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Cost Benefit Analysis Underway At San Onofre

Evening Edition

Above: The San Onofre nuclear power plant has been off line since January, when a small radiation leak revealed major problems with the newly installed steam generators. No one is sure when or if the operator, Southern California Edison, will restart the plant. KPBS reporter Alison St John says what happens next will be decided by an increasingly complicated cost benefit analysis.

The future of Units 2 and 3 at San Onofre is in limbo as the operator, Southern California Edison, and regulators investigate what to do. The plant has been off line since a small radiation leak in January flagged problems in the newly installed steam generators.

Aired 8/30/12 on KPBS News.

Debate about what to do with San Onofre has been focused on safety issues. But looking ahead, state regulators are focusing on a cost benefit analysis.

Murray Jennex, August 2012, Associate Professor SDSU, Engineer specializing in information systems security management.
Enlarge this image

Above: Murray Jennex, August 2012, Associate Professor SDSU, Engineer specializing in information systems security management.

Murray Jennex was an engineer with Edison and worked at San Onofre in the 1980s and ‘90s. He said it’s not the first time reactor units there have had problems.

“Unit 1 went through this process in the late 90s,” he said. “It was built here as an experimental unit in the ‘60s, it was operated through the ‘80s. It shut down in ‘92 for retrofit, and it was down for a while in mothballs. Then we brought it back, and while bringing it back, the state actually made a lot of offers on tax incentives to shut it down permanently.”

Those tax incentives helped change the company’s cost benefit analysis of whether to close the reactor for good.

This year when the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission held hearings on the problems at Units 2 and 3. Much of the current public debate has been about whether it would be safe to bring them back on line. But Rochelle Becker of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility said state regulators focus on the cost benefit for rate payers.

“One of the biggest issues before the Public Utilities Commission,” she said, “is to decide whether rate payers should continue to invest in aging nuclear reactors.”

Becker compares the decision to deciding whether it is cost effective to keep running an old car. Repairing the steam generators could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Southern California Edison operates San Onofre, but San Diego Gas and Electric ratepayers have a 20 percent stake in it. And, Becker said other factors are changing the cost benefits.

Rochelle Becker, Executive Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, August 2012
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Above: Rochelle Becker, Executive Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, August 2012

“I would call it the $64 million question,” she said, “and that is exactly what Edison and SDG&E are paying for the new seismic study: $64 million. There’s also the question of waste: What it will cost to store waste safely on our coast for who knows how long? There are numerous cost equations that go along with safety and it’s time for the state to start putting all those cards on the table.”

One question is whether the operator would be prepared to decommission the plant. Truman Burns of the CPUC’S Division of Ratepayer Advocates said ratepayers have been paying into a decommissioning fund since the 1980s. But he said the fund is only examined publicly every three years and he cannot say exactly how much is in it now.

“It would be nice to say the current balance is 'x'" he said, “ but they don’t do that.“

The most recent report in 2011 estimated it would take about $3.7 billion to decommission all three units at San Onofre. Edison and SDG & E combined had collected about $3.5 billion, though some of that may be needed to complete the decommissioning of Unit 1. Burns said the core is still on site. There are also questions around how market forces have affected the value of the fund. Fund managers are petitioning currently to change the way they invest the money.

Burns said the decommissioning fund does not cover one significant aspect of decommissioning a plant -- dealing with spent nuclear fuel.

“That is a completely separate problem, “ he said. “The utilities pay a tenth of a cent per kilowatt hour fee to the Department of Energy which is supposed to take on the spent nuclear fuel. They have no place to put it right now because the Yucca Mountain project is canceled.”

Rochelle Becker said whatever happens at San Onofre, San Diego ratepayers are paying the price now for a mistake that SDG&E tried to avoid. She said back in 2005, the San Diego utility opposed replacing the steam generators.

“They drew me a chart on the wall,” she said, “showing me how leaving the tubing would allow the plant to operate until the end of its current life. They didn’t think this investment was necessary. The PUC and SCE leaned on them, and now their rate payers are paying 20 percent of a non operating plant. “

But Murray Jennex said he believes Edison will argue the cost benefit analysis favors bringing the nuclear plant back on line since, even if the units operated at lower power, each unit can generate around 1,000 megawatts.

“At that load,” he said, “they generate a lot of money, a lot of income, so it’s worth putting money into them. They have another 25 or 30 years of life in the units.”

