radon awareness in Pennsylvania. The first year of the program is focused on the northeast region, which ALA has identified as having lower radon testing rates and greater likelihood of elevated radon levels than other areas of the state.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It is second only to cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer. The only way to know the level of radon inside a home or other kind of building is to test for it, and the U.S. Surgeon General and ALA recommend that all homes be tested for radon. Nearly one in 15 homes nationwide has a high level of indoor radon, and in Pennsylvania, the rates are even higher.

Residents who are interested in obtaining a kit can do so in several ways. Visit ALA’s website at www.lunginfo.org/freeradonkit, where Pennsylvania residents can order a free home radon test kit, while supplies last.

School-based programs at which ALA representatives give presentations may provide radon test kits to students for use in their homes. Commitment from parents that the test would be performed is required and, ideally, the school would use the radon program as part of its science lessons.

ALA staff members or the organization’s cooperative partners may also provide radon test kits to members of the public at community outreach events. In the past, businesses, extension agents, health centers, municipal governments, shopping malls and civic clubs have participated.

Interested schools and organizations should contact Tony Delonti, ALA program specialist, at 570-346-1784 or adelonti@lunginfo.org.

For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 717-783-3594.

Read Article

NRC Grants Motion To Suspend All Licensing Decisions

August 7, 2012

NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION AGREES TO HOLD REACTOR LICENSING DECISIONS IN ABEYANCE

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the Motion of Three Mile Island Alert, Inc.*, and nuclear interveners at 21 other plants across the country, to suspend all licensing decisions that are dependent on the agency's Waste Confidence Rule.

On June 8, 2012 the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit tossed out a regulation that allowed nuclear waste to be stored at reactors for 100 years or more. The Appeals Court said the Nuclear Regulatory Commission failed to fully study the environmental risks of long-term onsite storage when it adopted the so-called "waste confidence" rule in December 2010.

Today’s Order assures  the public of an opportunity to participate, regardless of how the Commission proceeds, and states that individual contentions based on the federal court decision should be held in abeyance pending a further order.

Diane Curran, one of the attorneys spearheading the litigation project, said from her Washington, D.C. office, "This order pretty much gives us all we asked for." However it is unclear as to which recent NRC licensing decisions the agency deems dependent on the Waste Confidence Rule.

Beginning in 2007, Three Mile Island has prepared comments,  and testimony and filed litigation opposing the licensing and construction of the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plan before the NRC, Susquehanna River Basin Commission and US. Army Corps of Engineers.

Eric Epstein, Chairman of TMI Alert, Inc. said, “This is victory for common sense and prevents the nuclear industry from flushing its radioactive waste down the streets of reactor communities.”

*Three Mile Island Alert , Inc., tmia.com, a safe-energy organization based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and founded in 1977. TMIA monitors Peach Bottom, Susquehanna, and Three Mile Island nuclear generating stations.

Eric Epstein can be reached at 717-541-1101.

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NRC Completes Reintegration Of Security Into Reactor Oversight Process Assessments

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has reintegrated security inspection results into the agency’s Reactor Oversight Process (ROP) assessment program, effective July 1. The reintegration will be reflected in the August quarterly update to the ROP’s Action Matrix.

The NRC previously treated safety and security inputs to the Action Matrix separately. Reintegrating security information provides a holistic representation of licensee performance and will allow NRC staff to more fully leverage supplemental inspection procedures and resources when performance warrants.

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Three Mile Island News Release; TMI Responds To Monitoring Well Sample

“TMI’s groundwater monitoring program is very comprehensive and it worked exactly as intended,” said Rick Libra, TMI Site Vice President. “We identified this one sample quickly and we’re working hard to find the source and keep our stakeholders informed.”

Three Mile Island has a comprehensive radiological monitoring program that includes 55 wells and five additional sampling stations. No unusual levels of tritium have been found in the other wells or stations.

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Security Falsification Violations Reported At Peach Bottom Nuclear Plant

The SLS’s and SO’s actions caused Exelon to violate NRC requirements and the PBAPS operating license. Specifically, on January 16, 2011, and January 25, 2011, the SLS did not access a security post to monitor and assess the environmental conditions and monitor the SO’s alertness. 

Consequently, on those occasions, the supervisor failed to complete security post inspections in accordance with the requirements specified in Exelon implementing procedure SY-AA-120, “Supervisor Post Checks and Post Orders,” and the site security plan (which is required to be implemented in accordance with PBAPS License Condition 2.C(3)).

