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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.


This report documents one violation for which the NRC is exercising enforcement discretion. The NRC is not taking enforcement action for this violation because it meets the criteria established in an NRC Memorandum from Barry C. Westreich, Director, Cyber Security Directorate, Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response, to each regional office and Director, Division of Reactor Safety, Subject: Enhanced Guidance for Licensee Near-Term Corrective Actions to Address Cyber Security Inspection Findings and Licensee Eligibility for “Good-Faith” Attempt Discretion dated July 1, 2013 (ADAMS Accession Number ML13178A203). Consistent with the NRC Memorandum, you should inform Mr. Keith Young, the inspection team leader, in the Region I Office at 610-337-5293, when you complete and close corrective actions associated with this violation. Further, this report documents two licensee-identified violations which were determined to be of very low safety significance. The NRC is treating these violations as non-cited violations (NCV) consistent with Section 2.3.2.a of the Enforcement Policy.


During NRC inspection activities conducted April 1 through June 30, 2014, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the NRC Enforcement Policy, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 70.61(e) states, in part, the safety program established in 70.62 of this subpart, shall ensure that each item relied on for safety (IROFS) will be available and reliable to perform its intended function when needed and in the context of the performance requirements of this section.

10 CFR Part 70.62(d) states, in part, that each licensee shall establish management measures to ensure compliance with the performance requirements. These measures shall ensure that IROFS will be available and reliable to perform its intended function when needed, to comply with performance requirements. One such management measure is configuration control, also known as an engineering change notice.

Section 11.4, Procedures Development and Implementation, states, in part, AREVA conducts its licensed activities in accordance with a system of written operating procedures. Activities involving licensed SNM and/or IROFS will be conducted in accordance with approved procedures.

NRC Conducting Inspection at Diablo Canyon due to LER

By Bob Meyer

NRC Conducting Inspection at Diablo Canyon due to LER. As a minimum the NRC will be looking at spurious operations that were identified during the NFPA-805 project, Appendix R, and procedures for both units. Interviews will be expected.

Here is the LER:

On October 14, 2013, at 15:11 PDT, with Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) Unit 1 in Mode 1 at 100 percent power, Main Feedwater Pump 1-1 tripped. This event began when a 480 V bus overcurrent relay tripped during relay maintenance and caused a loss of control oil pressure which resulted in a main feedwater pump trip. In response, plant operators controlled a ramp from 100 percent to 50 percent power and manually started the auxiliary feedwater pumps per plant procedures and conditions. The auxiliary feedwater system actuation was reported in accordance with 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(iv)(a) in NRC Event Notification 49442.

DCPP determined that the cause of the relay trip was failure to incorporate operating experience in the relay maintenance procedure. Similar inservice relay testing was halted until the procedure is updated. DCPP determined that the main feedwater pump trip occurred due to loss of power to the in-service control pump (caused by the 480 V bus deenergization) and the inability of the backup control oil system to respond quickly enough due to nitrogen pre-charge leakage from an accumulator bladder. The bladder was replaced and the system tested. Other corrective actions are also being implemented. This event did not adversely affect the health or safety of the public.

NRC Releases NUREG/CR-7174, Transfer Factors for Contaminant Uptake by Fruit and Nut Trees


Transfer of radionuclides from soils into plants is one of the key mechanisms for longterm contamination of the human food chain. Plants absorb nutrients through their roots and transport them via the phloem to active portions of the plant. Nearly all computer models that address soil-to-plant uptake of radionuclides use empirically-derived transfer factors to address this process. Essentially all available soil-to-plant transfer factors are based on measurements in annual crops. Very few measurements are available for tree fruits.

In order to address this limitation, a sampling of various “standard” crops and fruit and nut trees was made. Samples of alfalfa and oats (to compare with available transfer factors) and stems, leaves, and fruits and nuts of almond, apple, apricot, carob, fig, grape, nectarine, pecan, pistachio (natural and grafted), and pomegranate were collected, along with local surface soil. The samples were dried, ground, weighed, and analyzed for trace constituents through a combination of induction-coupled plasma mass spectrometry and instrumental neutron activation analysis for a wide range of naturallyoccurring elements.

