Monday, November 26, 2018

Peach Bottom: Cyber-Security Inspection

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station - Information Request for the Cyber-Security Inspection, Notification to Perform Inspection 05000277/2019403 and 05000278/2019403

ADAMS Accession No.  ML18330A053

Susquehanna: Emergency Preparedness Inspection Report


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NRC Makes Available Application to Transfer Bellefonte Construction Permits

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: 18-061 November 26, 2018
CONTACT: Scott Burnell, 301-415-8200

NRC Makes Available Application to Transfer Bellefonte Construction Permits

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has received an application from Nuclear Development LLC, to transfer the deferred construction permits for the unfinished Bellefonte Unit 1 and 2 reactors in Alabama. The application is now available for public review on the NRC website.

Nuclear Development filed the application on Nov. 13, seeking to transfer the permits from the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Bellefonte units are partially complete pressurized-water reactors located approximately six miles northeast of Scottsboro, Ala. The NRC placed the Bellefonte construction permits in deferred status in 2010.

The NRC staff is reviewing the application to determine if it has sufficient information to complete the agency’s review. If the application is determined to be complete, the staff will docket it and publish a notice of opportunity to request an adjudicatory hearing before the NRC’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board. Information about the license transfer process is available on the NRC website.

Friday, November 23, 2018

State officials to receive pay raises

State lawmakers will have a nice Christmas gift waiting for them next month.

Starting December 1, they'll be getting an automatic pay raise. Now some are calling for these raises to come to an end.

State law requires an automatic pay increase for Pennsylvania lawmakers, judges, and top executive officials. Their annual salaries increasing by thousands.

"The automatic pay raise is legalized theft," said Eric Epstein.

Epstein, with the state watchdog group Rock the Capital, has been an outspoken critic of the state's automatic Cost of Living Adjustments or COLA for state lawmakers, judges, and top executive branch officials for years.

"We should go back to where we were prior to 1995," said Epstein. "And if the legislators want a pay raise, put it before the voters."

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Beyond Nuclear opposes second license extension for Peach Bottom nuclear plant


November 20, 2018
Contact: Paul Gunter, Director, Reactor Oversight Project, Beyond Nuclear, 301-523-0201
David Lochbaum, independent nuclear engineer and expert witness,


Beyond Nuclear opposes second license extension for Peach Bottom
nuclear plant

Relicensing could see aging PA reactors run for 80 years with deteriorating safety

TAKOMA PARK, MD -- Scientific knowledge gaps in the management of reactor safety issues caused by aging, and acknowledged by the nuclear industry, have prompted Beyond Nuclear to challenge an application to extend the operating license for two nuclear reactors in Pennsylvania.

Beyond Nuclear, an environmental advocacy group based in Takoma Park, MD, is opposing an application from Exelon Generation, owner of the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Delta, PA, to extend the operating lifetime of its two reactors there for another 20 years.
Exelon has submitted a Second License Renewal (SLR) application for an additional 20-year extension of the operating license for Peach Bottom units 2 and 3.

Beyond Nuclear submitted a request on Monday asking the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a public hearing and intervention before the NRC’s Atomic Safety Licensing Board.

The hearing would address the application’s failure to comply with NRC regulations that require Exelon to demonstrate how it will manage increasing wear and tear caused by the combination of extreme heat, pressure, radiation and vibration on Peach Bottom safety systems throughout the requested 60- to 80-year extended period of operation.

Both units are GE Mark I boiling water reactors and are already operating within their first approved 20-year license extension to the original 40-year license which expired in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Exelon is now seeking NRC approval to extend the operation of Peach Bottom Unit 2 from 2033 to 2053 and Unit 3 from 2034 to 2054.

“According to NRC regulations, the onus is on Exelon to demonstrate in its application how Peach Bottom operators will manage the destructive effects of aging on safety systems and the material reliability of structures and components for the extension
period,” said Paul Gunter, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project with Beyond Nuclear. “This application fails to satisfy NRC regulations that require Peach Bottom to have effective age management programs throughout the next license renewal period,” he said.

Presently, there are as many as 16 known significant age-related degradation mechanisms (i.e. radiation and thermal induced embrittlement, stress corrosion cracking, fatigue) attacking the base metals, welds, concrete and entire systems including more than 1,200 miles of control, instrumentation and power cables at the two-unit reactor site. The industry, the regulator and national laboratories publicly acknowledge an abundance of gaps, deficiencies, and uncertainties in their present understanding of how these aging degradation mechanisms and their synergies destructively impact reactor safety and performance.

Analyzing a sufficient amount of information on the material condition of reactor systems, structures and components collected from reactor operating experience is essential, in fact required, to reasonably project Peach Bottom’s safety performance into the future.
However, reactors in the US are closing due to a variety of economical, technological and political challenges. Several reactors have closed in just the past few years, more upcoming closures have been announced, and others could possibly close before Peach Bottom enters the proposed second license renewal period in 2033 and 2034. As currently trending, the amount of operating experience could be significantly reduced, consequentially reducing age management insights needed for the requested license renewal period.

“Exelon fails to acknowledge just how dependent its age management programs are on evidence gathered internally from Peach Bottom’s operating experience and externally from other reactors of like design and materials,” said Gunter, citing from expert testimony submitted with the legal filing to the NRC.

“Further, the application fails to address when the number of reactor closures and the associated reduction in the amount of external operating experience impairs the effectiveness of its age management programs,” he continued.

“Of more concern, the application is silent on how Exelon would provide the required operating experience gathered from alternate sources including strategic autopsies on the growing number of decommissioning reactors like Exelon’s Oyster Creek plant in New Jersey,” Gunter added.

According to Beyond Nuclear’s expert witness, David Lochbaum, a widely recognized independent nuclear engineer on reactor safety, “In order to comply with NRC relicensing regulations and protect public health and safety, Exelon needs to address several factors. First, how much of Exelon’s age management programs depends on operating experience of other reactors; second, how will Exelon determine what amount of operating experience information is sufficient to assure safety, and finally; how the required operating experience will be augmented if it is found to be insufficient,” Lochbaum said.

Beyond Nuclear concludes that without Exelon first demonstrating how it will reliably manage the increasing effects of aging during the second renewal, Peach Bottom cannot be relicensed.

Additional links:
Beyond Nuclear Request for Public Hearing and Leave to Intervene
Attachments to Hearing Request

NRC Publishes Agency Financial Report for FY 2018

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Press Release
No: 18-059 November 15, 2018
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200

NRC Publishes Agency Financial Report for FY 2018

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has released its Fiscal Year 2018 Agency Financial Report, providing audited financial statements of the agency’s management of resources from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018.

The report documents continued reductions in the NRC’s cost of operations through reduced license fees and fees for services, and new efficiencies in its bill paying and collections operations. New information technology for financial management and labor reporting has led to improved data collection, redesigned invoices, and improved communications with licensees and others.

The Agency Financial Report is available on the NRC website.

Peach Bottom: Risk-Informed Categorization & Treatment of Structures, Systems


Download ML18302A257

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Exelon: Meeting Re: Request to Adopt TSTF-427

Subject: 10/23/2018 Summary of Meeting with Exelon Generation Company, LLC Regarding Planned License Amendment Request to Adopt TSTF-427 (EPID L-2018-LRM-0062).

ADAMS Accession No. ML18297A172