Some items from today’s NRC Event Notification Reports page:
1. Last Friday afternoon, operators at the Clinton nuclear power plant in Illinois were ramping up the Unit 1 reactor from an outage when the reactor pressure vessel water level began to fall. Before the water level could reach the Reactor Protection System automatic scram point, operators chose to scram the reactor manually.
2. On Saturday, technicians at New Jersey’s Oyster Creek nuclear power plant were performing quarterly turbine valve testing on the Unit 1 reactor when the reactor pressure level began to rise unexpectedly. Operators manually scrammed the reactor. During the shutdown, however, “bypass valves did not open as expected.” Cause of the pressure increase is under investigation.
3. As you may know, I follow failures in alcohol and drug testing at nuclear power plants pretty closely, and the number of workers and supervisors who fail Fitness for Duty tests is staggering, no pun intended. But apparently, it could be worse. Owners of the North Anna and Surry nuclear plants in Virginia reported that eleven individuals who should have been subject to random testing had accidentally been left out of the program. Plant owner Dominion issued the following statement, which raises questions about how much Dominion knows about who has access to its facilities:
The error occurred when, in 2010, it was decided that contract employees would no longer be placed in a select labor pool. When this occurred, FFD personnel no longer monitored that particular labor pool in the belief that it no longer existed. Upon discovery that the labor pool did, in fact, still exist the licensee determined that the eleven personnel should have been included in the random testing program.
4. And finally, operators at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California have identified a potential problem with Unit 1’s emergency diesel generator system. Seems if the temperature exceeds 97 degrees and sustained winds exceed 60 miles per hour, there would be inadequate heat removal for the diesel generators. I checked the weather forecast for San Luis Obispo County today, and the high temperature for this afternoon is supposed to be 84 degrees. (In the dead of winter.) No problem, though, Diablo Canyon has a plan: “… shift orders were issued requiring implementation of existing procedural guidance to open plant doors to allow additional air flow….”