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Drones sighted over Sweden’s nuclear power stations

Days of sightings of drones over key Swedish sites including nuclear plants have prompted the country’s security service to take the lead in an investigation. Three nuclear sites have been targeted and sightings have been reported over airports and the royal palace. Authorities have not speculated on who is behind the mysterious drones. Police and the coastguard are searching the sea and islands around Stockholm, local media reports say.

The latest sightings on Monday evening involved a drone above the Forsmark nuclear plant, but security agency Sapo said it was also investigating earlier drone flights near the Ringhals and Oskarshamn power
plants. Police appealed to the public to come forward with information. Sapo said the drones were suspected of “grave unauthorised dealing with secret information”.

 BBC 18th Jan 2022

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60035446

January 20, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | Leave a comment

Swedish police hunt for drone seen flying over Forsmark nuclear station.

 Police in Sweden deployed patrols and helicopters to the Forsmark nuclear
plant to hunt for a large drone seen flying over the site late on Friday,
but were unable to catch the unmanned vehicle, they said on Saturday. The
incident came a day after Sweden’s military started patrolling the main
town on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland amid increased tensions between
NATO and Russia and a recent deployment of Russian landing craft in the
Baltic.

 Reuters 15th Jan 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swedish-police-hunt-drone-seen-flying-over-forsmark-nuclear-plant-2022-01-15/

January 17, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | Leave a comment

Cracks on safety-critical pipes in France’s nuclear reactors

Cracks on safety-critical pipes: the list of nuclear reactors concerned is
growing! At the beginning of the year, the four most powerful reactors in
the fleet, Chooz and Civaux, are shut down following the detection of a
worrying generic anomaly (cracks in a pipe of the safety injection system)
which concerns at least three of them.

On January 13, the Institute for
Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety announced that reactor No. 1 of the
Penly nuclear power plant (Seine-Maritime) was also affected by this
defect, information confirmed by EDF. This discovery calls for a
questioning of safety control and French energy choices, based on nuclear
power whose supposed reliability is not there.

 Sortir du Nucleaire 14th Jan 2022

https://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/Fissures-sur-des-tuyauteries-cruciales-pour-la

January 17, 2022 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Large drone observed over Forsmark nuclear station in Sweden

A large drone has been observed over the Forsmark nuclear power plant in
eastern Sweden. The police moved out but could not follow it. The drone at
Forsmark was observed at around 8 PM on Friday. At the same time, flying
objects were reported over the Ringhals nuclear power plants on the west
coast and Oskarshamn in the southeast of the country, and, eventually, a
possible drone was also reported at the decommissioned Barsebäck nuclear
power plant in Skåne.

 Norway Today 15th Jan 2022

January 17, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | 1 Comment

A fifth French nuclear reactor affected by corrosion in safety system

Nuclear: a reactor at the Penly power plant also affected by a corrosion problem. This problem on a safety system has already been detected on four other EDF reactors currently shut down.

 Nuclear: a reactor at the Penly power plant also affected by a corrosion problem. This problem on a safety system has already been detected on four other EDF reactors currently shut down. A nuclear reactor at the Penly power plant (Seine-Maritime) is also affected by a corrosion problem on a safety system already detected or suspected on four other EDF reactors currently shut down, AFP told on Thursday. Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).

 Le Figaro 13th Jan 2021

https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-eco/nucleaire-un-reacteur-de-la-centrale-de-penly-concernee-aussi-par-un-probleme-de-corrosion-20220113

January 15, 2022 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

What’s going on at Michigan’s nuclear power plants? A troublesome past, and present.

FIRE REPORTED AT CRUMBLING MICHIGAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT,   WHAT IS WRONG WITH MICHIGAN’S NUCLEAR PLANTS?  https://futurism.com/the-byte/fire-michigan-nuclear
by
ABBY LEE HOOD 9 Dec 22,

What’s going on with Michigan’s nuclear power plants? Yesterday, local newspaper conglomerate MLive reported that a fire was detected at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Berrien County, MI.

MLive reports that the “potential fire” was detected Thursday morning, complete with an alert from the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, though in the end no actual fire was found. And that’s extremely lucky, because MLive reports that the fire protection system for the vault where the fire was detected is currently out of service.

Add that to a local radio news outlet’s report last year that the nuclear facility had deactivated all its warning sirens in favor of mobile alerts, and the incident is a perfect illustration of the United States’ dilapidated nuclear infrastructure.

Some workers have died in gruesome ways at the Cook nuclear plant over the years, which has racked up fines and even briefly shut down entirely in 1997 for grave safety concerns.

Dig a little deeper and other nuclear incidents surface in the same state. Last year, Downtown Publications reported that Fermi 2, a nuclear station located in Newport, MI, suffered the longest nuclear refueling and maintenance outage in 2020, lasting from March until August — and its predecessor, Fermi 1, suffered a partial core meltdown back in the 1960s.

