IT WAS RECENTLY DISCLOSED THAT SIX (6) NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS ARE OPERATING WITH KNOWN DEFECTIVE PARTS.
IN MARCH, 2016, THE UNION FOR CONCERNED SCIENTISTS LISTED 10 'NEAR MISSES' AT AMERICAN NUCLEAR FACILITIES.
FROM THE UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS (UCS),
"UCS Annual Review of U.S. Nuclear Reactor ‘Near Misses’ Finds More than 60 Percent of Safety Violations at Entergy Plants"
"Faulty Repairs Threaten Aging Reactors"
(March 16, 2015) — There were only 10 “near-miss” incidents at U.S. nuclear reactors last year, but more than 60 percent of the near miss safety violations occurred at three plants owned by Entergy Corp., according to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) annual review of Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) performance and nuclear plant safety.
A near miss incident is an event or condition that could increase the chance of reactor core damage by a factor of 10 or more, prompting the NRC to send an inspection team to investigate.
In 2010, there were 19; in 2014 there were 11.
All told, from 2010 through 2015 there were 91 near misses.
FIVE YEARS, 91 NEAR-MISSES?
ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE OKAY WITH THAT NUMBER?
Last year’s near misses occurred at eight nuclear facilities:
1-Calvert Cliffs in Maryland,
2-Duane Arnold in Iowa,
3-Fort Calhoun in Nebraska,
4-Indian Point in New York,
5-North Anna in Virginia,
6-Pilgrim in Massachusetts,
7-River Bend in Louisiana,
8-and Virgil C. Summer in South Carolina.
Entergy owns Indian Point, Pilgrim and River Bend, which also experienced a near miss in 2014.
Four of the 10 near misses were due to inadequate equipment repairs.
At Duane Arnold, the NRC required owner NextEra Energy to replace the original coating on the inside of the reactor’s torus, a key part of the primary containment structure, as a condition for getting a 20-year extension of its operating license.
The new coating degraded and broke down, generating debris that clogged emergency pumps.
During a planned refueling outage at Fort Calhoun, workers rebuilt emergency backup system valves that control the rate of “makeup” water that cools the reactor core if the primary system fails.
The replacement parts were less vulnerable to radiation, but they were susceptible to failing at high temperatures. When workers restarted the reactor, rising temperatures deformed some valve parts, impairing their ability to open and close.
When Winter Storm Juno knocked out high-voltage transmission lines to Pilgrim in January 2015, control room operators could not open a safety relief valve to lower pressure inside the reactor vessel.
Pilgrim experienced a similar problem when the reactor shut down in February 2013, but workers failed to identify the cause or fix it.
Entergy plans to close the 44-year-old plant, one of the least-safe in the nation, by June 2019.
After an unplanned shutdown occurred at Entergy’s River Bend plant, workers narrowed down the cause of the power failure to either one of two parts.
They replaced the wrong part, however, and three weeks later, the faulty part failed again, shutting down the plant.
“Many U.S. reactors are entering their fourth decade, and as they age, safety equipment will wear out and need to be repaired or replaced,” said Lochbaum, who worked in the nuclear industry for 17 years before joining UCS. “Given the very real possibility that one of these screw-ups could lead to a serious accident, plant owners have to make sure their workers make repairs correctly. If they don’t do it right the first time, aging reactors will experience even more problems.”
Simply put, such incidents are considered precursors to a very possible meltdown.And yet the NRC continues to extend the licenses of these brittle, problem-plagued facilities, even the ones on known fault lines and the ones with the worst daily leaks!
How is THAT "protecting the American public?
FROM MICHAEL COLLINS AT MININGAWARENESS+
July 3, 2016 at 8:26 am
Nuclear Power Stations which are listed as potentially impacted by defective Eaton Freedom Series Size 3, 4 and size 5 contacts/starters are...
~ Oconee in South Carolina,
~ Shearon Harris near Raleigh North Carolina,
~ Columbia in Washington State,
~ Turkey Point near Miami Florida,
~North Anna in Virginia, near Washington DC, and
~ Waterford near New Orleans, Louisiana.
This was reported by AZZ, which recently purchased NLI (Nuclear Logistics Inc), and seems to want to come clean on these and other defects which they recently reported.
[NOTE: I'VE SCOURED THE INTERNET TRYING TO FIND WHAT "AZZ" STANDS FOR, NO INFO AVAILABLE, JUST AZZ INC. ODD.]