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Exelon Requests For Information To Be Withheld From Public Disclosure

REQUEST FOR WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE FOR PEACH BOTTOM ATOMIC POWER STATION, UNIT NOS. 2 AND 3
(TAC NOS. ME7538 AND ME7539)


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

NRC to Discuss Implementing Orders for Post-Fukushima Improvements

The public will have the opportunity to ask the NRC staff questions about the process during the meeting, which will be webcast. A teleconference will also be available by calling 888-220-3090 and using passcode 69958. Those planning to attend the meeting or call in to the teleconference should contact William Reckley at 301-415-7490 or william.reckley@nrc.gov to ensure adequate meeting resources are available.

The NRC continues to evaluate and act on the lessons learned from Fukushima to ensure U.S. nuclear power plants implement appropriate safety enhancements. Following direction from the agency’s five Commissioners, the NRC’s activities are being led by a steering committee comprised of senior NRC management. The agency has also established the Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate, a group of more than 20 full-time employees focused exclusively on implementing NTTF recommendations and related activities.

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TMI-Alert Inc.’s Comments On Bell Bend of Intent to Conduct A Supplemental Scoping Process on the Revised Site Layout

Dear Ms. Bladey:

Enclosed please find Three Mile Island Alert Inc.’s Comments 
Re: PPL Bend LLC;  Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant Combined License
Application; Notice of Intent to Conduct A Supplemental Scoping Process on the Revised Site Layout   (Docket ID NRC-2008-0603).

Respectfully submitted,

Eric Epstein, Chairman, TMI-Alert
4100 Hillsdale Road
Harrisburg, PA  17112
(717)-541-1101

Download:
TMI-Alert's Testimony; Tables 1, 2, 3 & 4
Enclosure 1
Enclosure 2
Enclosure 3

Monday, August 27, 2012

Brunswick Spent Fuel Pool Petition

Good Day:

On behalf of NC WARN, NIRS, and UCS, I submitted the attached 2.206 petition to the NRC earlier today.

It seeks revisions to the technical specifications (part of the operating license) for the two reactors at the Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina.

As outlined in the petition and its attached brief, the problem involves requirements for irradiated fuel in the spent fuel pools.

More precisely, the problem involves a near complete lack of requirements.

Unless an irradiated fuel bundle removed from the reactor core within the past 24 hours is being moved in the spent fuel pool, there's no legal requirement that the spent fuel pool contain even a drop of water. Or containment integirty. Or ac power. Or dc power. Etc.

The petition seeks to rectify this problem by revising the technical specifications to require all those preventative and mitigative measures when freshly irradiated fuel is being moved within a spent fuel pool whenever irradiated fuel is in the spent fuel pool period.

Such requirements cannot be too onerous or costly -- many already exist in the technical specifications for the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massachusetts and have done do for years.

Earlier this year, the NRC ordered plant owners to install instrumentation to monitor the water level and its temperature inside spent fuel pools.

Without the actions we seek in our petition, plant owners could install the instrumentation to comply with the NRC's order and then immediately disable it - except when freshly irradiated fuel is being moved. After all, since the technical specifications do not require water to be in the spent fuel pool sans movement, there's no legal requirement to monitor the level or temperature of the non-required water.

Many other boiling water reactors in the US - like Cooper in Nebraska and Browns Ferry in Alabama - have this same shortcoming. As time permits, UCS will be glad to work with local groups as we did with NC WARN and NIRS in North Carolina, to draft and submit petitions to the NRC to fix these plants, too.

Thanks,
Dave Lochbaum
UCS

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Letter to All Operating Boiling~Water Reactor Licensees with Mark I and Mark II Containments dated


REQUEST FOR VOLUNTARY RESPONSE TO PETITION FROM UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS REGARDING COMPLIANCE WITH TITLE 10 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULA TIONS (10 CFR), PART 50, APPENDIX A, GENERAL DESIGN CRITERIA 44, "COOLING WATER," AND 10 CFR 50.49, "ENVIRONMENTAL QUALIFICATION" 

Download: ML12172A157

Fukushima Disaster Was Man-Made, Investigation Finds

From Bloomberg
The Fukushima nuclear disaster was the result of “man-made” failures before and after last year’s earthquake, according to a report from an independent parliamentary investigation.

