Saturday, June 22, 2019

NRC Approves License Transfer for Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the transfer of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station license from Exelon Generation Co. to Oyster Creek Environmental Protection, as owner, and Holtec Decommissioning International, as decommissioning operator. 

The three companies requested the license transfer in August 2018. Once the purchase is finalized, as previously announced, OCEP and HDI plan to expedite decommissioning and dismantling of the plant. The license transfer includes the dry cask spent fuel storage installation at Oyster Creek. The NRC order approving the license transfer is effective immediately, but the license transfer will not be finalized until the successful completion of the transaction between Exelon, OCEP and HDI. At that point, the NRC will issue a license amendment reflecting completion of the transfer.

Read more: 19-027.pdf

NRC Names New Resident Inspector at Susquehanna Nuclear Power Plant


Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials in King of Prussia, Pa., have selected Matt Rossi as the agency’s resident inspector at Talen Energy’s Susquehanna Steam Electric Station.

Rossi joins Senior Resident Inspector Laura Micewski at the two-unit site in Berwick, Pa.

Read more: 19-014.i.pdf

Monday, June 17, 2019

RETREAT FROM TIMELY CLEANUP: EXELON GENERATION FILES THREE MILE ISLAND UNIT 1 DECOMMISSIONING REPORT WITH NRC

 "Exelon is retreating from a timely cleanup of TMI-1, and this announcement means the damaged reactor - TM-2 - will not be cleaned up until almost 100 years after the meltdown."

"Exelon has made a decision to abandon the community, cut staffing and not use a highly trained workforce to clean up TMI-1 and TMI-2."

"TMI is not suitable to continue serving as a high-level radioactive waste site, and this announcement strands 1,200 metric tons of nuclear garbage and countless employees."

Eric Epstein, Chairman, TMI-Alert
717-635-8615
 

EXELON GENERATION FILES THREE MILE ISLAND UNIT 1 DECOMMISSIONING REPORT WITH NRC

Unit 1 reactor to enter long-term storage after final shutdown in Sept., absent needed market or policy reforms

MIDDLETOWN, PA (April 5, 2019) — Exelon Generation, owner and operator of the Three Mile Island (TMI) Unit 1 nuclear energy facility, today filed the federally required Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) detailing plans for the plant after its final shutdown, scheduled Sept. 2019.

“Even while we continue to safely operate Three Mile Island at industry-leading levels, we have a responsibility to prepare the plant, along with our community and our employees, for decommissioning,” said TMI Unit 1 Site Vice President Edward Callan. “At the same time, we are actively engaged with stakeholders and policymakers on a solution to preserve Pennsylvania’s nuclear facilities and the clean, reliable energy and good-paying jobs they provide — a solution that will maintain nuclear energy’s $2 billion annual contribution to the state’s economy and its approximately 16,000 direct and indirect Pennsylvania jobs. However, time is not on our side.”

In the filing with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Exelon Generation selected “SAFSTOR,” one of three federally allowed decommissioning options for the plant, and outlined a plan to dismantle large components, including the station’s cooling towers, beginning in 2074. The SAFSTOR option provides a safer environment for our decommissioning workforce by allowing additional time for normal radioactive decay, which results in less waste and lower radiation exposure.

Used nuclear fuel will be transitioned into the spent fuel pool and then moved to dry cask storage by the end of 2022, where it will be protected in a hardened facility with multiple layers of structural, human and electronic security. Facility staffing will decrease in three phases from 675 employees in 2017 when Exelon announced the plant’s premature retirement to 50 full-time employees in 2022, absent market or policy reform.

The current market design fails to properly recognize the significant environmental and resiliency attributes associated with the carbon-free, reliable energy generated at TMI and nuclear plants across the Commonwealth. Absent action in the coming months by Pennsylvania policymakers, the loss of nuclear plants will increase air pollution, compromise the resiliency of the electric grid, raise energy prices for consumers, eliminate thousands of good-paying local jobs and weaken the state’s economy.

Today’s decommissioning report filing is required by the NRC as part of the process to shut down the plant; however, the plant will remain operating if a policy solution is enacted.

