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Nuclear Plant Emergency Preparedness (or Pretending)

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Disaster by Design/ Safety by Intent #35

Disaster by Design

Fission Stories #58 described how control room operators prepared for a test to be conducted on the Unit 2 reactor at the Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut. Each operator who would touch control switches during the test was assigned a peer checker who would have a copy of the test procedure in hand to verify that the operator conducted every step as specified. The entire group of operators and peer checkers went into the simulator—a full-scale, computer-controlled mockup of the control room—two days before the test to rehearse it a few times. What could go wrong? Read more >

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Nuclear Plant Containment Failure: Robusted

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #34

Disaster by Design

Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #30 through Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #33 described events where the containment structure around reactor pressures vessels failed or could fail. Read more >

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Update on the NRC Seven: Petitioning the NRC over safety

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Earlier this year, I blogged about seven NRC employees who petitioned the NRC to take enforcement action against plant owners for violating regulatory requirements (such as General Design Criterion 17) related to an open phase condition. This safety problem affects every operating nuclear plant in the U.S. except Seabrook in New Hampshire. Read more >

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Special Nuclear Inspection: River Bend Loss of Shutdown Cooling

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) sent a special inspection team to the River Bend nuclear plant near St. Francisville, Louisiana on February 8, 2016, to investigate an event in which cooling of the reactor core was interrupted for over an hour on January 10 when the reactor was shut down. The NRC’s special inspection team identified four violations of regulatory requirements characterized as Green findings, the least serious among the agency’s green, white, yellow, and red classifications.

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