The breakdowns involved regulators working with the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to avoid implementing safety measures as well as a government lacking commitment to protect the public, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission said in the report.
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The Official Report of The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission


From the National Diet of Japan:
THE UNPRECEDENTED NUCLEAR ACCIDENT that began on March 11, 2011 is the subject of the following report, which we hereby present to the members of the National Diet of Japan for their review. We do this in accordance with the Act Regarding the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission.
Our investigative task is adjourned today, some six months after the appointment of our Chairman and Members in December of 2011.
This report is meant to reinforce the administrative authority of the legislative body and strengthen oversight activities on issues related to nuclear power. As the first independent commission chartered by the Diet in the history of Japan’s constitutional government, we would like to emphasize how important it is that this report be utilized, for the Japanese people and for the people of the world.
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Senator calls for Pa. nuclear site investigation

From PennLive:

A senator wants an investigation of the cleanup at an old nuclear waste site about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey says in a statement Wednesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Inspector General should investigate the cleanup of the former Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp., or NUMEC, site, which operated from 1957 until the 1980s.

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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

(Directing Staff to Amend Filing on 10 C.F.R. § 2.206) In a May 17, 2012 Order, this Board directed the NRC Staff to submit “a list of those occasions since January 1975 on which the NRC official to whom a [10 C.F.R. § 2.206] petition was submitted granted the substantive relief sought.”1 In response, the Staff identified 142 Director’s Decisions that either granted the petition in whole or in part or, although denying the 1 Licensing Board Memorandum and Order (Requesting Filing on Petitions under 10 C.F.R. § 2.206) at 1-2 (May 17, 2012) (unpublished) (emphasis in original); see also Licensing Board Memorandum and Order (Regarding Motion to Extend Time for Filing and to Reschedule Oral Argument) at 2 (May 24, 2012) (unpublished) (granting approximately a two week extension for Section 2.206 filing). - 2 - petition, either prompted action by the Staff or reflected action already taken by the Staff.2 For each of these decisions, in accordance with the Board’s request the Staff summarized the relief granted. Upon reviewing the filing, it is plain that the Staff did not comply with the Board’s directive. Rather than, as instructed, identifying solely those petitions in which substantive relief was provided to the petitioner, the Staff elected to supply the Board with each and every petition in response to which some action was taken by it. The most cursory examination of the Staff response reveals that in many, if not the majority, of the instances that action was patently not substantive in character. To cite but one example, of the 387 Director’s Decisions reviewed by the Staff only 2 petitions were granted in whole, one of which was that submitted in Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant, Units 1 and 2), DD-90-3, 31 NRC 595 (1990). On an examination of the relief provided in that instance, it is obvious the relief could not possibly be characterized as substantive in nature. There, in response to allegations in a Section 2.206 petition that Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) violated certain antitrust license conditions in the Diablo Canyon operating licenses, the Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation withheld a decision on the petition until completion of a ruling by the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on related issues and thereafter directed PG&E simply to submit a report regarding the steps it had taken and planned to take to comply with the District Court ruling.3 It is difficult to believe that the Staff is not conversant with the difference for present purposes between calling upon a licensee to file a report and what is being sought in the matters now before the Board, the augmentation of reliable hardened containment venting and 2 NRC Staff Response to the Board Order Regarding Petitions Under 10 C.F.R. § 2.206 at 2 (June 15, 2012). 3 Diablo Canyon, DD-90-3, 31 NRC at 595-96. - 3 - spent fuel storage. In the circumstances, we must conclude that in presenting the Board with all 142 instances where some affirmative action was taken with regard to a petition, the Staff chose simply to ignore the manifest distinction between substantive and procedural relief. The Staff is directed to file, no later than noon (EDT) on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, an amended response to this Board’s May 17, 2012 Order. That response shall identify those of the 142 Director’s Decisions listed in the June 15, 2012 response that, in fact, provided substantive relief to the petitioner. To accommodate the filing of responsive comments, provided for by the Board’s June 15, 2012 Order,4 those responsive comments shall now be filed no later than noon (EDT) on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. It is so ORDERED. FOR THE ATOMIC SAFETY AND LICENSING BOARD

Re: TMI-Alert Inc.’s Support for the Petition to Suspend Final Decisions in All Pending Licensing Programs