California’s Public Utilities Commission will hold hearings this fall into whether rate payers should go on paying for the plant, even when it isn’t generating any power.

Comments

Avatar for user 'marasmom'

marasmom | August 30, 2012 at 9:13 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Murray Jennex, former SONGS engr and current mouthpiece from academia, is full o' b.s. -- 1) I'd like to know what "tax incentives" were offered by the State to Edison and SDG&E to shut down Unit 1 20 years ago. I was at the CA PUC during that time, what I recall is that the CPUC decided it WASN'T cost-effective to repair and restart Unit 1 and they wouldn't put the ratepayers on the hook for doing it, and Edison and SDG&E decided they would shut it down rather than have their shareholders pay for it. Whatever "tax incentives" applied were likely those that Edison and SDG&E found. 2) Near the end, Jennex says that each Unit could profitably operate even running at low power. DO NOT let an engineer manage your finances! Unit 3 ain't running anytime soon, with its fuel being moved into storage as announced by Edison recently, and at the MOST Unit 2 might operate at 70%, IF can be safely re-started. So that's 35% of original capacity.

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Avatar for user 'marasmom'

marasmom | August 30, 2012 at 9:17 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

The NRC's onsite inspector announced the plans to move Unit 3's fuel into storage this past Monday. http://www.scpr.org/blogs/news/2012/08/27/9587/edison-prepares-pull-radioactive-fuel-san-onofre/

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 10:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

It is now beyond time for CA Gov. Brown to make sure that the CPUC demands that SCE & SDG&E issue refunds for the 54 MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH rate payers have and continue to pay for SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency)...

http://is.gd/m185qq

SCE & SDG&E shareholders should N☢T profit on the backs of Rate payers!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 10:55 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

I think someone should ask the Head of SDG&E why she sold a Million Dollars worth of SDG&E stock just before the news of tube's leaking caused SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency)!

They all knew, and have tried, from the beginning, to down play this debacle so that all the CA rate payers instead of their own shareholders (who have had years of record profits) will have to foot the bill...

Why has SoCal's MSM failed to investigate what really happened and expose not only those that kept quiet but also the CPUC which is clearly protecting SCE?

Why has Governor Brown not gotten PUBLIC about this Debacle, or is he also connected because of campaign contributions?

California cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima!

Channel 10 would be smart to ask all our State and Local Leaders "on the record" where they stand on this issue and what amounts of donations they have received from not only the Utilities but the nuclear industry and their supporters!

Is anyone willing to shout, "Conflict of Interest?"

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 10:59 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Since SCE decided to "soup up" these reactors without fully disclosing to the NRC exactly what they were doing; in my mind, MHI decided to take the initial "hit" publicly but once the lawsuit gets going expect to see SCE's story get changed yet again as MHI provides more data. SCE has already publicly bragged about how they "got away" with increasing the potential output in a trade magazine, a story which fingers them as not being guilt free!

I believe that neither reactor will be in use a year from now and CA will become the poster child for reactor de-commissiong and the 100's of Billions of dollars it will "generate" (pun intended) in State revenues, which will help jump start CA's economic recovery...

Rate Payers should also look forward to getting a big rebate for all the 100's of millions of dollars they have been charged for this debacle since SCE is now being shown at fault; this alone will have huge ramifications as rate payers are now asking questions about ties between the CPUC (and even the Governor) are with the Big Utilities. http://is.gd/R7azYE

Maybe we should start calling this SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) Gate!

Once other States see what decommissioning can to to help their economy, expect to see many other older reactors being de-commissioned ASAP...

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:06 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

The Quake was the REAL CAUSE of Fukushima's tiple meltdowns, yet the MSM continues to cover over that fact using the Tsunami to protect the Nuclear Industry, because Fukushima PROVED that Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365! http://wp.me/pDwKM-2Cx

The quake has caused serious damage to all of Japans reactors, that is why they remain off line despite what their Gov’t says…

The SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) is a perfect example of reactor design failure that is now being discussed in the MSM.
http://is.gd/SRB82p (see the great technicial comments by ex Nuclear worker)

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:08 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

See story and comments: Operator of troubled Calif. nuclear plant prepares to pull fuel from damaged reactor http://is.gd/2IZxQe for more on SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency)

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:11 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

When folks think Real Estate, Location, Location, Location, one of the most important things is:
"How close am I and or are we downwind from a potential Nuclear Reactor Meltdown"

Lets use Southern California as an example:

What would happen to property values in SoCal if SORE, (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) suffered a meltdown like Fukushima for ANY reason, like an EQ (Earth Quake), terrorism, Tsunami, operator error or just "because it can"?

