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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)
 
ADAMS Accession No.: ML22256A054
 
 
Using Web-based ADAMS, select “Advanced Search”
Under “Property,” select “Accession Number”
Under “Value,” enter the Accession Number
Click Search
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 
isolation.
 
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 
assumed.
 
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. 
 

SUBJECT:    SUSQUEHANNA STEAM ELECTRIC STATION, UNITS 1 AND 2 – FEDERAL
                     EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY LEVEL 1 FINDING FROM 2022
                     EVALUATED EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS EXERCISE

Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 22-045 November 3, 2022
CONTACT: David McIntyre, 301-415-8200
 
NRC Publishes Annual Report to Congress on Nuclear Security Inspections
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made publicly available an unclassified version of its annual report to Congress detailing the prior year’s security inspection program.
 
The report is required under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. It covers the NRC’s security inspection program, including force-on-force exercises for commercial nuclear power reactors and Category I fuel cycle facilities for calendar year 2021. It provides information regarding the overall security and safeguards performance of the commercial nuclear power industry and Category I fuel cycle facilities to keep Congress and the public informed of the NRC’s efforts to oversee the protection of the nation’s civilian nuclear power infrastructure and strategic special nuclear material.
 
In 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NRC conducted 176 security inspections at commercial nuclear power plants and Category I fuel cycle facilities. These inspections included 18 full triennial force-on-force inspections at nuclear power plants, involving simulated attacks on the facilities to test the effectiveness of a licensee’s physical protection program, and one triennial force-on-force inspection conducted at a Category I fuel cycle facility
 
The NRC’s security inspection program and publicly available results are discussed in the report.
 
Whenever NRC inspectors identify a security finding during an inspection, they ensure the licensee implements appropriate compensatory measures to correct the situation, if not already implemented by the licensee. Details of security findings are considered sensitive and not released to the public.
 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission - News Release
No: 22-044 October 31, 2022
CONTACT: Office of Public Affairs, 301-415-8200

 
NRC Announces Headquarters and Regional Leadership Appointments
 
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission today announced leadership appointments naming Scott A. Morris as Deputy Executive Director for Reactor and Preparedness Programs and Raymond K. Lorson as Region I Administrator.
 
Both Morris and Lorson will transition to their new roles following the retirements of DEDR Darrell J. Roberts and Region I Administrator David C. Lew at the end of the year.
 
NRC Executive Director for Operations Daniel H. Dorman, who made the announcement, praised the two as “extremely talented individuals committed to NRC’s complex and important mission.”
 
“Scott has an impressive and proven record of leadership accomplishments in a broad range of skillsets,” said Dorman. “He brings an in-depth knowledge of nuclear energy programs to his new management role. His experience as an engineer and an administrator will help guide our future work.
 
“Since joining the NRC, Ray has served admirably, strategically and effectively, implementing complex programs while leading staff with a focus on the values that continue to guide our performance. I am pleased to announce his selection,” Dorman added.
 
Morris joined the NRC in 1993. His roles included senior resident inspector at two of Region I’s nuclear power sites. He also served as an executive technical assistant for the EDO, and a branch chief in the Office of Nuclear Safety and Incident Response. He has been the Region IV administrator since 2018.
 
Morris is a graduate of the NRC Senior Executive Development Program. He is a Navy submarine program service veteran and holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
 
Lorson joined the NRC in 1991 as a regional reactor engineer. He also served as resident inspector at the Peach Bottom and Salem nuclear power plants, as well as senior resident inspector at the Seabrook and Salem plants. He also served in a variety of other agency leadership roles. Lorson is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of the NRC SESDP.
 
Morris will be based at the NRC headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, and Lorson will remain at the Region I office in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
 
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station, Units 2 and 3 - Integrated Inspection Report 05000277/2022003 and 05000278/2022003 and Preliminary White Finding and Apparent Violation
 
ADAMS Accession No. ML22299A208
 

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