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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.

SALEM NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION, UNIT NOS. 1 AND 2 – NRC INTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT - January 30, 2015

This report documents four NRC-identified findings and one self-revealing finding of very low safety significance (Green). All of these findings were determined to involve violations of NRC requirements.

SLIV. A Severity Level IV (SLIV) NCV of 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(iv)(B) when PSEG failed to make the required event notification within four hours for a valid actuation of the reactor protection system (RPS) when the reactor was critical. Inspectors determined that a manual reactor trip on October 19, 2014, was not in accordance with PSEG’s preplanned documented procedural sequence and, therefore, reportable.

Violation: A Violation of TS 6.8.1, “Procedures and Programs,” when PSEG operators did not implement the procedure steps to trip the main turbine, and manually initiate auxiliary feedwater (AFW), during shutdown for a refueling outage on October 19, 2014. Consequently, operator response to degrading equipment conditions resulted in an unplanned manual reactor trip and coincident AFW actuation.

Cross-cutting Issue: Procedure Adherence - PSEG operators did not follow procedures in response to degrading ‘1B’ MPT conditions during shutdown for a refueling outage on October 19.

VOGTLE ELECTRIC GENERATING PLANT - NRC INTEGRATED INSPECTION REPORT - January 28, 2015

by Bob Meyer

Training issue, with rod control will make a great OE or simulator scenario. 

The inspectors documented three findings of very low safety significance (Green) in this report. All of these findings involved violations of NRC requirements.

Violation: The failure to implement sysstp operating procedure for the Control Rod Drive syatme resulting in resetting the control rod drive system bank overlap unit (BOU). The OATC manually inserted control rods about three steps and noticed control rod bank ‘A’ was inserting instead of the expected control rod bank ‘D’.This caused an out of sequence control rod insertion that resulted in a manual reactor trip.

The procedure specified resetting of the BOU by pushing the ‘BO+1’ pushbutton (i.e. upward direction) to set the BOU counter at 573 from 000. To perform the step quicker, the ‘BO-1’ pushbutton (i.e. downward direction) was used to set the BOU counter. Due to the equipment control logic, the BOU sequence function was not properly reset when the ‘BO-1’ pushbutton was used and resulted in the out-of-sequence control rod operation. Licensee corrective actions included crew stand downs, a human performance review board, and a note to procedure 13502-1/2, prior to the step for resetting the BOU to highlight the importance of using the ‘BO+1’ pushbutton. 

Cross-cutting issue: Training - The organization had not provided sufficient proactical or hands-on trianing on resetting the BOU.

HOPE CREEK GENERATING STATION AND SALEM NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 - NRC SECURITY INSPECTION REPORT - January 22, 2015

NRC inspectors documented two findings of very low security significance (Green) in this report.

Two cross-cutting aspects were assigned to the findings in the area of Human Performance. Specifically, because PSEG Nuclear failed to implement appropriate error reduction tools (H.12), and failed to create and maintain complete, accurate and, up-to-date documentation (H.7). I

Details:  “Security-Related Information"

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant (BFN) - Special Report 26012015-001 for Inoperable Post Accident Monitoring (PAM) Instrumentation

In accordance with Technical Specification (TS) 5.6.6, PAM Report, this letter provides notification of a PAM instrument that was not restored to Operable status within 30 days as required by TS Limiting Condition for Operation (LCO) 3.3.3.1, Post Accident Monitoring (PAM) Instrumentation.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

On December 6, 2014, it was determined that the Suppression Pool Water Temperature Recorder, 2-TR-064-0162, was not functioning. This PAM instrument was declared inoperable, and the Actions of TS LCO 3.3.3.1 were entered. 

BFN Unit 2 TS LCO 3.3.3.1 requires two channels of suppression pool temperature monitoring to be Operable in Modes I and 2. With one required channel inoperable, TS 3.3.3.1 Required Action A.1 directs the required channel to be returned to Operable status in 30 days. If the required channel cannot be restored to Operable status in the required time period, TS 3.3.3.1 Required Action B.1 requires actions to be initiated in accordance with TS 5.6.6, PAM Report.

The 30 day action completion time for TS LCO 3.3.3.1 was exceeded on January 5, 2015.