Dear Ms. Vietti-Cook: On Monday June 18, 2012, I filed a Petition (“Petition”) in concert with Joint Petitioners to Suspend Final Decisions in All Pending Licensing Proceedings Pending Completion of Remanded Waste Confidence Proceedings, Re: Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant, (Docket No. 52-039-COL.) I am formally withdrawing my appearance in the Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant, Docket No. 52-039-COL. I am refiling on behalf of Three Mile Island, Alert, Inc., and formally supporting the Petition to Suspend Final Decision in All Pending Reactor Licensees Proceedings Pending Completion of Remanded Waste Confidence Proceedings. The Petition also asked the NRC to establish procedures for ensuring that members of the public are given an opportunity to participate in the remanded proceedings. Three Mile Island Island Alert is a cosponsor of the Petition. Three Mile Island Alert was established in 1977 and has 600 members who live in close proximity to operating and proposed nuclear reactors. We are not submitting the Petition in any specific docket but we are resubmitting this Petition for your general consideration. Sincerely, Eric J. Epstein, Chairman Three Mile Island Alert, Inc. 4100 Hillsdale road Harrisburg, PA 17112 717-541-1101

Download: TMIA Support Suspension

Susquehanna: Review of 60-Day Response to Request for Information Regarding Recommendation 9.3

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Review of 60-Day Response to Request for Information Regarding Recommendation 9.3

Download: ML12160A194

Markey Statement on Court Ruling Vacating NRC Waste Disposal Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D- Mass.) today released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the 2010 update to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Waste Confidence Decision to temporarily store nuclear waste at power plants for up to six decades, rejecting the “Commission’s conclusions regarding temporary storage because the Commission did not conduct a sufficient analysis of the environmental risks.” “It comes as no surprise that the court has no confidence in NRC’s waste confidence decision. The NRC relied on what seemed to be a faith-based methodology to conclude that highly radioactive nuclear waste can be left simply sitting in the giant swimming pools and parking lots in which it is currently stored for an additional 60 years. There was a collective failure on the part of both Congress and the Department of Energy to enable a credible, science-based search for a permanent nuclear waste repository.”

Download: NRC Waste Disposal Decision

Peach Bottom: NRC Triennial Fire Protection Inspection Report

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - NRC Triennial Fire Protection Inspection Report 05000277/2012007 and 05000278/2012007

Download: 2012007

Download:

Peach Bottom: Request for Withholding Information From Public Disclosure

Request for Withholding Information From Public Disclosure for Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Unit Nos. 2 and 3 (TAC Nos. ME8535 and ME8536)

Download: ML121290529

PUC Approves Two Settlements with PPL that Include $471,000 in Monetary Penalties, Improved Customer Service Provisions

November 19, 2009

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today finalized two settlements with PPL Electric Utilities Inc. that include $471,000 in monetary penalties and contributions to low-income programs, as well as improvements to customer service procedures and training, ending two informal investigations into the company’s termination practices.

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the settlements, which include provisions that prohibit the company from recovering the monetary penalties from ratepayers.

One settlement deals with the Aug. 8, 2008, termination of electric service to a residence in Lancaster, Lancaster County. A fire destroyed the home on Aug. 9, 2008, killing Cynthia Glassman. Although Pennsylvania State Police were unable to determine the fire’s cause, the PUC’s independent Prosecutory Staff began an informal investigation into PPL’s termination practices.

Commission Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy issued a statement.

If the issue had been litigated, Prosecutory Staff would have contended the company violated various portions of the state’s Public Utility Code and Commission regulations including provisions on termination notices, medical certificates, payment arrangements, restoration of service and dispute rights. PPL would have contested the matters.

Under the settlement, the company agreed to:

  • Not terminate service to residential customers on Fridays before Jan. 1, 2013, without petitioning the PUC;
  • Contribute $400,000 to its Operation HELP program, which provides emergency financial aid to pay electric bills for low-income families;
  • Pay a civil penalty of $50,000;
  • Establish additional customer service procedures; and
  • Revise additional internal procedures to deal with terminations, medical certificates and disputes.

-more-

The other settlement involves an April 9, 2008, termination of electric service to an apartment in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. A fire destroyed the apartment and six other apartments on May 3, 2008. Following the incident, the PUC’s independent Prosecutory Staff began an informal investigation into PPL’s termination practices.

Commission Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy issued a statement.

If the issue had been litigated, Prosecutory Staff would have contended the company violated various portions of the state’s Public Utility Code and Commission regulations including provisions on termination notices, medical certifications and dispute rights. PPL would have contested the matters.

Under the settlement, the company agreed to:

  • Develop updated call scripts for customer service representatives and provide retraining;
  • Revise its procedures for customer service representatives receiving calls on terminations;
  • Contribute $20,000 to its Operation HELP program; and
  • Pay a civil penalty of $1,000.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.