Comment on Nuclear Power Stories O Day from Yesterday about Indian Point Nuclear Power PlantSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

Comment on Nuclear Power Stories O Day from Yesterday about Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
 


7 February 2007 at 10:57:58 PM
salon

The heat generated by the comment about the original blog entry, which I intend to put portions of here, along with response, makes me suspect the author, who goes by Blaphantunnio, probably works for Entergy Corp. First up, here's the link to what was written before. Notice in the blurb about Indian Point that (who?) Entergy Corporation called what happened to the nuclear power plant up there an *unusual event*. Now for Mr. B.

Daily tales of internal trivia are only possible at American nuclear plants. No other entity on earth allows such transparency.

I suggest that having this level of transparency is a good thing. Even if it were true, which I can't confirm at this moment, that *no other entity on earth allows such transparency*, that doesn't make one known agency that reports on situations that could majorly impact the lives of citizens wrong for letting those citizens know.

Fully 99.9% of this traffic is mundane pro-forma NRC crapola, that never impacts anything. So to what do we pay attention? What ought we ignore?--- It depends most often on whatever personal gain one sees in focusing the microscope. Journalists get copy out of it, politcoes get exposure. A resident near the Indian Point plant called yesterday's exhibition of trivial furor "A dance of donkeys".

I won't disagree that some people look for opportunistic ways of taking advantage of situations for political gain-that includes Republicans as well as Democrats. Nevertheless, it's great that citizens can read the incident reports themselves and make decisions individually on what should be ignored or looked into more fully and if politicians such as Clinton choose to request more investigation, kudos to them. We've had far too little oversight and accountability in Congress in general for the past 4 years.

 A combination of a low tide and river ice, lowered Indian Point's intake water past a preset alarm point at about 7 A.M. yesterday. Abiding by pre-agreed technical specifications, Entergy alerted the NRC, as agreed. No emergency occurred, nothing broke, everything worked as designed. By 10 A.M. the tide rose, and the alert was lifted. It was an operational triviality. At worst, it might have resulted in Entergy shutting down the plant for an hour.

Okay. Let's compare with the NRC Incident Report itself. Hmm. The NRC Report not only says it was unusual, their wording, but an emergency was declared.

Power ReactorEvent Number: 43142
Facility: INDIAN POINT
Region: 1 State: NY
Unit: [ ] [3] [ ]
RX Type: [2] W-4-LP,[3] W-4-LP
NRC Notified By: JOHN GRAHAM
HQ OPS Officer: JEFF ROTTON
Notification Date: 02/05/2007
Notification Time: 07:24 [ET]
Event Date: 02/05/2007
Event Time: 07:07 [EST]
Last Update Date: 02/05/2007
Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT
10 CFR Section:
50.72(a) (1) (i) - EMERGENCY DECLARED
Person (Organization):
CHRISTOPHER CAHILL (R1)
MARY JANE ROSS-LEE (NRR)
MELVYN LEACH (IRD)
BARNES (DHS)
LIGGETT (FEMA)

UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO LOW SERVICE WATER INTAKE LEVEL

Licensee provided the following details via facsimile on 02/05/05 at 1305 EST:

"On February 5, 2007, at approximately 05:30 hours, the control room received an alarm for 'intake structure or traveling screen trouble alarm,' and a nuclear plant operator was dispatched to investigate the condition. At approximately 05:57 hours, the control room was notified that the alarm was due to low screen wash pressure on all traveling water screens as a result of the all screen wash pumps found tripped. Review of the Emergency Plan (EP) determined that Emergency Action Level (EAL) 8.4.3, 'Service Water Level 4 Feet, 5 Inches Below Mean Sea Level, 'was met and entry into an Notification of Unusual Event (NUE) was required. At approximately 07:07 hours, operations entered an NUE for EP EAL 8.4.3. Further investigation and corrective action are in progress. At approximately 07:24 hours, the NRC Emergency Operations Center was notified of the NUE (Jeff Rotton)."

Licensee reported entering EAL 8.4.3 - Service Water Bay Level < 4 feet 5 inches below mean sea level. There are presently no other open LCOs that impact Service Water operability.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector.

* * * UPDATE AT 1058 EST ON 2/5/07 FROM J. HARVEY TO P. SNYDER * * *

The licensee terminated the Unusual Event at 1014 based on the fact that:
(a) Service Water Bay Levels had increased to 1 ft below mean sea level and were rising,
(b) The licensee initiated cleaning of the trash rack for the intake structure, and
(c) the time for an unusually low tide was now passed.

You may say "No emergency occurred" but the incident reports it otherwise and Entergy calls it *unusual*.

However, by a recent agreement, alerting the NRC is now done simultaneously with alerting all local and regional officialdom. To local officialdom the rationale is that a shifty and duplicit NRC, in cahoots with their lax and evasive bedmates, the operators, may conspire to drag their feet, hide the facts, and keep concerned officials in the dark. So everybody gets the same call, all at once. This is called "Transparency".

Um. Although I wouldn't characterize the NRC as shifty and duplicitious, it's not without precedent to find that there have been coverups about nuclear accidents. The most recent one is still ongoing, and that is the First Energy Corp/Davis-Besse engineers who were in court in January, 2007.  Why?

From the article cited above: Mr. Siemaszko and Mr. Geisen are former Davis-Besse engineers. Mr. Cook is a contractor who had been associated with the Ottawa County nuclear plant for years.

Each is accused of jeopardizing northern Ohio's safety five years ago by lying about Davis-Besse's old reactor head when the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was debating whether the plant was too dangerous to keep operating in the fall of 2001.

The NRC, based on what it learned in subsequent months, said acid melted so much steel off the massive lid that it nearly blew open and allowed radioactive steam to form in containment for the first time since the partial meltdown of Three Mile Island Unit 2 in 1979.

Back to Mr. Blaphuntunnio.

Net result? Ten major news feeds, and over 1270 "piggy-back" internet news items poured out of Buchanan within hours, including repetitious and off-the-mark boilerplate statements by Hillary Clinton, Nita Lowey, John Hall, and Andrew Spano, all urging Entergy to "do more maintenance" and pointing out how this proves whatever hackneyed last press blurb they had issued, was supposedly now prophetic in hindsight.

I'm glad to see Congress and other elected officials responding to this, and also glad to see that NRC handles these incidents with full disclosure. How else can the ones we elect to represent us look into matters to be sure the public is safe if they aren't informed?

Transparency?

Did 1270 piggy-back articles raise the river? Did Spano et al. lift the Hudson tide, as a kind of collective left-leaning god Zeus? What WAS lifted, was the press visibility of dozens of issue-riders, issue-manipulators, self-aggrandizers, and wannabe kingpins, a veritable Chicken Little Brigade in full stampede towards the nearest microphone---all accomplishing what, specifically?

Entergy did not lower the tide. God lowered the tide. The chicken little brigade did not raise the tide. The Almighty, once again, did that unaided. As far as admonitions to improve maintenance, or shut the plant, or revamp evac plans, or deny a license, they're all red herrings. A preset technical set point functioned as planned, and a trivial operating notification went out to the legal overseer, NRC.

Seems to me Mr. B's  beef should be with Entergy, who produced the report with the *unusual* language and declared the emergency..

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