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PROS 2015 Summer Meeting

2015 PROS Meeting will be in Texas.

A NASA tour will be a favorite behind the scenes insight into NASA's training and operations.


by Bob Meyer

Below is a redacted verstion of the CAL issued to Palasades. This was the result of security guard qulifications. 

Read on and see why your quals are a real concern...

March 25, 2014, The NRC issued a letter to Entergy with the results of an investigation conducted by the NRC’s Office of Investigations to determine whether a security manager at the Palisades Nuclear Plant (Palisades) willfully failed to follow the security plan procedures when he assigned a security supervisor to assume a security post without verifying the supervisor’s qualifications, and whether a security supervisor at Palisades willfully failed to follow security plan procedures when he assumed the security post without verifying qualifications, contrary to the requirements in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 73, Appendix B, II B., “Qualification Requirements” and Palisades Security Plan Section 3.1.

The letter also informed Entergy that the apparent violation was being considered for enforcement action in accordance with the NRC’s Enforcement Policy and provided you with the option of: (1) providing a written response to the violation; (2) attending a Predecisional Enforcement Conference; or (3) requesting ADR with the NRC.

Ginna owner seeks deal to keep nuclear plant open

The owner of the Ginna nuclear power plant, hoping to stave off closure of the facility, has asked New York regulators to help secure a deal with RG&E to sustain Ginna's operations.

Exelon Corp., which owns the Wayne County nuclear plant, wants Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. to sign a contract promising payments keep the plant running. Chicago-based Exelon filed a petition Friday asking the state Public Service Commission to enter into a multiyear contract by the end of 2014.

The contract would be based on the conclusion that Ginna, which provides a good part of all the electricity used by RG&E's customers, must continue to operate to ensure the continued reliability of that service.

With no contract, Exelon said in its petition that it likely would close the 44-year-old Ginna, one of the oldest commercial nuclear plants in the country. Located on the Lake Ontario shoreline, it can generate 577 megawatts of electricity, or enough to satisfy the needs of about 400,000 residential customers.

"It is no secret that our plant, like others in the region, faces financial challenges. But this filing is actually good news for the hundreds of hardworking men and women that work at the plant and for the community that we serve because it is an encouraging step toward continuing to operate the plant for the foreseeable future," Joe Pacher, Ginna site vice president, said in a statement released Friday.

Exelon breaks ground on new generating units at Perryman Station

(Commentary. Billions of cubic feet of cheap natural gas is being used to generate power. This source produces about half the CO2 that coal does, it is a major source of polution. Using natural gas for generating electicity will cause the general price of natural gas to rise, including residential prices. by Bob Meyer)

Exelon Generation officials broke ground Monday for two new power generating units at its Perryman Station in southeastern Harford County, calling the project an expanded focus on natural gas and clean energy.

The two 60-megawatt units, which will run on natural gas, are an addition to five existing units producing 345 megawatts for the central Maryland electrical grid. Four of the existing power units are oil-fired combustion turbines; one is fueled by natural gas.

The Perryman facility is off Chelsea Road near Bush River in an area once covered by farms that is gradually evolving into what Harford County government officials have long wanted: An industrial and distribution hub close to Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Ron DeGregorio, president of Exelon Power, said the new units will be defined by "quality craftsmanship" and signal "the next generation of power."

Lockheed goes global to build its nuclear business

FORT WORTH — In a nondescript strip mall across town from the heavy security of its fighter jet operations, defense contractor Lockheed Martin opens its doors each day to a rotating crew of Chinese engineers.

While the U.S. and Chinese governments spar over the theft of classified military data, Lockheed has entered into a deal with China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. to help build that country’s next generation of nuclear plants.

The only hitch is that the Chinese want their own engineers working on the project. As a military contractor, Lockheed has to be sensitive about employing foreign nationals anywhere where classified military technology is being developed. So it found alternative digs near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Nowhere is the outlook for nuclear power brighter than in China, where the government is on a campaign to clean up the country’s air. Most of China’s electricity is generated by burning coal, which casts a lung-wrenching haze over its major cities. One of China’s goals is to add to its existing fleet of around 15 nuclear power plants. Analysts believe China will build between 60 and 100 more nuclear plants over the next four decades.

University of Saskatchewan lab to test materials for fusion reactor

The plan: build a small sun and solve the world’s thirst for a guilt-free energy source.

The problem: designing a container strong enough to withstand the kinds of temperatures and pressures found inside the sun.

Enter the University of Saskatchewan physics department, which houses Canada’s only magnetic fusion reactor.

The physics whizzes who operate this metallic doughnut have paired up with a British Columbia company that’s determined to build the world’s first net-gain nuclear fusion reactor. That means developing a method of smashing atoms together that creates more energy than it consumes.