Millstone Power Station- Unit 2 LER: Train "A" Containment Spray Inoperable Due to Gas Voids

By Bob Meyer

Gas void issues continue. This problem has existed since process flow systems existed. One of the best training tools that I have seen was at Wolf Creek. The flow simulator was an eye opener, even for the experienced operator. The development of voids and how they moved through the system became quite apprent through this totally transparent system. Thats right, totally transparent. The valve, pumps and heat exchangers were all transparent. This was not a small flow simulator. This was built by the plant staff, mostly operations training instructors.


By Bob Meyer

This happened at one other nuclear plant in the last year on the same component.

On June 30, 2014, the NRC completed an inspection at Surry Power Station, Units 1 and 2. One self-revealing finding of very low safety significance (Green) was identified during this inspection.

Summary of Plant Status

Unit 1 operated at or near rated thermal power (RTP) throughout the inspection period. Unit 2 operated at or near RTP from the beginning of the inspection period until April 20, 2014, when it was shutdown to begin a planned refueling outage (RFO). It remained offline until May 21, when the main turbine generator was synchronized to the grid. On May 24, the unit reached full RTP and operated there for the remainder of the inspection period.

Green. A self-revealing NCV of Surry TS 6.4.A.7 was identified because 2-RC-PCV-2455A, the Unit 2 “A” pressurizer (PZR) spray valve’s packing gland was repacked with the incorrect number of packing rings in May, 2008. When the Unit 2 “A” PZR spray valve bellows failed in March 2014, the amount of packing in the valve was insufficient to prevent packing leakage. This leakage approached the technical specification (TS) allowable unidentified reactor coolant system (RCS) leak rate on March 19, 2014, and subsequently required an unplanned unit shutdown.


By Bob Meyer

T.S. application assumptions were in error. Decsion Making was not demonstrated during the determination between a late versus a never-performed surveillance. A control room operator incorrectly position a switch that led to a NRC violation. The NRC cited lack of prejob briefs and peer checks. Another violation was related to defeating a safety feature for an air-supplied suit respirator due to an outdated procedure.

There is some great OE to use in pre-job briefs for human performace tools and challanging outdated procedures.

Summary of Plant Status

Fermi Power Plant, Unit 2, was operating at about 20 percent power at the beginning of the inspection period. The licensee had performed a reactor startup from the Cycle 16 refueling outage on March 27, 2014, and was troubleshooting a problem affecting the main generator voltage regulator. The unit was operated at or near full power during the inspection period with the following exceptions:

• On April 5, the licensee synchronized the unit to the electrical grid, completing a 54-day refueling outage. On April 6, when the unit reached 90 percent power, an oil leak was identified on one of the two main power transformers. The licensee reduced power to about 80 percent pending evaluation of the transformer oil leak. The unit was subsequently operated at about 83 percent until April 15 when the licensee began a power reduction for a planned maintenance outage.

Utilities Quietly Pursue New Nuclear Plants

by Bob Meyer

Ever so slowly, plants are moving ahead. For instance, Duke Power is continuing correspondce and work on William States Lee III Nuclear Station. A July 24, 2914 letter to the NRC discussed additional licensing information for the station.

Expect to hear more on small modular reactors. No emergency planning if the reactor is under a specific MWt power rating. You may see TVA, PSEG and others being more involved soon.  

The following plants are under review status:

Bell Bend Nuclear Power Plant

Calvert Cliffs, Unit 3

Fermi, Unit 3

Levy County, Units 1 and 2

North Anna, Unit 3

South Texas Project, Units 3 and 4


By Bob Meyer

Error reduction tools are essential in nuclear power. They can be costly and errode regulatory margins. Here is an example of an individual NOT implementing error reductions tools and causes a NRC violation.

Summary of Plant Status

R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, LLC (Ginna) began the inspection period operating at 100 percent power. On April 27, 2014, operators commenced a shutdown for a planned refueling and maintenance outage (1R38). The station reached Mode 6 (refueling) on April 30. Following the completion of refueling and maintenance activities, operators commenced a reactor startup on May 20. Operators returned the unit to approximately 91 percent power on May 24, but rapidly shut down the unit following the discovery of a main generator exciter service water (SW) leak on May 24. Following repairs, operators commenced a reactor startup on May 25 and returned the unit to 100 percent power on May 27. The unit remained at or near 100 percent power for the remainder of the inspection period.

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