# # #

About Exelon Generation
Exelon Generation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), is one of the largest, most efficient clean energy producers in the U.S., with a generating capacity of more than 32,000 megawatts. Exelon Generation operates the largest U.S. fleet of carbon-free nuclear plants with more than 19,600 megawatts of capacity from 22 reactors at 13 facilities in Illinois, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania. Exelon Generation also operates a diverse mix of wind, solar, landfill gas, hydroelectric, natural gas and oil facilities in 19 states with more than 12,400 megawatts. Exelon Generation has an industry-leading safety record and is an active partner and economic engine in the communities it serves by providing jobs, charitable contributions and tax payments that help towns and regions grow. Follow Exelon Generation on Twitter @ExelonGen, view the Exelon Generation YouTube channel, and visit

How many times are we going to bailout Three Mile Island? | Opinion

It wasn’t that long ago when Pennsylvania legislators proclaimed that the market was best suited to determine what energy technologies should move Pennsylvania forward.

And it wasn’t that long ago that nuclear power generators, after receiving $9 billion from ratepayers, embraced the marketplace and deregulation.

Now two nuclear corporations, Illinois-based Exelon Energy and Ohio-based First Energy no longer believe in the Pennsylvania marketplace. These corporations want to charge consumers a nuclear tax, and ship the profits to Illinois and Ohio. Not the good neighbor policy most of us had in mind.

Read more

We are fortunate TMI will be shutting down: Letter to the Editor

Dream of the time when citizens know we live with truth and justice in a safe and secure energy future. I do. 

Together, I believe we’re committed to clean air and water, protecting our environment, American workers and American companies. May balancing our stewardship of the environment with the needs of a growing economy not ignore the health and safety of the public regarding Three Mile Island and nuclear energy. 
 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Lawmakers are right not to fall for Exelon’s heavy-handed tactics | Opinion

It wasn’t too hard to read between the lines to find the clear message that Chicago-based Exelon Energy sent to state lawmakers on Wednesday: That’s a nice nuclear plant you got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.

“Although we see strong support in Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania to reduce carbon emissions and maintain the environmental and economic benefits provided by nuclear energy, we don’t see a path forward for policy changes before the June 1 fuel purchasing deadline for [Three Mile Island],” Exelon representative Kathleen Barron said in a statement obtained by the Press & Journal in Middletown.

Read more

TMI watchdog group on closure: 'It’s not a happy time .. nobody is spiking the ball in the end zone'

"A “middle way” is doable that can avert the worst impacts of the September shutdown of Three Mile Island that Exelon says is inevitable, says Eric Epstein, chairman of the watchdog group TMI Alert.
 
"In November, TMI Alert submitted a plan that Epstein describes as a “community option” regarding the future shutdown of TMI, where the plant is cleaned up immediately, the tax base and plant staffing levels are preserved, and local municipalities and counties continue to receive reimbursement for emergency planning and radiation monitoring."
 

THREE MILE ISLAND UNIT 1 TO SHUT DOWN BY SEPTEMBER 30, 2019


Contact:
Dave Marcheskie
Three Mile Island, Sr. Communications Mgr.
717-579-0229
David.Marcheskie@exeloncorp.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THREE MILE ISLAND UNIT 1 TO SHUT DOWN BY SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

MIDDLETOWN, PA (May 8, 2019) — Exelon Generation announced today that Three Mile Island Generating Station Unit 1 (TMI) will shut down by Sept. 30, 2019, as previously announced in May 2017. With only three legislative session days remaining in May and no action taken to advance House Bill 11 or Senate Bill 510, it is clear a state policy solution will not be enacted before June 1, in time to reverse the premature retirement of the plant.
“Today is a difficult day for our employees, who were hopeful that state policymakers would support valuing carbon-free nuclear energy the same way they value other forms of clean energy in time to save TMI from a premature closure,” said Bryan Hanson, Exelon senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.
“I want to thank the hundreds of men and women who will continue to safely operate TMI through September. We will offer a position elsewhere in Exelon to every employee who wishes to stay with the company and is willing to relocate, and we will do all we can to support the community, the employees and their families during this difficult period,” Hanson added.
Exelon Generation previously announced that the station would prematurely shut down, absent policy reform, due to economic challenges and market flaws that fail to recognize the environmental and resiliency benefits from TMI and other zero-carbon nuclear energy plants across the Commonwealth.
“Although we see strong support in Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania to reduce carbon emissions and maintain the environmental and economic benefits provided by nuclear energy, we don’t see a path forward for policy changes before the June 1 fuel purchasing deadline for TMI,” said Kathleen BarrĂ³n, Exelon senior vice president, government and regulatory affairs and public policy. “While TMI will close in September as planned, the state has eight other zero-carbon nuclear units that provide around-the-clock clean energy, avoiding millions of tons of carbon emissions every year. We will continue to work with the legislature and all stakeholders to enact policies that will secure a clean energy future for all Pennsylvanians.”
Exelon Generation’s highly trained employees will continue to operate the plant at world-class levels of excellence through September, with staff transitions expected within six months of the plant’s final shut down.
Over the past two years, Exelon Generation has worked actively with TMI employees to map them to other positions, and many have already accepted placement elsewhere within the company. Exelon Generation will continue to work with employees to support them during this transition.
Last month, Exelon Generation filed the federally required Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report detailing plans for TMI after its final shutdown, including transitioning staff in three phases down to 50 full-time employees by 2022. In the filing, Exelon Generation selected “SAFSTOR,” one of three decommissioning options for the plant, and outlined a plan to dismantle large components, including the station’s cooling towers, beginning in 2074.

