The nuclear plant has been censured by safety regulators after admitting human error led to the release of radioactivity into the atmosphere.
The criticism comes just weeks after another nuclear plant, Sellafield in Cumbria, was also tackled by the safety regulator over its management of asbestos while pictures emerged of badly corroded storage ponds there.
Environmentalists said the problems highlighted dangers from building a new generation of nuclear plants which however well designed would be vulnerable to human fallibility………
Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), controlled by a consortium involving the engineering group Babcock, is involved in a £1.6bn contract to dismantle Dounreay, a prototype “fast reactor” built to experiment with nuclear fission in the 1950s and 60s……….
John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said the problems at Dounreay were disturbing. “Until we can clone enough popes to staff all the world’s nuclear reactor control rooms, there will always be a fallible human component in nuclear power stations. This worrying news demonstrates why it’s important to remember that even a reactor design which looks safe on paper can never completely design out the actions of human beings. Its why renewable energy always scores better on safety, because far less can go wrong.”
The Nuclear Free Local Authorities Secretariat, the local government voice on nuclear issues, described the Dounreay incident as “alarming” and called for more information.
“To hear that critical staff were not fully conversant in fire safety procedures and that a release of tritium occurred; putting into danger staff and the wider public; is quite disgraceful at such a sensitive nuclear site like Dounreay,” said councillor Mark Hackett, the NFLA’s chair.
The nuclear industry has had a difficult week after Areva, one of the companies involved in the management of Sellafield, issued a profit warning and said it might need a cash injection……..http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/21/dounreay-nuclear-plant-fire-radioactivity
Flooding at St. Lucie nuclear plant prompts more oversight from regulators TCPALM, Will Greenlee, Nov 21, 2014 ST. LUCIE COUNTY — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stepping up oversight of one of two units at Florida Power & Light Co.’s St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant after about 50,000 gallons of water entered a reactor auxiliary building during heavy rains in January, according to the NRC.
The incident at the nuclear plant on Hutchinson Island occurred Jan. 9, when more than 7 inches of rain fell on the site, a report states. A blocked storm drain system played a role.
“During the event, stormwater entered the reactor auxiliary building … through degraded electrical conduits that were later found not to have internal flood seals,” a report states………50,000 gallons is about the amount held by a 25-by-45-foot swimming pool with an average depth of 6 feet…….http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/flooding-at-st-lucie-nuclear-plant-prompts-more-oversight-from-regulators_24283175
A fire occurred in the nuclear fuel storage facilities of the Kori Nuclear Power Plant located in Kijang County, Busan City, but none of the workers was aware of it for over an hour.
According to the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corporation, the fire occurred at 4:26 p.m., Nov. 11, at Kori Power Plant Unit 4, burning up a waste dryer along with some gloves and towels. It is assumed that the dryer overheated and started the fire while drying wet gloves……….
Power Plant Attempts to Cover Up Reactor Shutdown
But this fire is only the latest incident at the Kori Nuclear Power Station this year.
This past summer was a busy time for Kori Nuclear Power Plant, as Unit 2 was shut off because of heavy rainfall. On Aug. 25, a localized torrential downpour of over 100 mm per hour in Busan City resulted in rainwater infiltrating one of its annexes, and the corporation had to close the facilities.
At that time, the corporation covered up the incident by saying, “We shut down the facilities just in case, and this has nothing to do with the safety of the power station.” However, the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission’s following report read, “The manual shutdown of the reactor was because of the malfunctioning of four of the circulation water pumps, attributable to the heavy rain.”
$5,000 fine for uranium spills at new Wyoming mine http://www.kulr8.com/story/27356303/5000-fine-for-uranium-spills-at-new-wyoming-mine : Nov 11, 2014 By MEAD GRUVERAssociated Press CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – A company has agreed to pay a $5,000 state penalty for spilling uranium solution at a newly opened uranium mine in Wyoming.
Two spills occurred at the Nichols Ranch in-situ mine between Casper and Gillette last summer. Casper-based Uranerz Energy Corporation started production at the mine in April and announced its first shipment of yellowcake uranium in September.
In-situ mining involves pumping chemicals underground to release uranium into a solution that is pumped to the surface.
Department of Environmental Quality officials say over 20,000 gallons of uranium-bearing liquid spilled from a pipeline July 17. A second pipeline spill of 12,000 gallons occurred Sept. 8.
Department Director Todd Parfitt and Uranerz Vice President Michael Thomas signed the penalty agreement Nov. 3. Thomas didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
5 nuclear engineers murdered near Damascus: monitor Agence France Presse, Daily Star, Lebanon 9 Nov 14 BEIRUT: Unknown assailants killed five nuclear engineers Sunday while they were on a bus just north of Damascus, near the research center where they worked, a monitor said on Sunday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of sources on the ground for its reports, was unable however to say how they were killed or supply their nationalities.
