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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.

N-reactor in Rajasthan sets world record

Running continuously for 747 days since August 2012,  anRunning continuously for 747 days since August 2012,  an indigenous nuclear reactor in Rajasthan has set a world record for becoming the best performing nuclear reactor in the last 20 years. Reuters file photo for represenation purpose only indigenous nuclear reactor in Rajasthan has set a world record for becoming the best performing nuclear reactor in the last 20 years.

The 220 MWe fifth unit of Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) at Rawatbhata not only beat a US reactor, but also became the second longest running nuclear power reactor in the history of nuclear energy, Dr Vinod Kumar, station director of RAPS 5 and 6 told Deccan Herald.

In 1994, Canadian reactor Pickering Unit-7 notched the world record for continuous operations when it functioned non-stop for 894 days without a shutdown. The second spot in the list was held by the Unit-1 of La Salle nuclear generating station at Illinois in the USA. On August 11, RAPS-5 overtook the La Salle reactor, operating at full power and fulfilling all safety obligations, he said.

Exelon's Calvert Cliffs, Unit 2: Diesel Generator Technical Specification Surveillance Requirement Missed Due to Human Performance Error

By Bob Meyer

This is great OE for the crew to review. Pull the thread. Does the corrective actions fit the errors?

On June 9, 2014 at 1735, a 2A diesel generator field flash monitoring relay alarm was received in the Control Room. Investigation revealed no local alarms and no conditions consistent with an alarm condition existed. The Control Room alarm manual was referenced but critical information was missed. Following investigation by the Operations crew, a determination was made that the issue did not impact diesel generator operability based on proper indications and satisfactory status of standby systems for the diesel generator. Troubleshooting on June 11, 2014 determined that a field flash fuse clip was loose, rendering the diesel generator inoperable. Initial Technical Specification Condition 3.8.1..B which requires one hour Actions, and subsequent Technical Specification Condition 3.8.1 .J to be in Mode 3 in six hours was missed due to the late identification of the diesel generator inoperability. The apparent cause of this event is human performance error. Corrective actions include operator training focused on understanding the causes of the degraded condition and validation of indications for potential inoperability and updating specific guidance for diesel generator alarms.



On 8/15/2014 at 1218 CDT, the 'B' Standby Gas Treatment (SBGT) System was undergoing its monthly surveillance testing. With the 'B' fan running, as part of the surveillance, the 'A' Standby Gas Treatment Mode Select Switch was taken to Manual. This renders the 'A' SBGT subsystem inoperable. Almost simultaneously the 'B' fan Flow Indicating Controller went blank and flashed an error message although indicated flow through the 'B' train remained at 4073 SCFM. Based on the indication seen on 'B' controller, regardless of flow, the 'B' SBGT subsystem was also declared inoperable. In accordance with the surveillance the 'A' SBGT mode switch was placed back in the AUTO position on 8/15/2014 at 1220 CDT, restoring that train to operability. The 'B' SBGT was still considered inoperable based on its flow indicating controller being blank and flashing an error message. For a period of two minutes both SBGT subsystems were considered inoperable which is a condition that could have prevented the fulfillment of the safety function of SBGT system to control the release of radioactive material. This is considered a 8-hour reportable event per 50.72(b)(3)(v)(C) 'Any event or condition that at the time discovery could have prevented the fulfillment of the safety function of structures or systems that are needed to control the release of radioactive material.

Diesel Generator Issue Compels Shutdown of Diablo Canyon Reactor


"While performing scheduled maintenance on Unit 2 Emergency Diesel Generator (EDG) 2-2, Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP) identified a failed capscrew on engine cylinder 1L. As part of subsequent inspections to determine whether a similar condition existed on any of the other Unit 1 or Unit 2 EDGs, a degraded capscrew was identified on EDG 2-3 cylinder 8L at 1631 PDT on 08/14/2014. No capscrew issues were identified on the Unit 1 EDGs or on Unit 2 EDG 2-1. Although all operational tests of the diesels up to the time of discovery were satisfactorily performed with no indication of degraded performance, the EDG 2-3 was declared inoperable.

"Because two Unit 2 EDGs were inoperable concurrently, this is being reported as a condition that could have prevented fulfillment of a safety function per 10 CFR 50.72(b)(3)(v). Per the requirements of TS 3.8.1, with two EDGs inoperable, a plant shutdown was commenced at 2031 PDT on 08/14/2014. Therefore, this condition is also being reported in accordance with 10 CFR 50.72(b)(2)(i).