“This is the big Holy Grail. This is making energy with no pollution, and less amount of supply. No fight around everybody to get the fuel, because it’s available from the sea,” said Michel Laberge, founder and chief scientific officer at Burnaby-based General Fusion.

The company aims to develop the technology for a reactor that would fuse hydrogen into helium in a rapid flash lasting ten millionths of a second.

Doing that requires extreme conditions, like million-degree temperatures and crushing pressure. The resulting plasma can interact with the reactor wall, and that’s not good, Laberge said.

In a project funded by the National Research Council, General Fusion will pay U of S physics Prof. Akira Hirose’s team $60,000 to use the Saskatoon-based reactor to test materials for the company.

St. Lucie Unit 1 LER: Internal RAB Flooding During Heavy Rain Due to Degraded Conduits Lacking Internal Flood Barriers

by Bob Meyer

The following LER is great OE. Use this for flooding awareness at your plants.

On January 9, 2014, the St. Lucie site was experiencing heavy rainfall. Storm drain blockage caused water to backup within the emergency core cooling system (ECCS) pipe tunnel. Water entered the reactor auxiliary building (RAB) through two degraded conduits that lacked internal flood barriers. At 1803 hours St. Lucie declared an Unusual Event (UE) due to storm drain capacity degradation. The UE was terminated at 0001 hours on January 10, 2014, when the storm had passed and the drains had been cleared.

The extent of condition identified four additional conduits that lacked the required internal flood barriers. All the affected conduits subsequently had qualified internal water seals installed.

During this event there was no loss of any safety related accident mitigation or safe shutdown equipment. The safety significance of this event is being evaluated by FPL.

Description of the Event

On January 9, 2014, St. Lucie Unit 1 was in Mode 1 operation at 100 percent reactor power. The St. Lucie site was experiencing heavy rainfall. In the early afternoon the site storm drain system was challenged as the storm water basins started to back up.

Request for Approval for the Use of Copper Sulfate, Hydrogen Peroxide and A Bio-Stimulant in the Treatment and Control of Blue Green Algae in the Cooling Canal System (CCS) - NRC Notification

In accordance with Section 3.2.3 of the Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 Environmental Protection Plan (EPP), Appendix B of the Turkey Point Units 3 and 4 Renewed Facility Operating Licenses DPR-31 and DPR-41, enclosed is a copy of the request to revise Wastewater Permit Number FL0001562. Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) is requesting approval from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection of the short term use of copper sulfate, hydrogen peroxide, and a bio-stimulate as part of a mitigating strategy for reducing or eliminating Turkey Point CCS algae growth. This action is requested to be approved as "construction, replacement or repair of components of an industrial site or plant," pursuant to Rule 62-620.200(26)(b), Florida Administrative Code.

Should there be any questions, please contact Mr. John Jones at 561-691-7056.

Very truly yours,

Michael Kiley

Vice President

Turkey Point Nuclear Plant

Russia to Build Nuclear Fuel Cycle Research Complex by 2017

Frame Structure of Fast Neutrone Reactor BN-800

MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's Scientific Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (RIAR) has received a license for the construction of a Polyfunctional Radiochemical Complex (PRC), according to NIIAR website.

"By the beginning of 2017, a new six-story PRC building, an administrative building, modular compressor stations, utility infrastructure will be built on RIAR’s compound," the statement said.

The PRC was designed as next-generation plant prototype for fast neutron reactor fuel cycle research and technology testing. Fast neutron reactors can vastly increase the efficiency of the nuclear fuel cycle by using the uranium-238 isotope recovered from recycling nuclear fuel after use in conventional nuclear power reactors. Only several counties have fast reactor technology, with Russia being the world leader in this area.

NRC Schedules Conference with Duke Energy to Discuss Apparent Violation at Oconee Nuclear Station

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has scheduled a regulatory conference with officials of Duke Energy for July 31 to discuss an apparent violation of NRC requirements involving a crack in a weld on the Unit 1 high pressure injection system at the Oconee Nuclear Station.

The Oconee plant is operated by Duke Energy near Seneca, S.C., about 30 miles west of Greenville.

NRC and Duke Energy officials will discuss the safety significance of the apparent violation related to an undetected crack in a weld that led to reactor coolant system pressure boundary leakage and a forced shutdown of Unit 1. The weld was located in the high pressure injection system. That system would provide water to help cool the reactor core during an accident if pressure in the system remained high.

There was no immediate safety concern because the crack was repaired, but the NRC determined that the method used by the plant to check for cracks did not provide acceptable coverage as required and did not identify the crack before it began leaking.

The regulatory conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. in the NRC’s Region II office, located at 245 Peachtree Center Ave., NE, Suite 800 in Atlanta. The meeting is open to the public and NRC officials will be available to answer questions after the meeting.

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