MEDIA AVAILABILITY
WHERE: TMI Training Center
WHEN: 10am – 2pm
CONTACTS:
Dave Marcheskie
717-579-0229
Dave.marcheskie@exeloncorp.com

Liz Williamson
610-765-5530

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Three Mile Island Generating Station Emergency Siren Test Scheduled for June 6

Contact: Dave Marcheskie
717-579-0229
David.Marcheskie@exeloncorp.com 

 
THREE MILE ISLAND GENERATING STATION EMERGENCY SIREN TEST SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 6
 
Sirens to sound for three minutes at 12:15 p.m. 
 
LONDONDERRY TWP, PA (June 4, 2018) Exelon Generation will conduct its semi- annual, full volume test of the emergency warning sirens surrounding Three Mile Island (TMI) Generating Station on June 6 at approximately 12:15 p.m. This is one of two semi- annual tests performed each year.
The emergency warning siren system consists of 96 sirens located in parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties within a 10-mile radius of TMI. The sirens are not a signal to evacuate, but a warning to tune to a local emergency alert broadcast television or radio station. County emergency management authorities activate the sirens, which can be used in the event of any emergency, including severe weather.
Although TMI is scheduled to permanently shut down later this year, the siren system must remain in operation in accordance with local, state and federal emergency planning requirements until certain emergency procedures and processes are no longer in place. Those procedures are expected to be discontinued in accordance with federal regulator oversight.
TMI is located approximately 12 miles south of Harrisburg. The plant generates enough carbon-free electricity for 800,000 homes.

NRC Schedules Webinar to Discuss 2018 Safety Performance at Pennsylvania Nuclear Power Plants

No: I-19-012
May 21, 2019
Contact:
Diane Screnci, 610-337-5330
Neil Sheehan
, 610-337-5331

NRC Schedules Webinar to Discuss 2018 Safety Performance at Pennsylvania Nuclear Power Plants
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will hold a public webinar on June 12 to discuss the agency’s annual assessment of safety performance at the nuclear power plants located in Pennsylvania. Beaver Valley 1 & 2, in Shippingport, are operated by FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company; and Susquehanna 1 & 2, in Berwick, are operated by Talen Energy. Limerick 1 & 2, in Limerick, Peach Bottom 2 & 3, in Delta, and Three Mile Island Unit 1 in Middletown, are operated by Exelon Nuclear.
The purpose of the webinar is to provide information regarding the plants’ safety performance in 2018 and the NRC’s oversight activities at the facilities. The online meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Participants will be able to view slides prepared by NRC staff and ask questions either orally or in writing via a web page established to host the session. Advance online registration is required to participate.
All of the units operated safely in 2018. For Beaver Valley, Limerick, Three Mile Island and Susquehanna, at the end of the year, all inspection findings and performance indicators were green, or of very low safety significance. As a result, the plants will receive the normal level of oversight in 2019, which entails thousands of hours of inspection each year.
The NRC determined the performance at Peach Bottom was within the Regulatory Response Column, the second highest performance column of the NRC’s Reactor Oversight Process Action Matrix due to a white finding (low to moderate safety significance). The finding was related to performance issues that caused a shared emergency diesel generator to be declared inoperable last June. In addition to baseline inspections, the NRC is conducting a supplemental inspection to ensure that the root and contributing causes of degraded performance are understood and that appropriate corrective actions are taken.
The NRC Reactor Oversight Process uses color-coded inspection findings and indicators to describe plant performance. The colors start at green and increase to white, yellow or red, commensurate with the safety significance of the issues involved. Inspection findings or performance indicators with more than very low safety significance trigger increased NRC oversight.
Inspections are performed by two NRC resident inspectors assigned to each of the plants and specialists from the agency’s Region I Office in King of Prussia, Pa. The annual assessment letters
for Beaver Valley, Limerick, Peach Bottom, Susquehanna and Three Mile Island, as well as the webinar notice, are available on the NRC website. Current plant performance information for all of the units is also available on the website and updated quarterly.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Mary Stamos Collection is Going To The Smithsonian


Mary Stamos, a long-time member of TMI Alert’s Planning Council, has been collecting samples of mutated plants since the TMI meltdown in 1979. Now the world’s foremost museum and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution, has expressed interest in acquiring her collection. A small group of TMI Alert volunteers, under the leadership of Scott Portzline, spent hundreds of hours over four months documenting her collection. 

