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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.

NRC Commissioner William D. Magwood IV Announces Departure Date

NRC Commissioner William D. Magwood IV announced today he will step down from his position at the NRC effective at the close of business Aug. 31, 2014. He will assume his new position as the Director-General of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) on Sept. 1. Magwood was initially sworn in to the Commission on April 1, 2010. His term was to run through June 2015.

Magwood has had a distinguished career in the nuclear field and in public service. Most notably, he was the longest-serving head of the United States’ civilian nuclear technology program, serving two Presidents and five Secretaries of Energy.

“It has been a rare honor to have been one of only 33 people to have served as an NRC Commissioner,” Magwood said. “The NRC is a truly outstanding organization that stands as a powerful model for nuclear safety organizations throughout the world. The mission of the NRC has engendered a culture of independence of decision-making, dedication to purpose, and commitment to excellence to which one would hope all regulators and staffs might aspire. Though my tenure with the NRC is coming to its end, I will remain a strong advocate for these values.”

As he leaves the agency, Magwood expressed particular thanks to his Commission colleagues and to the NRC staff.

“I am proud to have worked alongside a cadre of exceptional public servants dedicated to protecting public health and safety through a commitment to openness and independence,” he said.

NRC Assigns New Resident Inspector to Farley Nuclear Power Plant

Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials in Atlanta have selected Kenneth Miller as the resident inspector for Southern Nuclear Operating Co.’s Farley nuclear power plant, located near Columbia, Ala.

The Farley plant is located in south Alabama about 18 miles east of Dothan, and Miller joins NRC Senior Resident Inspector Phil Niebaum.

Since 2010, Miller worked as one of the NRC resident inspectors for construction at the Watts Bar nuclear plant’s Unit 2 and then as a resident inspector for the operating Watts Bar Unit 1. The Watts Bar plant is located near Spring City, Tenn., about 60 miles southwest of Knoxville.

Miller began his NRC career as a reactor inspector in the NRC’s Region II office in Atlanta in early 2007. Prior to joining the NRC, he was employed as an engineer in the nuclear power industry for more than 35 years and participated in the construction, startup and operation of 19 commercial nuclear plants.

Miller has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In addition, he is a registered professional engineer in five states.

“Ken Miller has the experience, knowledge and dedication to carry out the NRC mission of protecting people and the environment by helping to ensure the safety of the Farley plant,” said NRC Region II Administrator Victor McCree.

Hot cooling canals threaten shutdown of Turkey Point nuclear power plants

Rising water temperatures and severe algae blooms in cooling canals have threatened to force the shutdown of two nuclear reactors at Florida     Power & Light’s Turkey Point plant over the last few weeks.

The utility and federal regulators say there isn’t a public safety risk but the canal temperatures, climbing to 94 to 99 degrees, have come within one degree of a federal limit that would mandate an expensive shutdown at a time when power demands are soaring. The hot water has also stoked the spread of algae through the 168-mile long canal system, which has helped keep temperatures high and reignited concerns about the power plant’s impact on water quality in Biscayne Bay.

In a letter last month to state regulators, the company asked to control the algae with herbicides and to cool the canals with daily injections of millions of gallons from an underground reservoir that supplies Miami-Dade County’s drinking water — requests that drew questions from Biscayne National Park and environmentalists. FPL has also asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to raise the 100-degree operating limit to 104 degrees to keep the reactors on line.

“The urgency in all of it is that we’re in the summer. Demand on the grid is very high and we have to make sure we can service our customers,” said FPL spokeswoman Bianca Cruz.

Iberdrola joins GE Hitachi in UK PRISM plans

Spanish utility Iberdrola is joining GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) in its efforts to deploy PRISM fast reactor technology for reuse of the UK's plutonium stockpile.

Under a memorandum of understanding announced in July, the companies will work together with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to "analyse the options" for GEH's PRISM technology. NDA said in January 2014 that the PRISM reactor was a 'credible option' for managing the UK's plutonium stockpile, and is continuing to work with GEH on its commercial proposal.

PRISM is a pool-type, metal-fuelled, small modular sodium fast reactor with a thermal power of 840 MW and an electrical output of 311 MW. GEH is proposing to deploy two PRISM reactors at the Sellafield site in Cumbria where over 100 tons of the UK's plutonium is stored.

"Our extensive expertise in nuclear operations places us in the ideal position to work together with [GEH] in bringing PRISM forward for deployment in the UK," commented Alfio Vidal, Director, Iberdrola Nuclear Generation UK.

"This will not only deliver a viable technology solution for plutonium re-use, it could drive extensive investment in skills and further establish the UK, and West Cumbria, as a global-hub of nuclear expertise,"

Vallourec to supply SG tubing for Fuqing 5&6

French firm Valinox Nucléaire has won a contract to supply 750km of steam generator tubing for two Chinese nuclear reactors, Fuqing 5&6, in Fujian province.