However, these (and other) potentially defective parts may have been provided to other nuclear power stations by other companies, such as AREVA.
[NOTE: France halts reactor in Areva parts scandal - Nuclear Power News
The TIMES, UK, reported their concern for British reactors: Nuclear reactors could have faulty French components, "The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), said last night that it was
seeking answers from EDF, the troubled state-owned electricity company
planning to build two European pressurised reactors at Hinkley Point."
WHAT ABOUT AMERICAN REACTORS?]
Why isn't Eaton issuing a direct recall?
The notice from the NRC apparently wasn't posted until June 20th though they received notice by May 18th.
AZZ-NLI will submit a full report within 60 days but NRC isn't clear from which date.
We were unable to find additional details of the event at Shearon Harris. "
[Note: Collins' article is continued near the end of this post with details of these failures to report by the previous owners of the AZZ acquired property.]
MANY MORE FAILURES, RECENT NEAR-MISSES...
“Contrary to NRC commissioners’ claims, there is nothing safe about the nuclear reactors in the United States,” Nuclear Policy Analyst Jim Riccio said.
“Thirty years after Chernobyl and five years after Fukushima, it is clear that these kinds of disasters could absolutely happen here. It is time for the NRC to listen to the whistleblowers within its own ranks and address these longstanding issues and vulnerabilities.”
In addition to the 163 accident precursors or near misses documented by the NRC, Greenpeace identified three significant near misses that NRC risk analysts failed to review under the agency’s Accident Sequence Precursor Program (ASP):
The triple meltdown threat to Duke Energy’s Oconee Nuclear Station west of Greenville, South Carolina.
According to NRC’s risk analysts, if nearby Jocassee Dam had failed, all three of the nuclear reactors at Oconee were certain to meltdown.
The report identified the following incidents as the top 10 near misses at nuclear plants between 2004-2014:
1. Browns Ferry 1 in Athens, Alabama: Residual heat removal loop unavailable; valve failure.
2. Wolf Creek in Burlington, Kansas: Multiple switchyard faults, reactor trip and loss of offsite power.
3. Robinson in Hartsville, South Carolina: Fire causes partial loss of offsite power & reactor coolant pump seal cooling challenges.
4. Fort Calhoun in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska: Fire in safety-related 480 volt electrical breaker due to deficient design control. 8 other breakers susceptible.
5. River Bend in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Loss of normal service water, circulating water and feedwater caused by electrical fault.
6. Oconee 1 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.
7. Oconee 2 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.
8. Oconee 3 in Seneca, South Carolina: Failure of Jocassee Dam would result in a meltdown.
9. North Anna 1 in Mineral, Virginia: Dual loss of offsite power caused by earthquake AFW pump out of service & failure of Unit 2 EDG.
10. Byron 2 in Byron, Illinois: Transformer & breaker failures cause Loss of Off Site Power, reactor trip and de-energizing of safety buses.
“If the NRC can’t even accurately track near meltdowns why should the public have any confidence that they can prevent them?
It’s time to retire these dangerous nuclear plants and end the nuclear era once and for all.”
THE ABOVE MAP SHOWS THE POPULATIONS THAT WOULD BE AFFECTED BY A NUCLEAR ACCIDENT.
On the map, population sizes are illustrated with circle size as well as color. Green circles represent less than 500,000 people and on the other side of the scale, red circles represent populations of over 20 million.
PhysOrg aptly points out, "Of course, what's not shown in these maps are confidence measures to show how safe the plants actually are, which even if they did exist, would be based on assumptions and suppositions, likely created by the very same people that were operating them; not exactly a situation that would warm the heart."
One In Three US Citizens Live 50 Miles Or Less From A Nuclear Reactor
CLICK <HERE> for an interactive database and map of nuclear
reactors and nuclear safety issues in the United States.showing 145
Last Updated: October 28, 2015...
The hazards to human life from these defective, aging reactors should cause the U.S. to shut them all down.
Follow the instructions to see the KNOWN problems they currently have and remember that such facilities are "self-reporting".
In 2011, after Fukushima blew, there were 104 operational nuclear power plants in the United States--35 boiling water reactors, 69 pressurized water reactors, but in addition to those 104 nuclear power plants, there are 32 reactors used for research and testing at such places like laboratories and universities.
Some lie over known fault lines, just as the Japanese Dai'ichi plant does.