Per the NRC: Fact Sheet on Nuclear Insurance and Disaster Relief http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact...

In short, if there is more than $12 Billion in damages, residents are left holding a empty radioactive bag! This is only a tiny fraction of what it will cost in Fukushima, which is estimated to be about a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster!

What is the value of all the homes and Commercial property downwind of SORE?
Probably at least several TRILLION dollars...

Here is a great graphic that will help everyone visualize what is downwind of any of the US reactors! NRDC Nuclear Fallout Map: http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
Just click on a reactor and zoom in... (BTW: These are conservative fallout estimates).

Where will the US Government get the REST of the money if it happened at SORE (or a reactor where you live) next week, probably from Social Security and or Medicare? Where will people relocate to for how long, Las Vegas and or Yuma?

In reality, ALL those affected are doomed! 100+ thousand are still living in nuclear refugee camps in Japan and it has been about a year and a half since their triple meltdowns which are BTW still spewing radioactive pollution Globally!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:15 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

LEFT UNSAID, is why anyone should accept any amounts of radioactive pollution from any reactor World-Wide. If radioactive pollution from say Iran or North Korea covered the USA and Europe like Fukushima’s radioactivity is now doing, the USA and or NATO would be considering bombing them or at lease rattling sabers; yet because it is Japan, the Nuclear Fascists** just put on a happy face and lobby with BIG Money for ever more nuclear reactors.

Thanks to the web and blogs like this one, many have taken up the call to report on what is really happening not just in Japan but in every Country that is plagued by leaking and or aged reactors. No more are people willing to accept the myth of 100% nuclear safety since Fukushima proved beyond a doubt that Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

That realization plus the RISK of a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima have made even previous supporters of nuclear energy rethink future Energy plans. With the cost of Solar (of all flavors) dropping almost monthly and the cost of nuclear spiraling ever upward, shifting to renewables has never been more practical unless you are the one receiving some form of a Nuclear Payback***.

* http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nuclear+Baloney
** http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=nuc...
*** http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nuclear+payback
Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other “costs” are for others.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:17 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Why not look instead at Germany, they are going GREEN and N☢N Nuclear by starting to decommission their reactors! If they can do it so can the USA and especially CA
IF (and it is a BIG IF)
We start doing ASAP, before China buys up all the Copper, Silver, Gold and rare earths we need to do it with...

Think what it could mean to not only the USA but the Planet...Read the book "Red Alert" for more on what delaying our conversion to Solar (of all flavors) could mean to the USA!

+

Remember:
Nuclear Power = Big Money
A Utilities goal is too make Big Money
Safety costs money
Therefore, Safety is not their 1 Priority

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:18 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

I believe that there will be many health issues from Fukushima which the Nuclear Industry will try and deny because the Government has withheld all data except for the "gamed" highly questionable TEPCO data...

Time will tell...

We will see many more "scientific" article and studies like this:
JAEA unveils new cost/benefit analysis software to help local governments project post-decontamination radiation levels instead of doing ‘actual decontamination’ | Enformable http://wp.me/p21p6a-2Gv

Another Voice:

Top Cancer Doctor: Irresponsible to say cesium in California bluefin tuna is nothing to worry about
http://enenews.com/?p=33317

and

How units can be "gamed" in what little MSM is reporting:
Not all alleged is apparent… http://wp.me/puwO9-1uV

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:18 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Here is a great graphic that will help everyone visualize what is downwind! NRDC Nuclear Fallout Map
http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
Just click on a reactor and zoom in...

Remember the wind on any day can blow in any direction at any speed, that is why all evacuation zones need to be larger than the Pro Nuclear "Experts" that are still in Nuclear Denial* think is safe...

* http://is.gd/XPjMd0

The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:19 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

LOTS more comments about SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) here:

Also there is a new "whistle blower" posting comments about SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) here http://is.gd/BqPIbB
and
If San Onofre nuclear plant is restarted, who pays?
http://is.gd/VpaCpR

1 DOWN and 1 two GO!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Radioactive Food Contanimation in CA?
http://www.enviroreporter.com/2012/08/no-place-to-...

