Saturday, May 19, 2018

Susquehanna: Cyber-Security Inspection



NRC to Hold Open House to Discuss Peach Bottom Power Plant 2017 Safety Performance

Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will discuss the 2017 safety performance of the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant, operated by Exelon, during an open house on May 24 in Holtwood, Pa. The open house, which will be held at the Muddy Run Visitor Center, 172 Bethesda Church Road West, will held 5:30-7 p.m. NRC staff responsible for inspections, including the resident inspectors assigned to Peach Bottom on a full-time basis, will be available to discuss the plant’s performance.
Peach Bottom operated safely during 2017. At the end of last year, all inspection findings and performance indicators for the plant were green, or of very low safety significance. As a result, the plant will receive the normal level of oversight in 2018, which entails thousands of hours of inspection each year.
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 and inspection specialists from the agency’s Region I Office in King of Prussia, Pa.
The annual assessment letter, as well as the notice for the open house, are available on the NRC website. Current plant performance information for Peach Bottom Unit 2 and Unit 3 is also available.

Letter to Power Reactor Licensees: 2017 Decomissioning Funding

Letter to Power Reactor Licensees - U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Analysis of Licensees' 2017 Decommissioning Funding Status Reports.

ADAMS Accession No. ML18122A001

Subsidies for Uneconomic Power Plants Wrong Choice, Broad Energy Coalition Opposes Federal Action Based on Faulty Factual and Legal Premise

Subsidies for Uneconomic Power Plants Wrong Choice, Broad Energy Coalition Opposes Federal Action Based on Faulty Factual and Legal Premise 
Natural Gas-Renewables-Power-Efficiency Groups Submit Legal Analysis Showing No ‘Emergency’ Justifying Action Under Existing Federal Authorities, Inappropriate to Long-term Market Support of Uneconomic Power Plants 
Washington, D.C., May 8, 2018 – An unusual coalition representing natural gas, power, renewable energy and energy efficiency industry associations submitted a legal analysis to the Department of Energy (DOE) late Monday opposing federal use of emergency authority to provide a long-term subsidy for aging and uneconomic power plants that would otherwise retire. Such federal action is under consideration following a request from FirstEnergy Solutions (FES), an owner of power plants now in bankruptcy proceedings.
The industry groups’ legal analysis notes that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently rejected a similar proposal from DOE and initiated a broader review of electric power system “resilience” to determine whether any change in market rules is needed. FES has since petitioned DOE to use its emergency powers under Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act to prevent the company’s power plants from closing, and others have pointed to even more obscure statutory provisions to seek similar action.
The analysis refutes that an “emergency” exists requiring the use of emergency authorities, pointing out that none of the referenced emergency authorities appropriately apply to the requested relief for power plants whose retirements do not threaten the reliability of electric power.
The legal analysis makes the following key points:
  1. The orderly retirement of inefficient, aging power plants in 2020 and 2021 does not constitute an emergency. “FirstEnergy’s claim that an emergency exists rests entirely on the observation that some coal and nuclear plants – most importantly those owned by FirstEnergy – are losing money and are therefore likely to retire in the coming years. That is not an emergency. The retirements [First Energy cites] will unfold over a period of years and will be carefully planned.” (page 3) Further to this point, the paper quotes grid operator PJM Interconnection’s recent response to FirstEnergy’s petition: “…the PJM Transmission System will remain reliable and therefore the generating units listed above may plan to deactivate as scheduled.” (See page 3.) 
  1. DOE must reject FirstEnergy’s petition under Section 202(c) to provide above-market pricing to power plants. “Section 202(c) authorizes the Department to order generators to run during times of war or other emergencies … The orderly retirement of power plants in PJM will unfold over a period of years and in the context of ample supply of generating capacity. There is no ‘emergency’ that could serve as the basis for using … Section 202(c).” (page 5) “FirstEnergy’s petition seeks to stretch Section 202(c) far beyond what its text can support… It does not give the Department authority to set national energy policy or to advantage one type of fuel for electric generation over others.” (See page 5.)
  1. The Defense Production Act does not contain authority to provide above-market pricing to power plants. “The Defense Production Act allows certain types of market interventions that are rare in American law. Even so, as broad as it is, the DPA is not broad enough to do what the supporters of these uneconomic power plants would like. The DPA does not allow the government to set prices. Nor does it allow the government to force market participants to buy products or services they do not wish to buy.” (See page 7.) 
  1. Section 215A of the Federal Power Act authorizes only temporary measures in response to grid security emergencies. The 2015 FAST Act added Section 215A to the Federal Power Act authorizing DOE to issues emergency measures in response to a ‘grid security emergency,” defined as cyberattacks, EMP attacks, geomagnetic storms and direct physical attacks with significant adverse effects on the reliability of critical electric infrastructure. “The retirement of coal and nuclear plants would not, of course, fit within any of these categories.” (page10) “Orders for ‘emergency measures’ may last only 15 days before an additional emergency finding is required. The 15-day limitation shows clear that … Congress meant them in the ordinary sense that emergency measures are temporary and short-lived. FirstEnergy’s request that certain favored power plants receive rate recovery for four years...would far exceed an authority limited to providing temporary, emergency relief.” (See pages 11-12.)
Media Contacts:Advanced Energy Economy: Monique Hanis,, 202-236-8220American Petroleum Institute: Mike Tadeo, tadeom@api.org202-682-8540American Wind Energy Association: Evan Vaughan,, 202.431.4640Electric Power Supply Association: Nancy Bagot, nbagot@epsa.orgInterstate Natural Gas Association of America: Cathy Landry,, 202-216-5913Natural Gas Supply Association: Daphne Magnuson, 202-326-9314      
See this statement online here.