WITH FEMA CONDUCTING EARTHQUAKE DRILLS ACROSS THE NATION BECAUSE
OF THE GROWING SEISMIC ACTIVITY ALONG FAULT LINES, THE NRC SHOULD
SURELY LOOK LONG AND HARD AT FACILITIES IN GREATEST DANGER FROM QUAKES,
BUT INSTEAD, IT JUST KEEPS EXTENDING THEIR LICENSES.
50 DIFFERENT MILITARY UNITS AND EMERGENCY TEAMS RECENTLY BEGAN DRILLS FOR A WORST-CASE SCENARIO ALONG THE NEW MADRID FAULT.
JUNE 20, 2016
"The Tennessee Military Department says it plans to conduct one of the
largest statewide disaster preparedness exercises in its history.
department says the exercise planned for this upcoming week will
involve more than 50 Army and Air National Guard units training
alongside fire departments, law enforcement agencies, paramedics, and
other emergency organizations. Participants will practice responding to
Exercise activities in Memphis will occur
Monday through Thursday. They are based on the catastrophic New Madrid
Fault line earthquake scenario. Officials will establish command at
Memphis International Airport and coordinate aftermath events of a
One need only look at the above maps and then look at the USGS map BELOW that shows likely earthquake sites in the U.S. to see that many of our nuclear sites should not have been placed where they are.
The graduated colors go from low risks in gray and blue to highest risks in yellow, orange and red.
"Disaster by Design", an archive of articles from All Things Nuclear, shows in great depth the many problems with nuclear energy, how NO reactor is leak-proof, that the deign itself WILL and HAS failed over time.
For anyone interested in such in-depth reporting, read the archive <HERE>.
DIABLO CANYON, CALIFORNIA, PLANNED CLOSURE.
THE ABOVE MAP IS IN TIME-LAPSE O GIVE IT A MINUTE TO CYCLE THROUGH
June 21, 2016
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. announced Tuesday it will close California’s last nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, in 2025, ending atomic energy’s more than a half-century history in the state.
The move will shutter a plant whose construction on a seaside cliff surrounded by earthquake faults helped create the antinuclear movement. And yet, some conservationists have fought to keep Diablo Canyon open, arguing California needed its output of greenhouse gas-free electricity to not exacerbate global warming.
“This was a 20th century mistake, and we’ve got a 21st century solution,” Moglen said. “We’re not only going to close this plant, but we’re going to do it with greenhouse gas-free energy.”
While California entered the 21st century with two operating nuclear plants, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station near San Diego shut down in 2012 after a small leak of radioactive steam revealed defective equipment. Its owner, Southern California Edison, decided the following year to close it for good.
California law forbids building more nuclear plants until the federal government comes up with a permanent solution for disposing of their radioactive waste. "
WOULD THAT ALL STATES RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS NO WAY TO SAFELY STORE THE ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE FROM OUR TOXIC NUKE SITES!
BACK TO COLLINS' ARTICLE AT MININGAWARENESS+From the NRC:
"PART 21 INTERIM EVALUATION OF A DEVIATION - CONTACTOR FAILURE
The following was received via FAX:
"On May 18, 2016, Nuclear Logistics INC. (NLI) determined that a contactor failure that occurred at the Shearon Harris plant had failed due to an auxiliary contact chatter present on the seal-in circuit for the coil voltage. The auxiliary contact chatter was caused by the loss of the shading coils. NLI will be submitting a full report on the issue to the NRC within 60 days.
The contactor that failed was a Size 4 Eaton Freedom Series with a special coil for degraded voltage condition.
Reference Number: P21-05192016
NLI reported that the following plants have these types of contactor's:
Region 2: Oconee, Turkey Point, Shearon Harris and North Anna
Region 4: Columbia and Waterford
* * * UPDATE AT 1832 EDT ON 06/20/16 FROM TRACY BOLT TO DANIEL MILLS * * *
The following is excerpted from the licensee submission:
"The specific part which fails to comply or contains a defect: The Contactor that failed in service is a Size 4 Eaton Freedom Series with an AZZ/NLI special coil for meeting specific degraded voltage conditions.
"Extent of condition: Size 3, 4 and size 5 Eaton Freedom Series contactors or starters with an NLI special degraded voltage coil that have been supplied by AZZ/NLI since December 2010.