"Offsite power remained available throughout this condition. EDG 2-2 remains out of service as part of its scheduled maintenance window.

"This condition did not result in any adverse impact on the health and safety of the public.

"A press release is planned.

"The licensee informed the NRC Resident Inspector."

V.C. Summer Nuclear Reactor Delays Drop SCE&G Credit Rating To Negative

Two nuclear reactor delays at Jenkinsville, SC (SCE&G)

Two 1,117-MW nuclear power plants being constructed at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Power site in Fairfield County for South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. (55%) and state-owned Santee Power (45%) have fallen behind schedule. (Not entirely unexpected, considering the overall track record of the nuclear power industry.) “The delay will put the $10 billion project at V.C. Summer Nuclear Power plant outside the 18-month contingency allowed by state regulators and likely will drive up the costs, but utility officials said they would not know how much until later this year.”

France’s Areva to replace steam generators at Koeberg plant

Koeberg nuclear plant. Source: IAEA

In South Africa, Eskom announced this week that French nuclear and renewable energy company Areva will replace six steam generators at the utility’s Koeberg nuclear power plant.

The refit is part of a programme to install up to 9,600MW of new nuclear power by 2030, as Africa’s largest economy tries to overcome chronic electricity shortages and slow greenhouse gas emissions.

The vast majority of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal and the government is struggling to ensure that supply stays a step ahead of growing demand.

The six new generators would be installed in 2018, Eskom said.

Situated close to Cape Town, the French-built 1,800 MW Koeberg is the only nuclear power station in Africa and its two reactors provide around 5 per cent of South Africa’s power. 

Europe struggles with cost of caring for its elderly nuclear plants

Cows graze in a field near the Doel nuclear power plant in northern Belgium in August 2012. | REUTERS

Europe’s aging nuclear plants will undergo more prolonged outages over the next few years, reducing the reliability of power supply and costing operators many billions of dollars.

Nuclear power provides about a third of the European Union’s electricity generation, but the 28-nation bloc’s 131 reactors are well past their prime, with an average age of 30 years.

And the energy companies, already feeling the pinch from falling energy prices and weak demand, want to extend the life of their plants into the 2020s to put off the drain of funding new builds.

Closing the older nuclear plants is not an option for many EU countries, which are facing an energy capacity crunch as other types of plant are being closed or mothballed because they can’t cover their operating costs, or to meet stricter environmental regulation.

Though renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are slowly rising in the mix, they do not produce a constant output, so other sources will always be needed for backup.

But as nuclear plants age, performance can suffer, and outages — both scheduled and unplanned — become more frequent.

SA's fixation on nuclear energy based on 'patronage'

South Africa's unwillingness to move from nuclear and coal power will lead to catastrophic climate change for the profit of a few, writes Sipho Kings.

In his State of the Nation address this year, President Jacob Zuma said the energy department had committed to building more nuclear power stations,  generating around 9 600 megawatts of nuclear energy a year. He also said a new coal power station would be built, in addition to the two mega-stations underway at Medupi and Kusile. Unfortunately, renewable technology only got a perfunctory nod.

This decision goes against South Africa’s international climate change commitments, its own energy plans and ignores the global shift towards renewable energy. Professor William Gumede, of Democracy Works, said the move was being pursued due to a political agenda. “Projects are being implemented, essentially from a purely patronage point of view,” he argued.

Focusing on nuclear energy also comes with the perceived bonus of tying South Africa closer to Brics nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – all of whom are nuclear-inclined states wanting to sell technology to the country, he said.

Jordan and Russia in nuclear plant construction deal

According to a statement by Khaled Toukan, head of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, the agreement will be signed in Moscow in September.  

Russia’s state-owned nuclear company Rosatom is to build the plant after conducting environmental impact studies, as well as studies to determine the project’s potential impact on infrastructure, roads and Jordan’s grid.

The studies, which are expected to take two years to complete, will also investigate costs and financing for the project and the power it will produce, as well as methods of cooling the reactor. The cost of the studies, to be paid for by Jordan, is estimated at around $65m.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rosatom is to finance 49 per cent of the project’s $10bn construction and operation costs, while Jordan will take on 51 per cent and keep a majority stake in the plant.

The Kingdom aims to build two 1 GW nuclear reactors before 2022.  

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