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November 30, 2022    Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Unit 2 - Final Significance Determination of a White Finding with Assessment Follow-Up and Notice of Violation; Inspection Report 05000277/2022090
Epstein Petition for Leave to Intervene and Hearing Request at the NRC; Re: Susquehanna Nuclear, LLC. Bankruptcy of Talen Energy Corporation, (11/28/22)
DOE rejects Palisades application for funds to restart
Palisades Nuclear Generating Station is pictured during a tour earlier this fall.
Don Campbell / HP staff
COVERT — Holtec International's bid to restart Palisades Nuclear Power Plant has been rejected, ending any hopes of bringing the plant back online.
The nuclear planting decommissioning company learned on Friday its application for Department of Energy civil nuclear credits had been denied, said Pat O'Brien, director of government affairs and communications.
“We appreciate the consideration that the Department of Energy (DOE) put into our application for the Civilian Nuclear Credit program. We fully understood that what we were attempting to do, re-starting a shuttered nuclear plant, would be both a challenge and a first for the nuclear industry," he said in a prepared statement. "While the DOE’s decision is not the outcome many had hoped for, we entered this process committed to working with our federal, state, and community partners to see if the plant could be repowered to return to service as a provider of safe, reliable, and carbon-free generation."
O'Brien said site workers and company stakeholders had also been notified on Friday, prior to alerting media. He did not comment on why the application, submitted in September, was rejected. The Department of Energy did not immediately respond for comment. 
Decommissioning has already begun, but everything done thus far has been reversible, plant officials said, in the case the plant was able to reopen. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated $6 billion to prolong the lives of nuclear power plants closing for economic and not safety reasons. Palisades is licensed to operate through 2031.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer threw her support behind reopening Palisades in April, calling the plant a source of carbon-free energy and union jobs. Before shutting down two weeks early in May, the plant employed more than 600 people. Now, only about a third remain at the plant.
The plant faced an uphill battle to reopen, as two-thirds of its workforce had left, no fuel had been ordered and Holtec was not licensed to operate a plant. To be successful, the company would have had to partner with a third party with an operating license.
Holtec remains focused on decommissioning Palisades, O'Brien said, a process which will take about 19 years. 
"As we have said, both before acquiring Palisades and since taking ownership, Holtec remains committed to helping the nuclear and energy industries meet challenges and find solutions here in Michigan and across the country. That commitment remains as our employees focus on the safe and timely decommissioning of Palisades to allow for potential reuse," O'Brien said in a prepared statement. "Our thanks to our team at Palisades who are leading its decommissioning and for whom the health and safety of our community remain the highest priority.”
Holtec officially acquired the plant from Entergy Inc., who has since vacated the merchant nuclear power business, in July. The decommissioning company has said small modular reactors, like at their Oyster Creek facility, remain a possibility for Palisades, especially given strong community support for nuclear energy. Additionally, developers have expressed a lot of interest in the nearly 500-acre site along the lakeshore.
Contact: jknot@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @knotjuliana
Subject: Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Request for Withholding Information from Public Disclosure (EPID L-2022-LLM-0003)
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Subject: Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Request for Withholding Information from Public Disclosure (EPID L-2019-PMP-0064)
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"Nuclear regulators probe two recent incidents at Peach Bottom plant” 

Nuclear regulators flagged two recent incidents at York County's Peach Bottom nuclear power plant that didn't pose an immediate danger to residents but nonetheless raised concerns from government regulators and a local watchdog group.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission initially issued a white level issue — meaning an event of "moderate concern," according to NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan — over a May power-loss incident that resulted in an emergency reactor shutdown at the plant located in Peach Bottom Township.
A less severe green issue was raised after inspectors found in August that a discharge valve connected to water pipes in Unit 2 was not automatically closing as it was designed to do.
Both issues are still going through the NRC's regulatory process, Sheehan said. They could result in increased scrutiny at the plant.
Sheehan said the May incident occurred during a construction project on an electrical grid the plant is connected to. Unexpected issues caused the breakers in the plant's switchyard to disconnect some of the power flowing to the reactor in Unit 2, he said.

Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station
Peach Bottom Automic Power Station Submitted

When an electrical disruption is sensed, he said, the plant’s power system will respond with a partial reactor shut down and insert several control rods into the core to slow down nuclear fission. During the May incident, however, a plant operator caused a full shut down when they cut the remaining flow of power to the reactor. That halted all nuclear fission.
When a spokesperson for Constellation Energy, the company that owns and operates Peach Bottom, was asked about the power loss incident, they issued a statement saying they are reviewing the NRC's inspection report and that there was no risk to public safety during the incident.
Once Constellation responds to the report, Sheehan said the NRC will finalize its inquiry into the event.
Eric Epstein, a longtime local nuclear energy watchdog, said his organization — Three Mile Island Alert — is satisfied with how the NRC is handling the rector shut down issue, they think there is inconsistency in how the NRC handles issues when it comes to the discharge valve problem.
Specifically, Epstein said a malfunctioning water valve should be more cause for concern than the current green-level issue advisory.
"Green is like getting a detention," he said. "White is pretty serious; that's like being called down to the principal's office."

Eric Epstein, chairmain of ant-nuclear watchdog group TMI-Alert speaks at a public meeting on the decommissioning of Dauphin County nuclear plant Three Mile Island on Tuesday, July 23.
Eric Epstein, chairman of ant-nuclear watchdog group TMI-Alert speaks at a public meeting on the decommissioning of Dauphin County
nuclear plant Three Mile Island on Tuesday, July 23, Lindsay C. VanAsdalan

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Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Cyber Security Inspection Report 05000387/2022404 and 05000388/2022404 (Cover Letter Only)
ADAMS Accession No. ML22313A106

Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Integrated Inspection Report 05000387/2022003 and 05000388/2022003

ADAMS Accession No. ML22312A357

Subject: Susquehanna Steam Electric Station, Units 1 and 2 - Issuance of Amendment Nos. 283 and 266 Re: Change to Reactor Steam Dome Pressure--Low Instrument Function Allowable Value in Technical Specifications (EPID L-2021-LLA-0184)
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The Color Coded Grading System for
Nuclear Plants: "Decoding the Nuclear Crayon"

Supposedly, the crayon selection is determined by the risk 
associated with the violation -- the more  steps taken towards
core damage, the fewer steps remaining to complete that journey 
the worser  the crayon color -- Green to White to Yellow 
to Red.
The NRC picked Green for the High Pressure Service Water pump 
discharge check valve problem.
They picked White (preliminarily) for the Reactor Protection System 
power supply glitch that triggered  an automatic scram and containment 
The HPSW violation seems to involve many more steps than 
the RPS violation. If anything, the crayon selections should 
be reversed.
The HPSW problem dates back to 2016 and remained uncorrected for years.
The RPS problem dates back hours and remained uncorrected for minutes. 
The HPSW problem was "analyzed" to be Green based on no concurrent failures. 
Duh! No problem, except perhaps gross rupture of the reactor 
pressure vessel, is anything but Green if no concurrent failures are 
Probabilistic Risk Assessment ("PRA") does not work that way, at least 
not when done properly.PRA looks at the likelihood of success when a safety 
component is needed. By assuming zero concurrent failures, NRC
didn't PRA they prayed for good luck.

With the HPSW check valve stuck open, the flow in the running pump dropped
to nearly have the needed flow (5,000 gpm to 3,300 gpm). Which means the
cooling flow provided to emergency systems was nearly  halved. 
For the RPA glitch, the NRC ditched its zero concurrent failures ploy and 
assumed that concurrent failures could be present and lead to core damage.
To be fair, the NRC's inconsistent treatment might have benefit.
Consistency runs the risk of being wrong all the time.
Inconsistency increases the chances of being right some of the time, even 
if you don't know when.
I suspect Constellation  the owner will negotiate the final finding back to 
a Green from the preliminary White.