Both of California’s nuclear power stations reported incidents to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission last Monday:
1. Diablo Canyon declared an Unusual Event following a 5.3 magnitude earthquake Sunday in the Salinas Valley in central California. The earthquake met two of the three conditions for declaring an Usual Event, according the Event Report submitted to the NRC: “…the earthquake was felt in the plant and the earthquake was monitored by the USGS.” Following a walk-down inspection for damages, the Unusual Event was terminated. The total time taken for the inspection and cancellation of the Unusual Event was an hour and forty five minutes. Both the plant’s reactors continued to run at 100 per cent power during the Unusual Event.
2. And, later Sunday, the San Onofre nuclear power plant reported that its Unit 2 reactor was leaking hydrogen to the atmosphere. Here’s kind of a scary point: The Event Report from Monday said: “The Hydrogen Gas leak is currently still in progress.” I’ve been unable to find an update on the NRC website stating that the leak has been contained.
(Is it just me, or does the combination of an earthquake and a hydrogen gas leak bring back memories of Fukushima?)
3. Meanwhile on the East Coast, the Nine Mile Point nuclear power plant in New York declared an Unusual Event Monday evening due to a fire that lasted more than fifteen minutes in the screen house for the Unit 1 reactor. Again, it strikes me as strange that the reactor continued to run at 100 per cent power even though part of the facility was on fire.