Event Reports: Two reactor scrams and a siren problem

Some items from today’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Event Notification Report page:
1. Yesterday afternoon, the Unit 1 reactor at the Beaver Valley nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania shut down unexpectedly from 100 per cent power. Beaver Valley says that the reactor shutdown was caused by a Main Transformer trip. They told the NRC that all emergency systems performed as expected and that the cause of the transformer malfunction is under investigation.
2. And later last night, New York’s Indian Point facility reported that the Unit 3 reactor shut itself down on a drop in the water level in the Steam Generator. Cause of the malfunction was identified as a failed main feedwater valve. The reactor’s Auxiliary Feedwater System activated following the trip.
The nuclear industry frequently touts the reliability of nuclear power. To me, these two incidents call that reliability into question. If you buy a used car, you want to know that it is reliable, which I would define as not breaking down for no apparent reason and leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
If your car leaves you stranded, you want to know that the emergency systems are working, that the flashers will work, for example. It’s a good thing that there was no real emergency at the Wolf Creek nuclear facility in Kansas:
3. Yesterday afternoon, “…the City of Burlington Kansas emergency dispatch center notified Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation (WCNOC) Security that two emergency plan sirens in Burlington, Kansas and one emergency plan siren in New Strawn, Kansas failed to function when they were actuated to call out a local fire response . These three sirens also function as part of the Emergency Plan Alert and Notification System.”
Three quick questions. How many sirens does the Wolf Creek plant have, when was the last time they were all tested and what genius decided to save money by combining the local fire response system with the emergency warning system for the local nuclear power plant? If you live in Burlington, Kansas, how do you know if that blaring siren signals a grease fire or a nuclear meltdown?


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.
This entry was posted in Beaver Valley, Event Reports, Indian Point, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Plant shutdowns, Wolf Creek and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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