"NLI procured the commercial grade contactors and installed the special coil that was required to achieve the specific degraded voltage condition. The units were qualified, dedicated and supplied for safety related applications. The contactors were commercially procured from Eaton, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
"For contactors/starters utilized in continuous duty applications. the OEM shading coils on the contactor core ... have the potential to become loose and fall off. If the shading coils are not in the intended location on the core, there is the potential for excessive chatter to occur on the normally open auxiliary contacts that are closed when the contactor is energized.
"The safety function of the contactor is to reliably supply uninterrupted power (no contact chatter) to a load on demand. For special degraded voltage applications, the NLI supplied contactor is equipped with an NLI special coil that replaces the OEM coil.
"When the contactor/starters that have the special coil installed are utilized in a continuous duty operation (continuously energized greater than 60 minutes) the special coil reaches a higher temperature than the original manufacturer's coil. The increased heat is potentially causing degradation of the acrylic resin that is utilized by the manufacturer to hold the OEM shading coils onto the OEM core. After the acrylic resin is no longer providing a secure hold on the shading coils, the shading coils can then become loose from the iron core.
"Name and address of the individual or individuals informing the Commission.
"Tracy Bolt, Director of Quality Assurance
"Nuclear Logistics, Inc.
"7410 Pebble Drive
"Ft. Worth, TX 76118"
AZZ/NLI Part 21 Report No: P21-05192016, Rev. 0
Plants potentially impacted include Oconee, Shearon Harris, Columbia, Turkey Point, North Anna, and Waterford.
Notified R4DO (Rollins), R2DO (Musser) and Part 21/50.55 Reactors group (via email)".
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE THESE PROBLEMS BEEN KNOWN?
FOR OVER A DECADE AS IT TURNS OUT!
"AUDIT REPORT -
APPLICATION FOR AMENDMENT SHEARON HARRIS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, UNIT 1.
THE PROPOSED LICENSE AMENDMENT REVISES THE AS-FOUND LIFT SETTING TOLERANCE FOR MAIN STEAM LINE CODE SAFETY VALVES IN TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (TAC NO. MF7195)"
AZZ-NLI Masterpact Breaker recall:
-- Product Line Manager - Power Control and Protection,
Eaton October 2014
– Present, Senior Product Manager - Power Control and Motor Protection, Eaton October 2013 – October 2014,
--Product Manager - Motor Protection Products,
Eaton Corporation, February 2012 – October 2013,
--Senior OEM Sales Engineer Eaton Corporation June 2010 – February 2012, Etc.
He is apparently located in the Greater Milwaukee Wisconsin area (far away from the current group of reported defects).
"PART 21 NOTIFICATION INVOLVING VOLTAGE MONITORING RELAYS
"The following information is provided pursuant to the requirements of 10 CFR Part 21 to report a potential safety concern.
A potential safety condition may exist with the Eaton Cutler-Hammer D65 Series BI Voltage Monitoring Relay that can cause the unit to bypass the Manual Reset feature.
This could result in the D65 relay being energized without an operator manually resetting it resulting in possible personal injury or death or property damage.
This condition exists with Eaton Cutler-Hammer D65 Series BI Voltage Monitoring Relays with a manufacturing date between May 12, 2002, and February 20, 2004.
"On March 25, 2004, Framatome/AREVA Electrical Products received the attached Eaton Cutler Hammer Product Safety Warning for D65 Voltage Monitoring Relays, dated March 24, 2004. The Product Safety Warning states that Eaton's Cutler-Hammer D65 Series BI Voltage Monitoring Relays with a manufacturing date identified above may power up without being manually reset even when a NC [Normally closed] switch is wired to activate manual reset mode. This condition is only present when used in applications operating in the manual reset mode. This condition is not present when the device is used in automatic reset mode. This condition may only result when the D65 Series BI is used and will not result if the Al Series is used (as the Al series did not offer the potential for manual reset).
"The supply of Safety Related D65 Voltage Monitoring Relays by Framatome/AREVA Electrical Products is isolated to only one Nuclear Customer (i.e. First Energy - Davis Besse Nuclear Power Plant). The First Energy Davis Besse Nuclear Power Plant was notified by Framatome/AREVA Electrical Products on April 2, 2004."
Note NRC date for current recall is June.
NRC was notified in May, but we find no evidence of NRC posting this near the May date, but only in June, as seen on the very top of the screen shot.
HOW SAFE IS NUCLEAR ENERGY?
HOW PROTECTED ARE WE BY THE NRC AND OUR LOVING GOVERNMENT?
THE ANSWER TO BOTH QUESTIONS IS....NOT AT ALL.