Lots of bad news for a nuke that wants to expand….


 
This day started out with a visit to the NRC Event Reports page where I found out that last Friday night, the Unit 2 reactor at the Comanche Peak nuclear power plant tripped during testing. The automatic shutdown occurred due to the unexpected activation of a valve during a routine testing sequence. The reactor is currently ramping up to resume power production.
 
In the course of checking to see whether there was any press coverage of the shutdown, I found a couple of other items about Comanche Peak that I had missed, starting with an October 15 piece from the Dallas Morning News:
 
An unreleased report says two Texas nuclear power plants each experienced more than 150 lower-level safety violations from 2000 through 2012.

 
The data were included in a Government Accountability Office report obtained by The Associated Press. It is intended to show that safety violations at nuclear plants vary from region to region, in part because of differing rules interpretations. The West region, which includes Texas, had 2 1/2  times the Southeast’s rate of lower-level violations per reactor.
 
The Comanche Peak plant in Glen Rose had two higher-level violations in addition to its 157 lower-level violations. The South Texas Project plant in Wadsworth had 151 lower-level and no higher-level.

But wait, there’s more. The Dallas Morning News reported on October 31:

Talks between Energy Future Holdings’ creditors broke off Thursday, ending negotiations that could have prompted a bankruptcy filing this week, according to sources close to the situation.

As the Morning News explained:

The breakdown in talks comes six years after private equity firms KKR & Co., TPG and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners bought out shareholders of the former TXU Corp. for $45 billion in the largest leveraged buyout in U.S. history.

But since then power prices have plummeted, leaving Energy Future with a debt load the company has long admitted it could no longer service past 2014.

So the plant doesn’t work well and the company is on the verge of bankruptcy. Makes me wonder whey Energy Futures still has plans on file to build two more reactors at the site.

You can see the Event Report at www.nrc.gov. Here are the links to the Dallas Morning News stories:

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20131015-comanche-peak-nuclear-plant-had-159-safety-violations-from-2000-to-2012-report-says.ece

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/20131031-energy-future-holdings-bankruptcy-delayed-as-creditor-talks-break-down.ece

 

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About Robert Singleton

By day, I work for a call center. In my spare time, I try to save my hometown (and planet) from a nearly constant onslaught of greedheads, lunatics and land developers. I live in a fictional town called Austin, Texas, where I go to way too many meetings.
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