The ongoing crisis in Japan has drawn most of our attention, but there are also problems at U.S. reactors, as is evident from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Event Reports:
1. Millstone in Connecticut discovered on Friday that a halon bottle had been removed from the wall of the Control Room for its Unit 2 reactor, creating a through-wall penetration that meant that the “control room boundary was rendered inoperable.” Pipe has been capped.
2. McGuire 1 & 2 in North Carolina discovered Friday afternoon that governors in its turbine-driven auxilliary feedwater pumps and emergency diesel generators had paint chips on their internal surfaces. No remedial action was specified and the reactors were not shut down.
3. On Saturday, as the reactor was being shut down for refueling, Wolf Creek Unit 1 experienced an unplanned Safety Injection system activation. Reactor is now in Hot Standby mode.
4. Byron nuclear plant in Illinois discovered on Saturday that ultrasound examinations on the Unit 1 reactor revealed that two tubes penetrating the reactor vessel head “would not meet the applicable acceptance criteria. Both require repair prior to returning the vessel head to service.” Reactor is currently shut down for refueling.
5. And the Grand Gulf nuclear facility discovered late Saturday that the its Unit 1 reactor had an electrical problem associated with the High Pressure Core Spray breaker. Plant continues to operate at 96 per cent capacity.