CAUSE OF THE INOPERABILITY:

SHUTDOWN OF PRAIRIE ISLAND UNIT 1 DUE TO INCREASING TREND IN REACTOR COOLANT SYSTEM LEAKAGE

Prairie Island Unit 1 was shut down on January 26, 2015, to repair a leak from a seal on one of two reactor coolant pumps. The leak was identified after plant operators observed an increasing trend in the reactor coolant system leakage rate following repairs made to the reactor coolant pump seal in December. The plant shut down prior to the seal leakage reaching the licensee’s administrative limit, which was lower than the 1 gallon per minute (gpm) limit specified in the Technical Specifications. The peak leakage measured was 0.596 gallons per minute. The reactor coolant pumps ensure adequate cooling of the reactor when the plant is operating. 

The NRC Resident Inspectors were promptly notified and were on site to monitor the shutdown. The NRC Resident Inspectors and Region III staff will continue to monitor the activities to identify the cause of and to repair the leak, and the subsequent restart. 

This preliminary notification is issued for information only and no further action by the staff is anticipated. State officials have been informed. 

Region III received initial notification of this occurrence by the NRC Resident inspectors on site who were observing the outage activities. The information presented herein has been discussed with the licensee, and is current as of 10:00 am CDT, on January 27, 2015. 

PILGRIM ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SHUTDOWN DUE TO HIGH WINDS AND HEAVY SNOWFALL DURING A SEVERE WINTER STORM

On January 27, 2015, Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station experienced an automatic scram following a turbine trip due to a partial loss of offsite power. The station was experiencing high winds and heavy snowfall during a severe winter storm when the station began experiencing degrading switchyard conditions. The station had already transferred the emergency busses onto their respective emergency diesel generators and was downpowering to 20% power to take the turbine offline. At 4:02 a.m. with the reactor at 52% power, the second offsite line was lost and the station experienced a load reject. 

The station experienced equipment issues while cooling down after the scram including: the station diesel air compressor failed to start, one of four safety relief valves could not be operated manually from the control room, and high pressure coolant injection had to be secured due to failure of the gland seal motor. 

The station is currently in cold shutdown, the safety buses are being powered by their respective emergency diesel generators, and all safety-related equipment required for safe plant shutdown are available. The licensee is working on restoring their 345kV lines. 

Resident inspectors and region-based inspectors are providing oversight and performing follow-up inspections. 

NRC Publishes Final Two Volumes of Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has published volumes two and five of its safety evaluation report on the geologic high-level nuclear waste repository proposed for Yucca Mountain in Nevada. 

Publication of these volumes completes the technical safety review of the Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain application. The safety evaluation report includes the staff’s recommendation that the Commission should not authorize construction of the repository because DOE has not met certain land and water rights requirements identified in Volume 4, published in December, and a supplement to DOE’s environmental impact statement has not yet been completed. 

Volume 2 covers repository safety before permanent closure. It contains the staff’s conclusion that with reasonable assurance, subject to proposed conditions, DOE’s application meets the NRC’s regulatory requirements in that area. Volume 5 covers proposed conditions on the construction authorization, probable subjects of license specifications, and the staff’s overall conclusions. 

The Middle East’s Next Nuclear Power?

The Kingdom of Jordan has for more than a decade watched near-continuous turmoil swirl around its borders—an American invasion of Iraq on one side, an Israeli war with Lebanon on another, and a Syrian civil war to the north that has seen ISIL flourish. For much of that decade, while Jordan absorbed refugees and was targeted by terror, it largely escaped the first-hand effects of war itself. Wednesday’s news that the Kingdom was prepared to trade a terrorist involved in the worst terrorist attack in Jordanian history to free one of its pilots captured by ISIL after his F-16 crashed in December, represents a new chapter in Jordan’s perpetual struggle against the militants on its borders. Over all of these regional challenges has hung another dark cloud—the fear, uncertainty, and tension that’s sprung from Iran’s secret nascent nuclear program.

US nuclear scientist jailed for trying to sell secrets

A former scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US has been sentenced to five years in jail for attempting to pass nuclear bomb-making secrets to Venezuela.

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni pleaded guilty in 2013 to delivering secrets to an undercover FBI agent, who he thought was a Venezuelan official.

Pedro Mascheroni, who is 79, is originally from Argentina.

His wife was also sentenced to one year in prison.

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