nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Columbia nuclear fuel factory in trouble again, with safety problems

Nuclear workers hospitalized; Columbia plant runs afoul of safety rules – again, The State. BY SAMMY FRETWELL 22 OCT 19 

A Columbia nuclear fuel factory with a history of leaks, spills and other mishaps has again run into trouble, this time after three workers went to the hospital and an inspection found the plant didn’t have proper safety equipment.

The Westinghouse nuclear plant discovered last week that it had a device in place that was not adequate to prevent uranium from leaking into chemical supply drums at the site, federal records show.

That’s potentially significant because the drums were in a “non-favorable’’ position, which under certain circumstances could increase chances of a radiation burst inside the 1,000-employee plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is looking into the matter, reported by Westinghouse to the agency Oct. 16. Westinghouse shut down part of the plant where the improper equipment was found, a spokesman for the NRC said this week………

The nuclear fuel factory, one of only three of its kind in the country, has a long history of incidents, including events in which some workers were exposed to radiation or injured. But concerns have intensified in recent years among people who live in eastern Richland County, near the plant.

Since 2016, the facility has run afoul of federal regulators for allowing uranium to build up in an air pollution control device, leaking uranium through a hole in the plant floor and failing to notify authorities of historic leaks on the property. This past summer, federal officials learned that water had dripped through a rusty shipping container onto a barrel of nuclear waste, causing a leak into the ground. Officials also learned about a small fire this summer that erupted in a container that held nuclear material.

Groundwater beneath the site is polluted with an array of toxins, including nitrate, solvents and nuclear materials, dating as far back as the 1980s. Neighbors near the plant are leery, with some saying they don’t trust Westinghouse to safeguard the environment. The company has pledged to do better.

Westinghouse’s plant supplies fuel rods for atomic power plants across the country. Located between Interstate 77 and Congaree National Park, the 550,000-square-foot factory has been a key part of the Columbia economy since opening in 1969. The plant employs about 1,000 people. Operators are now seeking to renew a federal license, as well as state discharge permits.  https://www.thestate.com/news/local/environment/article236495448.html

October 24, 2019 - Posted by | incidents, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: