This morning’s NRC Event Reports contain a various of defects and mishaps:
1. Operators at the Saint Lucie nuclear plant in Florida scrammed the Unit 1 reactor yesterday morning after they noted rising condener backpressure. The rise in pressure was the result of the failure of a circulating water pump. (Aren’t there supposed to be automatic systems that shut down the reactor when one of the pumps fail?)
2. Also yesterday morning, operators performing routine testing at the Duane Arnold nuclear power plant in Iowa discovered that the diesel generator that would provide power to the plant’s Technical Support Center was not maintaining proper voltage. The diesel generator was declared out of service.
3. At lunch yesterday, an employee at the Kewaunee nuclear plant in Wisconsin was found to have an open can of beer in his possession. The employee said that he had not sampled the beverage, and he was sent for a Fitness for Duty screening, which he passed. The most disturbing thing about the incident was the employee’s excuse. According to the Event Report: “The can of beer was inadvertently brought in the person’s lunch box and opened before the individual realized the error.” I’m not sure I’m comfortable that nuclear power plants are sometimes run by people who can’t tell the difference between a can of Bud and a Diet Pepsi….