Fission Stories

U.S. reactors have experienced hundreds of safety failures, large and small. This series tells the stories of those failures, drawing lessons for what we should be doing better.


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Latest Fission Stories Posts

Near Miss at Nuclear Fuel Services

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Fission Stories #190

UCS initiated a series of annual reports on the NRC and nuclear plant safety in March 2011. As in this year’s report, these annual reports contain a chapter summarizing the near misses that the NRC investigated during the prior year. We define “near miss” to be any event or discovery at a nuclear plant that prompts the NRC to dispatch a special inspection team to the site to ascertain its cause and verify its correction. Read more >

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Perils of New Nuclear Fuel: Part 4 – Grand Gulf’s Painted Water

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Fission Stories #189

The previous two Fission Stories commentaries (#187 and #188) described problems at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station near Port Gibson, Mississippi involving new fuel bundles stored in the new fuel vault and later in transferring them into the spent fuel pool. This post caps the trilogy by describing a problem encountered with the new fuel bundles in the spent fuel pool. Read more >

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Perils of New Nuclear Fuel: Part 3 – Grand Gulf’s Safety Suspension

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Fission Stories #188

The previous Fission Stories commentary described a problem at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station near Port Gibson, Mississippi that prevented workers from transferring fuel bundles from the new fuel vault to the spent fuel pool. This post describes a problem encountered shortly after that problem was eliminated and the transfers began. Read more >

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Perils of New Nuclear Fuel: Part 2 – Grand Gulf’s Mighty Pen

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Fission Stories #187

The previous Fission Stories commentary described a problem with new nuclear fuel encountered at Browns Ferry in the early 1980s. This commentary sustains that theme by describing another problem with new nuclear fuel, this time at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station near Port Gibson, Mississippi. Read more >

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Perils of New Nuclear Fuel: Part 1 – Browns Ferry’s Midnight Ride

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Fission Stories #186

Much has been written about the perils of nuclear fuel when it resides in the core of a nuclear power reactor and later when it is spent fuel stored here, there and everywhere. But new nuclear fuel has proven problematic at times, too. This is the first of a quartet of stories about new fuel problems. Read more >

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