The 1mm-thick nickel-alloy tubes are used in the steam generators and allow thermal exchange between the pressurized water of the primary loop coming from the reactor and the steam of the secondary loop rotating the turbine.

The contract from China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) also enables Valinox Nucléaire to obtain qualification for CNNC's new ACP1000 reactor design, the company says. The ACP1000 is a 1100 MW-capacity Generation III pressurized water reactor that was developed entirely in China.

Fuqing 5&6, which have yet to start construction, are officially designated as ACP1000 pressurized water reactors. However, the newer ACC1000 is also under consideration for the site. In addition, ACP1000 reactors are also planned for Pakistan's Karachi Coastal Nuclear Power Project.

"With this new order for the Chinese nuclear market which represents half of the worldwide nuclear market, we strengthen our global leadership in tubes for steam generators, " said Nicolas de Coignac, Vallourec's Director in charge of the power busines.

NRC questions timeliness of Oconee Nuclear Station crack discovery

The safety significance of a weld crack at the Oconee Nuclear Station will be discussed when Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff meets with Duke Energy executives July 31 in Atlanta. The agency said the method used to check for cracks “did not provide acceptable coverage and did not identify the crack before it began leaking.”

The discovery of the crack in November prompted operators to temporarily shut down the Unit 1 reactor at the plant eight miles north of Seneca. The commision’s statement said there was no immediate safety concern because the crack was repaired.

The weld inside a containment building was located in a high-pressure injection system that would provide water to help cool the reactor core during an accident if pressure in the system remained high.

Oconee Nuclear Station spokeswoman B.J. Gatten said the crack happened in November, was fixed “and we’ve run safely and efficiently ever since.” She said the utility will discuss the nuclear commission’s “apparent violation” finding at the July 31 meeting.

“We are still finalizing our presentation,” Gatten said.

She said the leak was “less than 1/10 of a gallon per minute” and there was never any danger to the public or to employees.

Russia Planning 3 Advanced Fast-Breeder Reactors at Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant by 2030

Russia Planning 3 Advanced Fast-Breeder Reactors at Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant by 2030

MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) – Three nuclear power units with fast-breeder BN-1200 reactors are to be launched at Russia’s Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in the Urals by 2030, the chief of the country’s nuclear plant operator Rosenergoatom said Tuesday.

In an announcement reported by the Beloyarsk NPP’s press office, Rosenergoatom CEO Yevgeny Romanov said that Beloyarsk’s fifth power unit will be the first in line to get a next-generation reactor installed on-site to enable a closed nuclear fuel cycle.

Fast breeders, such as the cutting-edge BN-1200, a 1200-megawatt reactor, use a liquid metal heat-transfer agent as a coolant. Russia believes they herald a new era in nuclear power engineering.

Such reactors will significantly minimize radioactive waste and expand the range of fuel used at NPPs. Very few countries have this technology, and Russia is the only one to operate a fast breeder reactor.

In June, Russia’s nuclear plant operator announced the launch of controlled nuclear fission at the BN-800 breeder reactor, which is considered a prototype of the BH-1200. It is expected to reach the target energy output of 880 megawatts in October.

Faulty tap prompts reactor shut-down


Photo: Anouk Antony

(CS) One of four reactors at nuclear power plant Cattenom, just across the border in France, had to be shut down on Tuesday to enable the replacement of a tap.

Reactor 1 was shut down around 12pm, so that the tap in the engine room – in a non-nuclear part of the facility – could be replaced.

The other three reactors remained active during operations.

An official statement did not specify how long reactor 1 would remain shut down.

Luxembourg

NINE MILE POINT: DIESEL GENERATOR FOR HIGH PRESSURE CORE SPRAY DECLARED INOPERABLE DURING SURVEILLANCE TESTING

This report is being made pursuant to 10CFR50.72(b)(3)(v)(D), Event or Condition that could have prevented fulfillment of a Safety Function needed to Mitigate the Consequences of an Accident. During the conduct of the Unit 2 Division 3 High Pressure Core Spray (HPCS) Diesel Generator (DG) surveillance test, one of 2 Cooling Water Outlet Valves failed to automatically open. The Division 3 Diesel is supplied by two redundant trains of cooling water one from each Service Water Divisional Header. Although the redundant cooling water supply was fully available and supplied adequate cooling to the diesel generator, the DG was at reduced margin to have adequate cooling water supply, if required during a loss of offsite power. Due to this loss of margin and inoperable condition, it has been determined that this failure could potentially affect the safety function of this system, and is being reported as an 8 hour ENS notification."

The licensee has attributed the failure to high resistance in a relay which is currently being replaced. This places Unit 2 in the Technical Specification Action Station 3.8.1, which requires restoration of Diesel Generator within 72 hours or commence a Reactor Shutdown. All other ECCS Systems have been verified operable.

NRC Notified By: CARL JONES

10 CFR Section: 50.72(b)(3)(v)(D) - ACCIDENT MITIGATION

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