It contains large listing of radionuclides now being found in the USA and elsewhere...

Yet our EPA is saying nothing!
WHY?

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 11:23 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

The Quake was the REAL CAUSE of Fukushima's tiple meltdowns, yet the MSM continues to cover over that fact using the Tsunami to protect the Nuclear Industry, because Fukushima PROVED that Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365! http://wp.me/pDwKM-2Cx

The quake has caused serious damage to all of Japans reactors, that is why they remain off line despite what their Gov’t says…

The SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) is a perfect example of reactor design failure that is now JUST being discussed in the MSM.

SURE we all know CA could have the BIG ONE today, BUT we can't afford to have a meltdown along with it! Ask The Japanese!

http://is.gd/SRB82p (see the great technicial comments by ex Nuclear worker)

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 3:47 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

It is not just the Utilities, what would all these State and Local Leaders do without all the money that these same utilities are giving them; is if right to ask Leaders to shoulder some of the losses caused by a Utility Debacle or should they be exempt like national US Leaders from all hardships because they are treated special by the Nuclear Industry?

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 30, 2012 at 4:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Who questions our Leader's motivation and or sanity?

At some point, one must ask themselves when is gross denial,
... Best left for mental profession­als?

Case in Point, Japan is now suffering with a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disast­er,
... Yet some commenting consider that it, in effect, is "no big deal":

Polluted Ocean, N☢ Problem, it will get better after a while....
Polluted Fields, N☢ Problem, they can remove the upper layer
Polluted Air, N☢ Problem, they can wear paper masks for a while
Polluted Food, N☢ Problem, they can mix the good to dilute the bad
Polluted Homes, N☢ Problem, they can power wash them clean
Polluted Schools. N☢ Problem, they can clean them
Polluted Cities, N☢ Problem, they can return soon...

With answers like these from our Leaders & Nuclear Profession­als,
... Perhaps you would consider a followup article, asking this question,
..."What exactly would it take for you to stop supporting­,
... All land based Nuclear Reactors like Germany is now doing?"

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | August 31, 2012 at 7:46 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

What is the Cost to Decommission SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency)?

I asked someone knowledgable (Nuclear Deep Throat) and here is what I learned:

Based on my conversation with SONGS Manager, SCE has already charged Partially (75 %) Ratepayers for Decommisioning and Dismantling Units 2 & 3.

According to NRC, Licensees may choose from three alternative decommissioning strategies: DECON, SAFSTOR, or ENTOMB.

Under DECON (immediate dismantlement), soon after the nuclear facility closes, equipment, structures, and portions of the facility containing radioactive contaminants are removed or decontaminated to a level that permits release of the property and termination of the NRC license.

Under SAFSTOR, often considered “delayed DECON,” a nuclear facility is maintained and monitored in a condition that allows the radioactivity to decay; afterwards, it is dismantled and the property decontaminated.

Under ENTOMB, radioactive contaminants are permanently encased on site in structurally sound material such as concrete and appropriately maintained and monitored until the radioactivity decays to a level permitting restricted release of the property. To date, no NRC-licensed facilities have requested this option.

Costs and Finance

Prepayment, where money is deposited into a separate account to cover decommissioning costs even before the plant begins operation. This may be done in a number of ways but the funds cannot be withdrawn other than for decommissioning purposes.

External sinking fund (Nuclear Power Levy): This is built up over the years from a percentage of the electricity rates charged to consumers. Proceeds are placed in a trust fund outside the utility's control. This is the main US system, where sufficient funds are set aside during the reactor's operating lifetime to cover the cost of decommissioning.

Surety fund, letter of credit, or insurance purchased by the utility to guarantee that decommissioning costs will be covered even if the utility defaults.

In the US, utilities are collecting 0.1 to 0.2 cents/kWh to fund decommissioning. Utilities must then report regularly to the NRC on the status of their decommissioning funds. Ratepayers have been paying into a decommissioning fund since the 1980s. The fund is only examined publicly every three years. The most recent report in 2011 estimated it would take about $3.7 billion to decommission all three units at San Onofre.

Edison and SDG & E combined had collected about $3.5 billion, though some of that may be needed to complete the decommissioning of Unit 1. There are also questions around how market forces have affected the value of the fund. Fund managers are petitioning currently to change the way they invest the money.

