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:

MEDIA CONTACT: Colleen Connolly, 570-826-2035

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

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 
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 
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
Total Cost
New York
$17.48-$29.15/MWh (rises every 2 yrs.)
12 yrs
3,351 MW
27,618,000 MWh
~$7.6 billion
$16.50-$20.50/MWh (rises every year after yr. 7)
10 yrs
2,780 MW
22,900,000 MWh
(cost capped at ~$10/MWh)
$2.35 billion
New Jersey
3 yrs., up to 12 yrs.
3,573 MW
29,400,000 MWh
<$3.6 billion
Power Contract
Unknown (price not yet finalized)
10 yrs.
~1,300 MW
~11 million MWh
(est. ≤ $330M)
Unknown (est. ≤ $3.3 billion)
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.­cle/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.