Peach Bottom: Emergency Preparedness Report


Download 2018 Exercise Report

Friday, May 18, 2018

Exelon: Meeting on Emergency Response

Summary of April 26, 2018, Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Regarding Draft Guidance for Emergency Response Organization Staffing (EPID L-2018-LRM-0028)

Download ML18120A177

Notice of Pre-Application Meeting with Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC

Notice of Pre-Application Meeting with Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC

Download ML18122A307


For Release:  Tuesday - April 24, 2018
Contact:         Ken Bossong, 301-270-6477 x.6 
Washington DC – Wind and solar accounted for more than 98% of all new U.S. electrical generation placed into service in the first two months of this year, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data just released  by the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions (FERC).
FERC's latest "Energy Infrastructure Update" (with summary statistics for January and February 2018) also reveals that the total installed capacity of renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) now provides over one-fifth (i.e., 20.39%) of total available U.S. generating capacity. Combined, wind and solar alone exceed one-tenth (i.e., 10.18%) of installed capacity - a share greater than either nuclear power (9.11%), hydropower (8.49%), or oil (3.64%). **
FERC data show that 14 new "units" of wind, totaling 1,568 megawatts (MW), came into service in January and February 2018 along with 40 units of solar (565-MW) for a total of 2,133-MW.  Two units of natural gas provided another 40-MW of new capacity. No capacity additions were reported for any other energy sources (i.e., coal, oil, nuclear, hydropower, biomass, geothermal).
FERC's report further suggests that the rapid expansion and growing dominance of renewable energy sources will continue at least through March 2021. Proposed new net generating capacity (i.e., additions minus retirements) by renewables over the next three years totals 146,717-MW or 69.2% of the total (i.e., 211,875-MW). Proposed new net generating capacity by wind (84,324-MW) and solar (48,814-MW) alone are 62.8% of the total - supplemented by hydropower (11,839-MW), geothermal (1,130-MW), and biomass (610-MW).
Most of the remaining net proposed new generating capacity to be added between now and March 2021is accounted for by natural gas (77,421-MW - 36.5%). Net proposed additions by nuclear total only 1,831-MW while those from oil are just 231-MW. FERC also lists proposed new net generating capacity from waste heat (176-MW) and "other" sources such as fuel cells and energy storage (680-MW). Notably, the net generating capacity of coal would actually decline by 15,181-MW as 17,008-MW of coal capacity is retired, eclipsing just 1,827-MW of additions.   