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Avatar for user 'DavidSecorforCongress'

DavidSecorforCongress | August 31, 2012 at 9:09 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

SDG&E, Sempra, SCE and their corporate and bankster co-conspirators have been waging war on ratepayers for years. The time has come for we, the ratepayers, to form our own non-profit ratepayer-owned utility and free ourselves from the control of those corporations, or what congressman Hunter calls "people" (Hunter says corporations are people!).

Communities all over the county will be combining to form this new power generating utility. We will be emphasizing residential, business and parking cover solar and small residential and business rooftop vertical-axis wind turbines to generate power. For any excess power a resident or business sends to the grid they will be paid at the retail rate.

In Congress, I will see to it that the millions in incentives and subsidies go to the people, not the corporations ruining our East County with massive horizontal wind turbine "farms" which are not needed, are dangerous to people and the environment, and greatly increase the danger of devastating fires,particularly in times of Santa Ana winds. Support my campaign. Visit DavidSecorforCongress.com

If you want change in Washington you must change who you send to Washington.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | September 1, 2012 at 7:41 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago


It is beyond time for Gov. Brown to make sure that the CPUC demands that SCE & SDG&E issue refunds for the 54 MILLION DOLLARS A MONTH rate payers have and continue to pay for SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency)...

SCE & SDG&E shareholders should N☢T profit on the backs of Rate payers!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | September 1, 2012 at 11:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Question: If the CPUC is really just looking out for SCE & SDG&E and the Gov. Brown is looking out for the CPUC; then who is looking out for all the California Ratepayers that are being charged $54 Million EVERY MONTH?

Ask your local and State Leaders and find out if they are also part of the problem or if they want to become part of the CA solution to our radioactive pollution!

http://is.gd/fQ5qBd

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | September 1, 2012 at 1:44 p.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

Must read article: The Nuclear Mafia Derails Democracy in Japan
http://dissidentvoice.org/?p=45690

Is it happening in the USA and other Countries because of Nuclear Payback*?

* http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nuclear+payback

Those that support nuclear power because nuclear power somehow supports them; no matter what the health implications or other "costs" are for others.

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Avatar for user 'NuclearGuru'

NuclearGuru | September 23, 2012 at 10:25 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

US NRC BLOG – DAB Safety Team September 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

ULTIMATE WISDOM

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. The Sun produces an amazing amount of light and heat through nuclear reactions. The point is that Americans need affordable and safe nuclear energy (electricity) to enjoy the challenges and comforts provided by the 21st century technology. Some of the Alternative Technologies for these energy needs are too expensive and unreliable.

No Government, Rules, Organization, Technology, Safety and Design Features, and Quality Assurance/Inspection Procedures can guarantee 100% the protection of human beings from radiological accidents caused by Natural Disasters, Tests and Experiments, Equipment Failures, Organizational Weakness, Poor Maintenance Practices and Human Errors.

 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Catastrophe was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011. The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved undetermined number of workers and cost undetermined amount of money, crippling the Japanese economy

 The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles, crippling the Soviet economy.

 The Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown, which occurred at the Three Mile Island power plant in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States on March 28, 1979. It was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history and resulted in the release of small amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment. According to the IAEA, the Three Mile Island accident was a significant turning point in the global development of nuclear power. From 1963–1979, the number of reactors under construction globally increased every year except 1971 and 1978. However, following the event, the number of reactors under construction in the U.S. declined every year from 1980-1998 in total, 51 American nuclear reactors were canceled from 1980–1984.

Continued on Part 2

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Avatar for user 'NuclearGuru'

NuclearGuru | September 23, 2012 at 10:27 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago


PART 2 -US NRC BLOG – DAB Safety Team September 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm
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ULTIMATE WISDOM

 At noon on March 22, 1975, both Units 1 and 2 at the Brown's Ferry plant in Alabama were operating at full power, delivering 2200 megawatts of electricity to the Tennessee Valley Authority. The real irony of the Browns Ferry fire was that two days before, a similar fire had started but had been put out successfully. After the fire on Thursday night, the shift engineers and three assistant shift engineers met. According to one of them, "We discussed among the group the procedure of using lighted candles to check for air leaks. Our conclusion was that the procedure should be stopped. Yet nothing was done.