“Unidentified attackers murdered five nuclear energy engineers who worked in the scientific research centre near the neighbourhood of Barzeh, northern Damascus,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman………. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Nov-09/276996-5-nuclear-engineers-murdered-near-damascus-monitor.ashx#ixzz3IhMal9A0
French nuclear power plant drone flights continue, model plane fans freed Golfech nuclear plant on the edge of the Garonne river between Agen and Toulouse Reuters/Regis Duvignau By RFI 8 Nov 14
The mysterious drone flights over French nuclear power stations continued on Thursday night but the authorities were no closer finding who is responsible after the release of two model plane enthusiasts arrested on Wednesday…….
the public prosecutor announced on Friday that they were just modelling enthusiasts who wanted to film a boat they had made on the lake next to the plant.
As many as five flights have taken place on the same night, leading to speculation that they are part of an organised campaign but anti-nuclear groups have denied responsibility and no-one else has confessed.
Officials did not admit publicly the flights were taking place until 24 days after the first on 5 October and are anxious to calm public fears over security. http://www.english.rfi.fr/environment/20141107-french-nuclear-power-plant-drone-flights-continue-model-plane-fans-freed
France records at least 15 mystery drone flyovers of nuclear power plants, ABC News 3 Nov 2014, A drone has flown over a nuclear plant in central France for the second time in two days, a source close to the case says. The unmanned flying machine went over the plant in Dampierre-en-Burly on Sunday evening, said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.
The power station had already been flown over on Friday evening.
Authorities are scratching their heads over the number of unidentified drones spotted over nuclear plants across France over the past month, and a probe has been launched to try and find out exactly who is piloting the remote-controlled machines.
They have counted at least 15 flyovers, sparking questions over the security of nuclear plants in France, which relies heavily on atomic energy for electricity……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-04/french-nuclear-plant-hit-by-another-mystery-drone-flyover/5864836
U.S. nuclear regulators probing leak at Honeywell uranium plant BY LEWIS KRAUSKOPF Tue Oct 28, 2014 Oct 28 (Reuters) – U.S. nuclear regulators are investigating a leak of uranium hexafluoride that occurred on Sunday at an Illinois plant operated by Honeywell International Inc where union workers have been locked out.
Honeywell confirmed the Sunday evening leak at its Metropolis, Illinois plant, saying it was due to an equipment failure. There were no injuries and no reason to believe anyone was endangered by the leak, according to Honeywell.
An inspector from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission started an investigation at the plant on Tuesday, said NRC spokesman Roger Hannah.
“At this point we’re still in a fact-finding mode,” Hannah said. “We haven’t come to any conclusions about whether processesweren’t followed.” He said the investigation could take a few days to a week. Honeywell’s Metropolis plant is the only U.S. facility that converts uranium oxide into to uranium hexafluoride, or UF6, which is then enriched to be used as fuel in nuclear power plants.
Uranium hexafluoride is radioactive, and if released into the air can be chemically toxic……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/28/honeywell-intl-uranium-idUSL1N0SN0ZX20141028
Contractor Submitted False Radiation Data at Hunters Point, NBC Bay Area In an internal report uncovered by the Investigative Unit, Tetra Tech says it provided the Navy false soil samples while working on the radiological cleanup of the Hunters Point shipyard By Vicky Nguyen, Liz Wagner and Felipe Escamilla Monday, Oct 13, 2014
A Navy contractor tasked with cleaning radioactive soil at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco admitted in an internal report obtained exclusively by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit that it mishandled soil samples and submitted false data.
Tetra Tech, a multinational engineering, construction and environmental corporation details in an April 2014 report how it was caught submitting false soil samples to the Navy in an apparent effort to declare the soil free of radiological contamination when it may not have been. The Pasadena-based company is a $2.7 billion per year business that has won more than $300 million worth of contracts for cleanup work at Hunters Point………
“If the Navy had not caught this,” Bowers said, “there would be very, very high levels of contaminated soil, radioactive soil in the ground, where the plans are in place to build homes for the general public to live in, with yards for children to play in.”
Bowers is one of four radiation specialists who blew the whistle on Tetra Tech’s practices and are now suing the company for retaliation, claiming they were fired after questioning the company’s actions. Bowers first spoke with the Investigative Unit earlier this year saying the cleanup of Hunters Point had been compromised and that Tetra Tech cut corners on safety to save money……..http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Contractor-Submitted-False-Radiation-Data-at-Hunters-Point-279025911.html
3 CISF personnel shot dead by colleague at Kalpakkam atomic plant in Tamil Nadu A Selvaraj, TNN | Oct 8, 2014, CHENNAI: Three Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel guarding the atomic power plant at Kalpakkam near Chennai were killed and two others were injured when one of their colleagues opened fire on them on Wednesday morning.
Police said the incident happened inside the barracks where the security personnel were taking rest early in the morning. The reason for the attack was not known, police said.
The accused, head constable Vijay Pratap Singh, was nabbed and handed over to police……..The CISF head constable used a 9mm carbon rifle to attack his colleagues.