Nuclear power remains a tempting stopgap as the world trundles toward renewables, but in practice it might not actually be the most effective energy solution. The 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan showed that even with modern safety precautions, events can still spin out of control. And we don’t have solid plans for containing radioactive waste, which stays toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. Uranium pollutes groundwater, and new plants costs a fortune.

In the face of all that, you’d at least expect currently operating plants to be on the top of their game, but the situation in Michigan sounds anything but.

Will we come up with truly effective strategies before another nuclear disaster? Only time will tell.

January 10, 2022 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear authorities dismiss a massive tritium leak from nuclear reactor as unimportant. But should they?


Nuclear: do our power plants release too much tritium? This fission residue is not very radiotoxic. But the discharge standards in waterways are more permissive in France than in Japan.

With the holiday season and the covid epidemic, the event has gone almost unnoticed. But it is reported in detail on the site of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN).

Between November 25 and December 8, 2021, at the Tricastin site, around 900 liters of effluents containing tritium infiltrated the soil, causing “abnormal radiological activity”. More precisely, the measurements carried out on site made it possible to detect a peak in radioactivity of 28,900
Becquerels per liter on December 12.

Taking up this information, the Mediapart site mentions a major radioactive leak. After ASN inspection, the event was nevertheless classified at level 0 on the international nuclear
events scale. How to explain this difference in perception?

 L’Express 28th Dec 2021

 https://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/sciences/nucleaire-nos-centrales-rejettent-elles-trop-de-tritium_2165111.html

January 1, 2022 Posted by | environment, France, incidents | Leave a comment

Massive leak of tritium at France’s Tricastin nuclear power plant.

 A massive leak of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, occurred earlier this month at the Tricastin nuclear power plant, one of the oldest in France, when subsequent radiation levels recorded in groundwater below it reached 28,900 becquerels per litre.

Both the plant’s operator, EDF, and the French nuclear safety watchdog, the ASN, insist that the spill has
been contained. But, as Jade Lindgaard reports, despite that claim it appears inevitable that that the radioactive effluent will pollute the local environment.

 Mediapart 28th Dec 2021

https://www.mediapart.fr/en/journal/france/281221/massive-leak-tritium-french-nuclear-plant-tricastin

December 30, 2021 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Inept cover-up of faulty nuclear work – Nuclear Regulatory Commission gives no penalty


Edwin Lyman @NucSafetyUCS
1d

This one has to be read to be believed. An @NRCgov investigation has found that two former technicians at the Grand Gulf #nuclear plant in #Mississippi installed an incorrectly manufactured gasket on an important valve–and then staged an inept cover-up.

NRC INVESTIGATION REPORT 4-2019-021 – DATED DECEMBER 15, 2021 RidsOpaMail Resource; RidsOgcMailCenter R

Mr. Maurice Omaits [NOTE: HOME ADDRESS DELETED UNDER 10 CFR 2.390] SUBJECT: NOTICE OF VIOLATION, NRC INVESTIGATION REPORT 4-2019-021 Dear Mr. Omaits: This letter refers to the investigation completed on September 14, 2020, by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Investigations at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station. The investigation was conducted, in part, to determine whether you, a senior engineering training instructor employed by Entergy Operations, Inc. (licensee) at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, willfully compromised an engineering support qualification exam by providing additional information to students in the form of diagrams and verbal cues.A factual summary of the investigation, as it pertains to your actions, was issued as an enclosure to our letter dated February 24, 2021, Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) Accession No. ML21055A000.


In the letter transmitting the factual summary of the Office of Investigations report, we provided you with the opportunity to address the apparent violation identified in the letter by attending a predecisional enforcement conference, participating in an alternative dispute resolution mediation session, or providing a written response before we made our final enforcement decision. Your attorney indicated to an NRC enforcement representative that you do not intend to provide additional information regarding this matter. Since you have not requested a predecisional enforcement conference nor replied in writing, the NRC is proceeding with its enforcement action based on the results of the investigation. 

Based on the information developed during the investigation, the NRC concluded that a deliberate violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in Enclosure 1, “Notice of Violation” (Notice). The Notice states that you deliberately violated a licensee quality-related procedure when, as an exam proctor, you provided inappropriate assistance to students in the form of verbal and nonverbal cues regarding their selection of exam answers. 