Susquehanna: Correction, Error in Ammendment 2227

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Unit 2 - Correction to Technical Specification Page 3.8-27 for Error Introduced During the Issuance of Amendment No. 227 (CAC No. MD8465)

ADAM Accession:  ML18108A042

Peach Bottom: Audit Re: Ammendment to Adopt Title 10

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 – Regulatory Audit Summary Regarding License Amendment Request to Adopt Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 50.69

ADAMS Accession No. ML18072A372

Commendable Nuclear Safety Catch at the Susquehanna Nuclear Plant

The owner of the two boiling water reactors (BWRs) at the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in northeastern Pennsylvania notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on April 2, 2018, that workers’ mistakes rendered an emergency core cooling system on Unit 1 vulnerable to being disabled by an earthquake at the same time that another emergency core cooling system was out of service for work on its power supply system. This is good news—not in having two safety systems impaired while the reactor operated, but in how quickly the problem was detected and corrected.

Read more

Acceptance Review for Peach Bottom - Relief Requests from ASME Section XI Code

Acceptance Review for Peach Bottom - Relief Requests from ASME Section XI Code - 5th ISI interval Code Cases N-513-3 and N-513-4

ADAM Accession:  ML18107A760

AEE Reacts to FirstEnergy Request for Emergency Support of Coal, Nuclear Plants

 AEE Statement: No Need for Federal Emergency Support of Unprofitable Coal, Nuclear Plants

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2018 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) issued the following reaction to news about FirstEnergy filing a formal request for federal emergency support of unprofitable coal and nuclear plants, under the rarely used U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) section 202(c) authority:

“Advanced Energy Economy calls on Secretary Perry to reject FirstEnergy’s blatant appeal for a multi-billion dollar bailout of uneconomic and unnecessary power plants,” said Malcolm Woolf, senior vice president of policy for AEE, a national business organization. “This outrageous attempt to evade established market procedures is unprecedented. FirstEnergy is asking the Secretary of Energy to exercise authority that is reserved for an emergency threatening national security just to salvage power plants that are losing money for their owners and costing money for consumers. PJM currently has generating capacity well in excess of that needed to keep the lights on. FirstEnergy’s request attempts to short-circuit PJM’s well-established process for analyzing the reliability impacts of generation retirements, and ignores FERC's ruling earlier this year finding that no emergency exists that would justify providing special treatment to coal and nuclear power plants in our competitive electricity markets. We fully expect Secretary Perry to reject this application as an inappropriate use of his emergency powers, just as he did last year when Murray Energy asked him to keep coal plants open.”
Background Materials:
  • Analysis Group report, Electricity Markets, Reliability, and the Evolving U.S. Power System, finds market forces – primarily low-cost natural gas and flat demand for electricity – are causing coal and nuclear power plants to retire, not state and federal policies supporting renewable energy development. The report finds that the changing resource mix poses no threat to reliability of the nation’s power system. 
  • Grid operators for all regions testified before a House energy subcommittee hearing about grid reliability last July, noting record reliability preformance, how they have adapted to evolving energy mix, and concerns mainly about cybersecurity threats.
  • AEE Institute report, Changing the Power Grid for the Better, shows today’s electric generation mix is more diverse than ever; low-priced gas is primarily driving the change in resources, followed by flat load growth and competition from renewables; ERCOT and PJM experience shows reliable grid management with high degree of variable renewables even in extreme conditions.
  • AEE report, Bailout Without Benefit: DOE's Proposed Rule Would Drive Up Cost, Do Nothing to Strengthen the Grid, summarizes arguments against the proposed rule that would have subsidized coal and nuclear plants with 90-day onsite fuel supply.
  • FERC denied DOE's proposed grid reliability rule and opened new inquiry, now in process, on grid reliability definition and issues. RTO's/ISO's filed their comments March 9 and other stakeholder comments are due May 9 (per an extension granted last week).
  • This action follows a string of efforts to support coal and nuclear plants since early last year. For an overview see AEE blog posts herehere, and here.