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PROS 2015 Summer Meeting

2015 PROS Meeting will be in Texas.

A NASA tour is planned. You will love the Gulf Coast. Plan your meeting now, and have some fun too.

Read page two. News continues, don't stop on page one.

Rosatom Nuclear Construction Portfolio Threatened by Sanctions Against Russia

More scrutiny from the European Parliament and tighter economic sanctions imposed against Russia for its role in Ukraine’s civil war could threaten the international construction portfolio of state-owned nuclear power firm Rosatom, which the company says will reach $100 billion in 2014.

Finnish political leaders have called to stop an $8.4-billion nuclear power project in northern Finland, in which Rosatom has a 34% ownership stake. As the project waits to receive final approval from Finland’s Parliament in September, Environment Minister Ville Niinisto said construction of the plant would be a “step backward” as the rest of the EU works to reduce its dependency on Russian energy.  Further, Finland’s Green party member of the European Parliament (MEP) Heidi Hautala warned in a statement that any country that provides an opportunity for Russia to expand its nuclear power capacity — when showing aggression against neighbors —is making a mistake.

NEI OPERATOR LICENSING FOCUS GROUP FOR NEW REACTORS

DATE: Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TIME: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM (EST)

PURPOSE: To discuss development of and process for the initial AP1000 operator licensing written and operating examinations, including scheduling, simulator status and challenges. This is a quarterly public meeting between NRC and the NEI Operator Licensing Focus Group for New Reactors. A preliminary agenda is attached. Refer to http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactor-op-lic/meetings.html for related meeting summaries and other background information.

MEETING CONTACT:

Jim Kellum, NRO/COLB, (301) 415-5305, Jim.kellum@nrc.gov

Mark Lintz, NRO/COLB, (301) 415-4051, Mark.Lintz@nrc.gov

Meetings between NRC technical staff and applicants or licensees are open for interested members of the public, petitioners, interveners, or other parties to attend pursuant to the Commission Policy Statement on “Staff Meetings Open to the Public: Final Policy Statement,” 67 Federal Register 36920, May 28, 2002. Members of the public who wish to attend or participate via telephone conference should contact Jim Kellum at (301) 415-5305 or e-mail jim.kellum@nrc.gov or Mark Lintz at (301) 415-4051 or e-mail Mark.Lintz@nrc.gov.

PARTICIPANTS: Participants from the NRC include members of the Office of New Reactors (NRO) and the Regional Operator Licensing Branches.

NRC

J. Kellum, NRO

M. Widmann, RII

Staff et. al.

INDUSTRY

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS) Unit 2 LER: Inoperable Essential Spray Pond Train Due to Corrosion on the Diesel Generator Fuel Oil Cooler Cover

On June 6, 2014, following planned maintenance on the train A emergency diesel generator (EDG) fuel oil (FO) cooler, essential spray pond (ESP) system water leakage was found on the FO cooler upper cover. The FO cooler upper cover was replaced with a new cover and the EDG and ESP systems were returned to service. A visual inspection of the removed -over identified corrosion related degradation of the cast iron cover. On June 11, 2014, an engineering analysis was ,ompleted to determine the required minimum wall thickness for the pressure boundary of the FO cooler upper cover.

Measurements of the FO cooler upper cover wall thickness were found to be below the minimum wall thickness needed to maintain structural integrity for the full range of its design basis requirements. Consequently, it was determined the train A ESP system had been inoperable in excess of the completion time allowed by TS LCO 3.7.8. The train A FO cooler upper cover was degraded when train B ESP was removed from service for maintenance in March 2014. Therefore, it was preliminarily determined that this event also represents a safety system functional failure.

On June 28 and 29, 2014, to address the extent of condition, the remaining five FO cooler upper covers (trains A and B for Units 1 and 3 and train B for Unit 2) were replaced with new covers.

The event investigation is still in progress, and the results will be reported in a supplement to this Licensee Event Report. No previous similar events have been reported to the NRC by PVNGS in the prior three years.

H. B. Robinson LER: Non-Environmentally-Qualified Splice Rendered Post Accident Monitoring Instrumentation Channel Inoperable

On 10/6/2013, with the plant de-fueled and vessel head removed, it was discovered that a non-environmentally-qualified butt-splice was installed in a wire connected to the 'closed' limit switch for a containment isolation valve, which rendered the Post-Accident Monitoring (PAM) Instrumentation function - Containment Isolation Valve Position Indication - inoperable. This condition has been present for an extended period of time, and it is presumed that on multiple occasions this function was inoperable for a period of time greater than allowed by Technical Specifications (TS) 3.3.3, PAM Instrumentation Limiting Conditions for Operation. 

The initial investigation into the cause of this event indicates this was an isolated human performance event in which the non-licensed air-operated valve (AOV) technician failed to use proper material specified for the task per the procedure directing the task. Immediate corrective action consisted of the removal of non-environmentally-qualified splice and subsequent installation of an environmentallyqualified splice, which returned the component to operable condition.

