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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.

Russians muscle all others aside in nuclear bid

Russian energy company Rosatom has made it clear they should be the sole supplier of everything nuclear in South Africa.

Construction of the Kalininskaya nuclear power plant near Moscow. Russia's energy company is angling for a monopoly in South Africa. (Alexander Natruskin, Reuters)

Construction of the Kalininskaya nuclear power plant near Moscow.

We don’t want to share so give it all to us. This was the essence of the pitch made by Russia’s state atomic energy company, Rosatom, at a luxury resort in the Drakensberg mountains in KwaZulu-Natal last week. 

A delegation of Russian nuclear experts made it clear that they want to have a monopoly on the entire supply chain of nuclear energy.

Two sources close to last week’s meeting gave details of how the Russians argued for exclusivity. Rosatom believes its services are unique and therefore they cannot partner with any other country.

The cost to South Africa’s taxpayers has been estimated to be anything between R500-billion and just less than R1-trillion at current exchange rates.

The Russians hope to build eight new VVER nuclear power plants without sharing the workload with any other country. The VVER is a pressurised water reactor originally developed by Russia. 

They argued that this system was used by 11 countries worldwide and was adequately efficient.

EDF France: Inquiry after drones buzz nuclear sites

France's EDF runs 58 nuclear plants although the Socialist government has pledged to reduce the number

French nuclear plant at Cattenom in north-eastern France (file pic 2006)

An investigation has been launched after France's state-owned EDF power company said unidentified drones had flown over seven of its nuclear plants.

The first unmanned aircraft was spotted on 5 October and there had been further sightings up to 20 October, EDF said.

Who is behind the drones is unclear but pressure group Greenpeace has denied any involvement.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve says measures are being taken to "neutralise" the drones.

Under French law, no aircraft is allowed to enter a 5km-wide (three-mile) zone around a nuclear plant, nor fly below 1,000m (3,300ft) there.

The air force is responsible for the protection of all such sites.

France is 75% reliant on nuclear power for its electricity and has 58 reactors operated by EDF at 19 sites.

According to the company, the first drone flew over its Creys-Malville plant at Isere in south-east France, 50km (31 miles) east of Lyon.

EDF says other incidents took place at


by Bob Meyer

The following violation reflects Licensed Operator Requalification Program and Licensed Operator Performance. The full report of this event is later in this article. This would be a great recent operating experience to include into operator training.

One violation was the result of inadequate boration settings, one from inadequate channel checks (routine daily readings) that went from June 26, 2014 to July 9, 2014 before discovery.

This inspection report has multiple operating events that we can all learn from.

Green: An NCV of TS 5.4.1.a, “Procedures,” was identified for the licensee’s failure to implement system operating procedure (SOP) 13615-1, “Condensate and Feedwater Systems,” Version 84. Specifically, on July 30, 2014, the licensee conducted a power increase from Mode 2 (approximately 3 percent reactor power) to Mode 1 (approximately 8 percent reactor power) with main condenser hotwell level control in “manual” versus “automatic” as directed by procedure. This resulted in a main feedwater transient and a subsequent reactor shutdown. The licensee initiated an incident response team and entered this event into their corrective action program as condition report (CR) 847734. Additional corrective actions included revising the SOP to include specific instructions for the control of main condenser hotwell level with corresponding number of operating condensate pumps.

NRC BLOG: NRC Team Ready to Get to Work at Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant

By Moderator: Neil Sheehan, Public Affairs Officer, Region 1

When the Pilgrim nuclear power plant got a secondpilgrim “white” performance indicator in the same area of performance in 2014 it meant we would ratchet up our level of scrutiny until the underlying issues were resolved.

Starting Monday, that scrutiny will take the form of a team inspection at the Plymouth, Mass., facility. Eight NRC inspectors will begin performing evaluations in several key areas.


by Bob Meyer

Both of the violations had cross cutting issues in teamwork. How is your teamwork? Can your recognize inadequate teamwork and prevent events?

Green. A self-revealing finding was identified for failure to recognize the potential effects on supported plant equipment while manipulating electrical power distribution components. The finding resulted in an unplanned reactor pressure transient during solid plant operations because the charging flow control valve failed open. Plant pressure increased from 84 to 345 psig before operators were able to control charging flow and lower pressure. The inspectors also concluded that the Licensed Operator Watchstation Expectations in station procedure AP 21-001, “Conduct of Operations,” was not met. Specifically step 6.3.2 states that Control Room personnel are responsible for in-plant activities and maintain control and cognizance of any activities which have the potential to impact plant conditions.