The issues is about production of cheap and safe electricity and meeting NRC reasonable assurance by the Licensee for the safe operation of a Nuclear Power Plant and excellence in plant management, operations, maintenance, financial discipline, regulatory compliance, configuration control, fire/safety, nuclear and engineering training, work process planning, quality assurance, emergency preparedness, transparency with workers, public, media, regulators and offsite agencies, ensuring freedom from retaliation, intimidation, and harassment from expressing nuclear safety concerns. The verbatim compliance will provide the adequate protection of safety and health against radiological accidents. The protection of public safety and health is the overriding obligation of the Licensee and Excellence implies being 100% correct.

The World’s Foremost Renowned Professeur Titulaire, Michel J. Pettigrew, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, on the subject of fluid elastic instability and turbulence-induced vibration states, “It is concluded that, although there are still areas of uncertainty, most flow-induced vibration problems can be avoided provided that nuclear components are properly analysed at the design stage and that the analyses are supported by adequate testing and development work when required. There has been no case yet where vibration considerations have seriously constrained the designer.”

One Masters Research Student R. Viollette states, “Fluid elastic instability is the most important vibration excitation mechanism for heat exchanger, or steam generator type of tube bundles. It is so because of the very high vibrations amplitude that it can induce to the tubes, which can lead to rapid failure by fatigue or wear. Also, unlike vibrations induced by vortex shedding (vortex-induced vibrations), fluid elastic instability is not a self-limiting phenomenon: amplitude of vibrations does continue to increase with velocity past the critical onset of the instability.

Continued on Part 3

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Avatar for user 'NuclearGuru'

NuclearGuru | September 23, 2012 at 10:29 a.m. ― 2 years, 1 month ago

PART 3 -US NRC BLOG – DAB Safety Team September 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm
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ULTIMATE WISDOM

Based on a review of Industry Benchmarking and Operating Experience, the DAB Team concludes, “To minimize the risk of a radiological accident and impact to public health and safety due to a potential radiological accident and radiation / contamination exposure requires some of the following attributes between the designer, manufacturer, installer, maintainer and the operator during the design, fabrication and operation of the nuclear steam generators components (not limited to): Solid teamwork and alignment, critical investigative and questioning attitude, flow of information in a timely and accurate manner, self-check, peer check, independent check, industry bench and vendor marking, review of industry operating experience, NRC Reports, Information Notices, prudence, diligence and attention to detail, verification/validation mock-up test data , computer modeling accuracy and review of critical parameters. The industry papers research indicate that the fluid elastic instability is a very complex problem and causes immense unprecedented problems as witnessed in the SONGS RSGs, when the undesired effects of the flow fields have not been accounted and corrected in the design, manufacturing and testing. In many situations, however, after components are already in operation, modifications/repairs to correct the flow-induced vibrations resulting in fluid elastic instability are very pain staking, time consuming, extremely complex to diagnose/repair and immensely costly to the Utility and Ratepayers.”

This is an interpretation by The DAB Safety Team of the basic facts essential for the promotion and production of affordable and safe nuclear power. This interpretation is consistent with His Excellency President Obama’s, Honorable Senator Barbara Boxer’s Open Government Initiative, and NRC’s Solemn Obligation and Transparency with the Public and News Media. This basic understanding is also in conformance with Nuclear Energy Institute Charter/Guidance on safe and cheap power and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Principles regarding operations, training and management for licensee and workers responsible for the operation of a nuclear power plant. Therefore no reply or moderation of these comments is required, unless NRC choses to do so.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | September 24, 2012 at 10:21 a.m. ― 2 years ago

The SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) started on Jan 31, 2012 and therefore has been going on for about 8.5 months... http://is.gd/f47HCu

Therefore at $65 Million per month, SoCal ratepayers have been charged (8 months X $65 Million Dollars per month) 552.5 Million Dollars which has gone to SCE and SDG&E for no electricity generated!

Said another way SoCal ratepayers have paid about HALF A BILLION DOLLARS in what I believe will be the biggest Energy Boondoggle in US History!

If a bank in CA was robbed and they stole a couple of million dollars, it would be on both the Local and National news, yet MSM in Southern California is almost silent about SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) half a billion dollar Utility "heist".

Ask yourself why we should accept this, then ask all your elected Leaders why they are silent!

Each day we wait for a refund is costing all of US about 2 million Dollar more.

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