There are probably more than a thousand specimens that have been grouped into 320 separate exhibits. Each exhibit was photographed and documented with information about where found, when found, a brief description, and recorded comments from Mary about unique aspects of specific pieces. 
 
The collection is headed to the Natural History Museum’s Department of Botany where the individual pieces will be analyzed to ascertain if radiation from TMI caused the cellular structure of the plants to be altered. TMI Alert plans to post the entire database on its website so the public can examine the data, see the photos, and read or hear Mary’s comments about the specimens. 

Reprinted with permission from the January 2019 TMI Alert.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Susquehanna: Integrated Inspection Report 05000387/2018004 and 05000388/2018004

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station - Integrated Inspection Report 05000387/2018004 and 05000388/2018004

ADAMS Accession No.  ML19045A259

Peach Bottom: Integrated Inspection Report & Exercise of Enforcement Discretion

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station - Integrated Inspection Report 05000277/2018004 and 05000278/2018004 and Exercise of Enforcement Discretion

DEP Reaches Settlement with Wayne County Hospital Over High X-Ray Radiation Levels at Community Health Center

Wilkes-Barre, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today it has reached an agreement with Wayne Memorial Health System, Inc. (WMHSI) in Honesdale, Wayne County on a $15,600 civil penalty for violations relating to radiation sensors on a system-owned X-ray unit. DEP has determined that some patients at the system’s community health center in Waymart may have been exposed to high levels of radiation.

“The department’s main concern is the health and well-being of patients at this facility”, said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Facilities that utilize equipment with radiation have a responsibility to comply with regulations and that did not happen here. This agreement will help ensure this does not happen in the future and patients are not at risk.”

During an inspection in September 2018, DEP staff discovered that sensors on the recently installed X-ray unit, which determine radiation exposure time, were not properly adjusted at the time of installation, causing the sensors to shut off while the unit was operating. Due to that malfunction, X-ray technicians were relying on the unit’s back-up timer to determine skin exposure time. The back-up timer was set at one second, which, under national radiation guidelines, is too long of an exposure time. As a result, the X-ray unit lacked the means to terminate radiation exposure at a pre-set time. This malfunction caused some patients to be exposed to radiation levels sixteen times the acceptable national average. 

The national measurement for radiation skin exposure is 320 milli Roentgen (mR), and because of the time limit set on the back-up X-ray unit, some patients at the health center had skin exposure of over 5100 mR. Those exposure levels are a violation of the Radiation Protection Act.

The DEP encourages anyone who may have had X-rays at the community health center between May and September of 2018 to consult a medical professional to discuss any concerns.

The department determined on September 26, 2018, that WMHSI had repaired the X-ray unit and, during a follow-up inspection, determined it was in compliance with DEP radiation regulations.

The agreement also calls for WMHSI to submit a copy of its Quality Assurance Plan, including its plans for the use of the x-ray unit, by February 2019 for DEP’s approval, and be instituted at the facility within two weeks of its approval. The facility must also begin, by March 1, 2019, providing copies of its daily tracking system of radiation exposure to DEP.

For more information on radiation exposure please go to DEP’s Radiation Protection webpage: https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/RadiationProtection/Pages/default.aspx
 ​

MEDIA CONTACT: Colleen Connolly, 570-826-2035
###

Costs of Nuclear Bailouts in New York, Illinois, Connecticut & New Jersey


Form: 
The form of the subsidy, for instance, either as a nuclear credit 
or above-market power contract. Subsidies adopted to date are either 
priced as nuclear credits separate from the sale of electricity and other 
ancillary services; or in the form of contracts to purchase electricity 
at higher prices than prevailing market prices.
 
Price: The unit cost of subsidies, based on the amount of electricity 
generated. In the case of power contracts, the subsidy price is 
calculated as an estimate of the average difference in the subsidized 
price and average market prices.
 
Duration: Length of time for which subsidies are committed or 
authorized.
 
Reactors: The number of reactors authorized to receive subsidies 
under the program.
 
Capacity: The total amount of electricity generation capacity authorized 
to receive subsidies, measured in megawatts (MW) of capacity.
 
