Some items from today’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Event Notification Report page:
1. Yesterday morning, operators at the Harris nuclear power plant in North Carolina discovered that all of the plant’s emergency notification sirens were inoperable. The sirens were returned to service slightly over two hours later.
2. Thursday afternoon, Unit 2 at Arkansas Nuclear shut itself down for unknown reasons. The shutdown was not without irregularities. To scram the reactor involves inserting all the control rods into the core to prevent further fissioning of fuel. The control rods at Arkansas Nuclear inserted as designed, however, one of the Control Room indicators continued to show that the rods had not inserted. Fortunately, a second Control Room display showed the rods had inserted. Additionally, one of the unit’s emergency diesel generators activated in the incident, but an electrical failure prevented the power from the generator from reaching the reactor. The incident also activated the reactor’s Emergency Feedwater system.
3. And finally, in my hometown of Austin, there was a serious breach of protocol at the University of Texas’ research reactor. An operator was alone in the control room Wednesday morning and needed to take a break. The operator left the area, leaving his key in the console. Another operator found the reactor unattended with the key in the console and notified the reactor manager, who removed the key. The reactor manager has suspended operating rights of the person who left the key in the console until corrective actions have been determined and implemented. Video review has determined that the key was unattended for 14 minutes.