NRC Names Daniel H. Dorman as Region I Administrator

Daniel H. Dorman, a 23-year veteran of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has been named the new administrator of the NRC’s Region I office in King of Prussia, Pa. He succeeds William M. “Bill” Dean, who will begin his new assignment as director of the NRC’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR) in Rockville, Md., in October.

Dorman will assume his new position within the next few months. In the interim, David Lew, who is the deputy regional administrator for Region I, will serve as acting regional administrator.

“Dan Dorman is exceptionally well qualified to lead Region I in carrying out our mission to protect people and the environment,” said Mark Satorius, the NRC’s executive director for operations. “He has repeatedly demonstrated a strong safety focus and an exemplary commitment to technical and managerial excellence in a wide variety of leadership assignments throughout the agency. The experience he has gained will serve the agency and the public well.”

Dorman joined the NRC in 1991 as a Project Engineer in NRR. In 2001, he was selected for the Senior Executive Service and has held progressively more responsible leadership positions in engineering research, nuclear security, and fuel cycle safety and safeguards. He has served as deputy office director in both the nuclear materials and nuclear reactor programs. On June 30, 2014, he was appointed to his current position as acting director of NRR.

U.S. Navy kicks out 34 for cheating at nuclear power training site

At least 34 sailors are being kicked out of the U.S. Navy for their roles in a cheating ring that operated undetected for at least seven years at a nuclear power training site, and 10 others are under criminal investigation, the admiral in charge of the navy’s nuclear reactors program told The Associated Press.

The number of accused and the duration of cheating are greater than was known when the Navy announced in February that it had discovered cheating on qualification exams by an estimated 20 to 30 sailors seeking to be certified as instructors at the nuclear training unit at Charleston, South Carolina. Students there are trained in nuclear reactor operations to prepare for service on any of the navy’s 83 nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers.

Neither the instructors nor the students are involved in handling nuclear weapons.

After further investigation the navy determined that 78 enlisted sailors were implicated. Although the cheating is believed to have been confined to a single unit at Charleston and apparently was not known to commanding officers, the misconduct had been happening since at least 2007, according to Adm. John M. Richardson, director of naval reactors. The exact start of the cheating was not pinpointed.

“There was never any question” that the reactors were being operated safely, he said in an AP interview, yet the cheating was a stunning violation of navy ethics.

Woman sentenced in plot to steal U.S. nuclear secrets

(Reuters) - A 71-year-old former contractor at Los Alamos National Laboratory has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison after admitting conspiring with her physicist husband to sell U.S. nuclear secrets, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni pleaded guilty last year to plotting to pass classified nuclear weapons data to a person they believed to be a Venezuelan government official. Her husband Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, 79, has also pleaded guilty.

Elizabeth Martinez, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque, said in a statement that the sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson.

According to court documents, Pedro Mascheroni, a Ph.D. physicist, worked as a scientist at the facility in New Mexico from 1979 to 1988. His wife was employed there from 1981 to 2010, and her duties included technical writing and editing.

Both held security clearances that gave them access to some classified information, including "Restricted Data."

Martinez said in her statement that Restricted Data includes classified material about the design, manufacture or use of atomic weapons, the production of special nuclear material, or the use of that material in energy production.

"The indictment ... did not allege that the government of Venezuela or anyone acting on its behalf sought or was passed any classified information, nor did it charge any Venezuelan government officials or anyone acting on their behalf with wrongdoing," Martinez said.

Nuclear workers learn about medical benefits at town hall meetings

For more than a decade, John Sullivent worked construction at Savannah River Site, where he was exposed to asbestos and other materials that damaged his respiratory system. Now, he is one of thousands of former nuclear weapons workers collecting medical benefits from the federal government.

“It made my life a whole lot easier,” said Sullivent, of Harlem. “I wouldn’t have been able to retire if I didn’t have the financial assistance.”

Sullivent attended a town hall meeting Wednesday at the North Augusta Municipal Building, where Department of Labor officials presented information on the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. The program began in 2001 to compensate nuclear workers for work-related medical expenses.

Hundreds, mainly former Savannah River Site employees, attended two meetings to learn more about filing claims. Rachel Leiton, the director of the program, said by phone Wednesday that the meetings were an effort to enroll as many eligible people in the program as possible.

“We are constantly trying to reach out to people,” she said. “Our goal is to pay people who are eligible.”

Common illnesses of people who receive the compensation are lung cancer, beryllium disease, chronic silicosis, asbestosis, emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Leiton said.

Claimants can be reimbursed for office visits, prescription medicine, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, medical travel expenses, medical equipment, hospice, home health care and other expenses.

Breezy Summer: Record 22% Of UK Electricity From Wind Power

On shore and off shore wind turbines in the U.K. generated 22% of the nation's electricity on Sunday, August 17 - a figure that exceeds that of the 13% generated by coal energy. The figures come from Renewable UK, which notes that the previous one day record for wind power generation was 21%.

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