Generation: The average annual amount of electricity generated by 
the subsidized capacity, or the maximum amount of generation to be 
subsidized.
 
Cost/year: The average annual projected cost of the nuclear subsidy.
 
Total Cost: The total projected cost of the nuclear subsidy program, 
over the full term.
 
Costs of Other State Nuclear Bailouts
 
State
Form
Price
Duration
Reactors
Capacity
Generation
Cost/year
Total Cost
New York
Credit
$17.48-$29.15/MWh (rises every 2 yrs.)
12 yrs
(2017-2029)
4
3,351 MW
27,618,000 MWh
$483M-$804M
~$7.6 billion
Illinois
Credit
$16.50-$20.50/MWh (rises every year after yr. 7)
10 yrs
(2017-2027)
3
2,780 MW
22,900,000 MWh
$235M
(cost capped at ~$10/MWh)
$2.35 billion
New Jersey
Credit
~$10/MWh
3 yrs., up to 12 yrs.
3
3,573 MW
29,400,000 MWh
~$300M
<$3.6 billion
Connecticut
Power Contract
Unknown (price not yet finalized)
10 yrs.
3
~1,300 MW
~11 million MWh
Unknown
(est. ≤ $330M)
Unknown (est. ≤ $3.3 billion)
TOTAL
 
 
 
13
11,000 MW
81 million MWh
> $1.1 billion/yr
~$15 billion
  

Subsidies to New York reactors are projected to total as much as $7.6 billion over 12 years (2017-2029).
Judson, Tim. “Too Big to Bail Out: The Economic Costs of a National Nuclear Power Subsidy.”
 Nuclear Information and Resource Ser­vice.  November 2016.
 
Illinois subsidies are projected to total $2.35 billion over 10 years (2017-2027). Daniels, Steve.
 “How Exelon will keep getting bailout money in Illinois—whether it needs it or not.” Crain’s Chicago Business. August 2, 2017. 
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/arti­cle/20170802/NEWS11/170809972/how-exelon-will-keep-getting-bailout-money-in-illinois-whether-it-needs-it-or-not
 
Connecticut subsidies could amount to $330 million per year, in five-year contracts.
Energyzt Advisors, LLC. “Financial Assessment: Millstone Nuclear Power Plant.” April 2017.
 
New Jersey subsidies are estimated to cost consumers $300 million per year, in extendable three-year periods. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Gregorry Jaczko: Author, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator

Costs of Nuclear Bailouts in New York, Illinois, Connecticut & New Jersey


Costs of Other State Nuclear Bailouts

State
Duration
Price
Reactors
MW
MWh
Cost/year
Total Cost
New York
12 yrs
(2017-2029)
$17.48-$29.15/MWh (rises every 2 yrs.)
4
3,351 MW
27,618,000 MWh
$483M-$804M
~$7.6 billion
Illinois
10 yrs
(2017-2027)
$16.50-$20.50/MWh (rises every year after yr. 7)
3
2,780 MW
22,900,000 MWh
$235M
(cost capped at ~$10/MWh)
$2.35 billion
New Jersey
3 yrs., up to 12 yrs.
~$10/MWh
3
3,573 MW
29,400,000 MWh
~$300M
<$3.6 billion
Connecticut
10 yrs.
Unknown
3
~1,300 MW
~11 million MWh
unknown
Unknown
TOTAL
13
11,000 MW
81 million MWh
> $1.1 billion/yr
~$15 billion

Subsidies to New York reactors are projected to total as much as $7.6 billion over 12 years (2017-2029).
Judson, Tim. “Too Big to Bail Out: The Economic Costs of a National Nuclear Power Subsidy.”
 Nuclear Information and Resource Ser­vice.  November 2016.

Illinois subsidies are projected to total $2.35 billion over 10 years (2017-2027). Daniels, Steve.
 “How Exelon will keep getting bailout money in Illinois—whether it needs it or not.” Crain’s Chicago Business. August 2, 2017. 
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/arti­cle/20170802/NEWS11/170809972/how-exelon-will-keep-getting-bailout-money-in-illinois-whether-it-needs-it-or-not
Connecticut subsidies could amount to $330 million per year, in five-year contracts.
Energyzt Advisors, LLC. “Financial Assessment: Millstone Nuclear Power Plant.” April 2017.

New Jersey subsidies are estimated to cost consumers $300 million per year, in extendable three-year periods. 
The Board of Public Util­ities must submit a report to the governor within ten years evaluating the costs and benefits of the program.