1. The Unit 1 reactor at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona had to be manually shut down on Tuesday night. Operators were conducting Low Power Physics Testing in preparation for restarting the reactor following a refueling outage when they received an indication that one of the control rod assemblies was withdrawing faster than the others. Based on the uneven withdrawal, the Control Room Supervisor ordered that the reactor be scrammed. The Unit 1 reactor is currently at 0 per cent output while the condition is being investigated.
2. Another shut down reactor developed problems yesterday afternoon. Operators at the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant in Nebraska reported a temporary loss of cooling power after discovering that a heat exchanger valve idler key was missing, which would have adversely effected cooling flow in an emergency. Additional water was added to the reactor and a replacement key fabricated.
3. And the Kansas Department of Health reported that an employee of PFI, a radiopharmaceutical firm, received an extremity dose of 53,010 mrems during the month of September while working with Fluorine-18. The next couple of lines of the report were a little disturbing: “No additional details concerning the circumstance of how the overexposure occurred was provided in the State’s report. The Headquarters Operations Officer was unable to contact the originator of the report for additional information.”