Monday, October 4, 2010

Small Business Advantage Grant Program; Opportunity

NOTICES Small Business Advantage Grant Program; Opportunity [40 Pa.B. 5643] [Saturday, October 2, 2010]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department), Office of Energy and Technology Deployment announces an opportunity to apply for the 2010-2011 Small Business Advantage Grant program for pollution prevention and energy efficiency projects. The program provides up to 50% matching grants, to a maximum of $7,500, to enable small businesses in this Commonwealth to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Well-designed energy efficient or pollution prevention projects can help small businesses cut costs and reduce the risk of potential regulatory problems, while simultaneously protecting the environment. An eligible applicant must be a for-profit small business owner whose business or facility is located within the Commonwealth. All small businesses in this Commonwealth are eligible, including manufacturers, retailers, service providers, mining businesses and agricultural concerns. The project to which the grant will apply must be located within the applicant's facility in this Commonwealth and save the business at least 10% annually in energy or pollution related expenses. For questions or concerns regarding the eligibility of the project, contact Dave Barnes, Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, Small Business Ombudsman's Office at (717) 783-8411 or at before submitting an application the Department will begin accepting applications on October 4, 2010. Applications must be postmarked or hand delivered by 4 p.m. on November 5, 2010. Faxes or other electronic submissions will not be accepted. The application package including guidance, instructions and application forms is available electronically on the Department's web site at, key word ''Small Business Advantage.'' The application package is also available by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, 15th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, P. O. Box 8772, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8772, (717) 783-8411. JOHN HANGER,  Secretary

NRC stalls key repairs for 32 years

From the Toledo Blade:
The NRC has reaffirmed several times since then that sumps at certain plants have been at risk of becoming overwhelmed by paint chips, insulation, and other free-floating debris that would form if an accident occurred. If those sumps fail, there wouldn’t be anything recirculating water to cool the reactors. NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko acknowledged Wednesday the agency “has been grappling with this issue for quite some time now.” That’s an understatement. More than 18 years elapsed before regulators finally showed signs of getting serious about it in September of 1996. Then, they began drawing up plans for what’s known as Generic Safety Issue 191, an industrywide requirement to make the long-overdue sump fixes.
Since then, it’s been another 14 years of talking.
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Beaver Valley: Residual Heat Removal System Piping Leak

Event Number: 46304 Facility: BEAVER VALLEY Event Date: 10/02/2010 RESIDUAL HEAT REMOVAL SYSTEM PIPING LEAK "Approximately five hours after Beaver Valley Power Station Unit No. 1 was shutdown at 0011 hours [EDT] to enter a scheduled refueling outage, an approximate 5 drops per minute leak was identified from a drain valve on the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) System inside containment. This leak is downstream of the two series RHR isolation valves on a pipe which connects to both trains of RHR. The actual location of the leak on the valve was not immediately evident. An evaluation was requested. At 1011 hours, the evaluation reported a 270 degree circumferential crack in the socket weld on the RHR side of the valve. Without reasonable assurance of RHR System operability, both trains of RHR were declared inoperable. Both trains of the RHR System are currently in service, along with three steam generators/condenser remaining available for decay heat removal. Actions to address this condition are being pursued. "This is being reported as a condition that at the time of discovery could have prevented the fulfillment of the safety function of systems needed to remove decay heat pursuant to 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(v)(B) since both trains of RHR were declared inoperable. "Beaver Valley Power Station Unit No. 2 is unaffected by this event and remains at 100 percent power. "The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified." T.S. Action 3.4.7 requires that efforts be immediately initiated to restore RHR as soon as possible.

Leaks and Spills of Tritium at U.S. Commercial Nuclear Power Plants

From the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission:
This is a list of reactor sites that experienced a leak or spill to the environment at some time since initial startup. The list only includes those leaks or spills where tritium in the leak source or the groundwater sample was greater than 20,000 pCi/L. The term “leaks and spills” includes all types of non-routine releases in which tritium from reactor operation contacted the soil in an unintended fashion.
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NRC is Failing to Protect Public by Allowing Nuclear Plants to Leak Radioactive Water with Immunity, Report Finds

From the Union of Concerned Citizens:
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) routinely fails to enforce its regulations prohibiting nuclear power plants from leaking radioactively contaminated water, according to a report released today by the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report, “Regulatory Roulette: The NRC’s Inconsistent Oversight of Radioactive Releases from Nuclear Power Plants,” found that the NRC ignored more than two dozen contaminated water releases that have occurred since 2006. The agency did not issue any fines or impose any sanctions for these federal safety requirement violations. Over the past several months there have been leaks discovered at the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Massachusetts, the Salem plant in New Jersey, and the Vermont Yankee plant. Radioactive leaks can include cobalt-60, cesium-137, tritium and strontium-90, which can increase the risk of cancer and other radiation-induced health problems. “NRC’s enforcement record was spotty before 2006,” said David Lochbaum, author of the report and director of UCS’s Nuclear Power Safety Project, “but since then, the agency has given power plants a free pass when it comes to leaking radioactively contaminated water.”
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Audit of Three Mile Island Unit-2's Cleanup Funds Requested Prior to FirstEnergy Merger

Eric Epstein, Chairman of TMI-Alert, Inc. filed a petition at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking enforcement action in the form of a Demand for Information requiring FirstEnergy to provide the NRC with site-specific information and financial guarantees that demonstrate and verify the licensee has adequate funding in place to decommission and decontaminate Three Mile Island Unit-2, and that the proposed merger between FirstEnergy and Allegheny Power will not place additional financial pressures on FirstEnergy’s ability to satisfy its decommissioning obligations in 2036.

Mr. Epstein said, “After 31 years of broken promises, faulty assumptions, and inaccurate projections, the NRC should hold FirstEnergy accountable and demand a site-specific funding plan at the nation’s worst commercial nuclear accident.”

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