The finding had a cross-cutting aspect of teamwork in the area of human performance in that individuals and work groups did not communicate and coordinate their activities within and across organizational boundaries to ensure nuclear safety is maintained. Specifically, the licensee failed to coordinate the planned bus realignment with a replacement of a redundant power supply such that the momentary loss of power would not have occurred [H.4].


by Bob Meyer

NRC Slams CB&I for continued weaknesses. The complete report: NRC ADAMS ML14288A362.

The NRC inspection team determined that CB&I Power is not effectively implementing its corrective action program, in accordance with the requirements of Criterion XVI, “Corrective Action,” of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. The NRC inspection team issued Nonconformance 99901422/2014-201-01, for CB&I Power’s failure to adequately evaluate if there was a significant condition adverse to quality, identify the cause, and evaluate the extent of condition, in connection with CB&I Power’s failure to identify a potential significant programmatic weakness in SMCI’s quality assurance program.

The NRC inspection team determined that CB&I Power is not effectively implementing its oversight of contracted activities in accordance with the requirements of Criterion VII, “Control of Purchased Material, Equipment, and Services,” and Criterion IV, “Procurement Document Control,” of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. The NRC inspection team issued Nonconformance 99901422/2014-201-02, for CB&I Power’s failure to verify the completion of corrective actions by its supplier, NNI, prior to lifting the QRL restrictions for that supplier and prior to issuing a revision to the Purchase Order that removed such restrictions. Additionally, CB&I Power failed to identify a potentially significant programmatic weakness in SMCI’s Quality Assurance Program.


Severity Level IV. The inspectors identified a NCV of 10 CFR 50.59, “Changes, Tests and Experiments,” when, on February 10, 2011, the licensee failed to complete a 10 CFR 50.59 evaluation when they revised procedure DOP 1300–02 to change the position of Motor Operated Valve (MOV) 2–1301–3, Reactor Inlet Isolation, such that the Isolation Condenser (IC) system would not meet its design requirement of removing 84.2E+06 BTUs in 20 minutes when initiated from its minimum Technical Specification (TS) level and maximum TS temperature.

This finding has a cross-cutting aspect of Design Margins [IMC 0310, H.6] in the area of human performance, for failing to carefully guard and maintain the IC design requirement of removing 84.2E+06 BTU in 20 minutes.

Cornerstone: Emergency Preparedness

Green. The NRC identified a NCV of 10 CFR 50.54(q)(2) associated with 10 CFR 50.47(b)(10) and 10 CFR Part 50, Appendix E, Section IV.4, for failing to maintain the effectiveness of the Dresden Nuclear Power Station Emergency Plan as a result of failing to provide the station evacuation time estimate (ETE) to the responsible offsite response organizations (OROs) by the required date.


Green. An NCV of T.S. 5.4.1(d) - The licensee failed to properly implement station procedures for fire protection impairments and fire watches. Specifically, a required compensatory fire watch on numerous occasions did not enter a room for which fire impairments had existed because of a door problem. The licensee implemented corrective actions including modification of fire protection software to track administrative impairments and placing a camera in the room until the door was repaired.

This finding had a cross-cutting aspect in the area of human performance associated with conservative bias such that individuals use decision making practices that emphasize prudent choices over those that are simply allowable. In particular, the shift manager made an inaccurate assessment of existing fire impairments by only checking the fire protection software and not the fire watch log, which was readily available. The shift manager also made the decision to not document the approval for modifying how the compensatory fire watch was being performed such that on-coming personnel would be aware of the change. (H.14)

TVA Issue NRC Notification Upon Discovery of Boone Dam Stability Issues for Watts Bar, Sequoyah, Browns Ferry

By Bob Meyer

On October 30, 2014, at 1100 EDT, TVA conducted a briefing for government officials and other stakeholders regarding the decision to accelerate the Boone Reservoir annual drawdown after discovery of a sink hole near the base of the embankment and a small amount of water and sediment found seeping from the river below the dam. TVA is continuously monitoring the dam and conducting an investigation to determine the source of the water seepage. 

The dam is located upstream of all three TVA nuclear sites. There are currently no nuclear plant operability or safety issues, and TVA is assessing the impacts on the plant licensing bases. 

The Boone Dam was completed in 1952, 160 ft high and is 1667 feet across the South Fork Holston River. the water level varies about 25 feet per year depending on rainfall. The capacity of the dam is 75,800 acree-ft (~25B gallons).  The hydro at the dam provides for a net dependable capacity of 89 MWe. Seisimic inspections due to earthquakes do occur (read on). (More pictures)

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