CISF senior officers have rushed to the scene. Further investigations are on. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-CISF-personnel-shot-dead-by-colleague-at-Kalpakkam-atomic-plant-in-Tamil-Nadu/articleshow/44679818.cms
WWF Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and SNP MSP Rob Gibson have raised concerns about radioactive waste being transported by sea.
Oil rig evacuated after ship carrying radioactive waste drifts BBC News Highlands and Islands 8 Oct 14 An oil platform has been evacuated after a ship carrying radioactive material caught fire and began drifting in the Moray Firth. Continue reading
The ongoing problems at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool reactors, taken offline last month, forced Centrica, a 20% owner of the atomic fleet with EDF, to issue a profit warning………The power outages following the discovery of a fault on a boiler “spine” at Heysham 1 have already led the National Grid to fast-forward an emergency plan to obtain more electricity from other providers to meet a possible shortfall…….http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/04/nuclear-power-stations-out-december-edf
Workers drop refueling crane console into Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 spent fuel pool Enformable, 29 Aug 2014 The workers were carrying out operations to remove debris with a large remote controlled crane. At the time of the accident, workers were manipulating the control console for the refueling machine, a piece of equipment that weighs almost a thousand pounds.At the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, workers accidentally dropped a large piece of debris into the Unit 3 spent fuel pool on Friday, a little after noon.
TEPCO is working to check the 566 spent fuel assemblies in the Unit 3 spent fuel pool to see if any of them have been damaged by the most recent accident. According to decommissioning plans, the utility is scheduled to start removing spent fuel rods from the Unit 3 spent fuel pool in the first half of 2015 at the earliest.Tokyo Electric, who is in charge of cleanup operations at Fukushima Daiichi, told reporters that they have not detected any change in radiation levels around the spent fuel pool after the accident.
This is not the first time that debris and large objects have been accidentally dropped, pulled, or pushed into the Unit 3 spent fuel pool. Between 2012 and 2013, TEPCO workers used the remote control cranes to remove debris from atop the Unit 3 reactor building, and multiple instances were recorded where operators moving cranes via remote control knocked debris into the spent fuel pool or dislodged other materials on the roof.
In February 2013, workers accidentally knocked the 1.5 ton fuel handling machine mast into the Unit 3 spent fuel pool, and it was later found to have come to rest on top of the spent fuel racks after it narrowly avoided damaging the liner of the spent fuel pool.
The post Workers drop refueling crane console into Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 spent fuel pool appeared first on Enformable.
Tepco Says 400-Kg Control Console Fell Into Fukushima Fuel Pool Bloomberg, By Emi Urabe and Peter Langan Aug 29, 2014 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) said it’s detected no change in radiation levels in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 3 reactor building after a 400 kilogram piece of equipment slipped from a crane and fell back into a pool holding spent uranium fuel rods.
The accident happened at around 12:45 p.m. today as the company was attempting to move what it described as a crane control console, according to a statement on its website.
The console, which is about a meter wide and 1.6 meters high, was blown into the pool on March 14, 2011, when the No. 3 reactor building exploded following an earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima plant.
Today, the utility known as Tepco was attempting to move the device as part of its cleanup at the site, said spokesman Hiroshi Itagaki. …….http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-29/tepco-says-400-kg-control-console-fell-into-fukushima-fuel-pool.html
Israeli stealth drone downed at nuclear facility, Iran claims Revolutionary Guard hails act against ‘warmongers’ as incident reported at major uranium enrichment plant Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem and Saeed Kamali Dehghan in Boston The Guardian, Monday 25 August 2014 Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards claimed on Sunday that an Israeli stealth drone had been brought down above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the centre of the country.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that Iran’s elite forces had intercepted and brought down an unmanned aircraft belonging to “the Zionist regime”. The news was announced in a statement published by the guards, but it was not clear when the incident, if true, happened.
“This mischievous act once again reveals the adventurist nature of the Zionist regime [of Israel] and added another black page to this fake and warmongering regime’s file which is full of crimes,” said the Revolutionary Guards’ statement.
The state news agency ISNA reported that the aircraft was “of the stealth, radar-evasive type and it intended to penetrate the off-limits nuclear area in Natanz … but was targeted by a ground-to-air missile before it managed to enter the area.”
A spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards later told Iranian television that parts of the aircraft had been retrieved. Iran claimed to have reverse engineered a drone after capturing an American RQ-170 Sentinel in 2011.
“Major parts of the devices of the drone are intact and have been received by our friends that can be used for further information,” said General Ramazan Sharif. He did not say when the aircraft was shot down, but said it was “identified upon arrival in Iranian airspace”. He said authorities allowed it to fly for a short time to determine its destination.
Israeli political and military officials said they never respond to such claims. They have repeatedly threatened to take military action against Iran’s nuclear installations, but have been reluctant to do so without US backing or participation.
Natanz is Iran’s main uranium enrichment site, housing more than 16,000 centrifuges. About 3,000 more are at the Fordo plant, buried inside a mountain and hard to destroy…….. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/24/israeli-stealth-drone-nuclear-facility-iran-natanz
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