Your deliberate actions placed the licensee in violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 50.120, “Training and qualification of nuclear power plant personnel,” and you in violation of 10 CFR 50.5, “Deliberate misconduct.” Enclosure 2 includes a copy of the letter and Notice issued to the licensee. Given the significance of the underlying issue and the deliberate nature of your actions, your violation has been categorized in accordance with the NRC Enforcement Policy at Severity Level Ill. The NRC Enforcement Policy is included on the NRC’s website at http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/regulatory/enforcement/enforce-pol.html. You should be aware that if you are involved in NRC licensed activities in the future, additional deliberate violations could result in more significant enforcement action or referral to the U.S. Department of Justice for potential criminal prosecution………………   Scott A. MorrisRegional Administrator 15 Dec 21
https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML2134/ML21349B336.pdf

December 24, 2021 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

 Tricastin nuclear power station: a radioactive leak in groundwater

Tricastin nuclear power station: a radioactive leak in groundwater. EDF
revealed, this Tuesday, December 21, that a tritium leak had been detected
in the Tricastin nuclear power plant.

 Le Dauphine 21st Dec 2021

https://www.ledauphine.com/environnement/2021/12/21/centrale-nucleaire-du-tricastin-une-fuite-radioactive-dans-les-eaux-souterraines

December 24, 2021 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Jimmy Carter hailed as ‘action’ hero for stopping nuclear meltdown at 28

Jimmy Carter hailed as ‘action’ hero for stopping nuclear meltdown at 28  https://nypost.com/2021/12/16/jimmy-carter-is-action-hero-for-stopping-nuclear-disaster/
By Hannah Sparks, December 16, 2021  Who needs action movies when there are real-life superheroes like Jimmy Carter among us?

A viral Twitter thread is reminding the world that the 39th US President James Earl Carter Jr., now 97, actually rescued Ottawa, Ontario, from nuclear destruction as a 28-year-old way back on Dec. 12, 1952.

“Do you remember the world’s very first nuclear meltdown? That time the US President, an expert in nuclear physics, heroically lowered himself into the reactor and saved Ottawa, Canada’s capital?” asked Canadian physicist University of Ottawa professor Jeff Lundeen in his now-viral thread, originally posted Tuesday but officially trending two days later.

Sounds like schlocky action movie, but it actually happened!”

Lundeen’s revelatory tweet to his modest 1,078 followers now boasts nearly 50,000 likes, more than 20,000 retweets and hundreds of cheerfully shocked comments. He included data from the Ottawa Historical Society and a snippet of a 2011 report documenting Carter’s heroics, and he followed up with several other media sources that recount the historic tale.

As the story goes, the Plains, Ga., native planned his entire life to join the Navy — and did so when he received his appointment to the Naval Academy in 1942. After graduating with distinction, Carter spent two years completing his service ship duty before signing on to the Submarine Force. Following a series of relocations and promotions, the young lieutenant would request to join Captain Hyman G. Rickover’s nuclear sub program, where they were developing the world’s first atomic subs.

Rickover then sent Carter to work for the US Atomic Energy Commission, where he served on temporary duty with the Naval Reactors Branch. Meanwhile, a few months later, an accidental power surge at Chalk River Laboratories in Ottawa caused fuel rods within a nuclear research reactor to rupture and melt — risking a full nuclear meltdown.

It was the first such incident of its kind, and Carter’s team of 23 men was ordered to clean it up.

I

n a scene straight out of modern-day blockbusters, the operation would require the brave men to descend into the core by rope and pulley so they could deconstruct the reactor bolt by bolt. The lab had set up a duplicate reactor as a training field for Carter’s team, who would get only one shot at the real thing. Each man would have to descend into the core and complete their high-flying tasks in 90-second spurts, as exposure to toxic radiation within the reactor posed a high risk to their long-term health.

Their plan went off without a hitch. The core was shut down and then rebuilt. From there, Carter went on to become the engineering officer for the USS Seawolf, one of the first submarines to operate on atomic power. By 1961, he retired from the Navy and Reserves, and, in 1963, ran for his first political office.

For those who admire the single-term Democratic president, Lundeen’s tweet was just another reminder of Carter’s selfless service — and good jokes.

One top Twitter response included a quote from the president, who visited Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island power plant in 1979, during their disastrous partial meltdown.

When asked by media if he thought it too dangerous to visit the radioactive site, he reportedly quipped, “No, if it was too dangerous they would have sent the vice president.”

December 18, 2021 Posted by | incidents, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Safety Concerns Mount Over Damaged Fuel Rods at China’s Taishan Nuclear Plant

The second EPR reactor at China’s Taishan nuclear power plant is about to enter into commercial operation.

Safety Concerns Mount Over Damaged Fuel Rods at China’s Taishan Nuclear Plant
A French whistleblower claims that the real number of damaged fuel rods exceeds the figure acknowledged by officials, and that there may be issues with other reactors of the same design.  By Jesse Turland  The Diplomat December 11, 2021
 On November 28 Radio France International Chinese published claims by a whistleblower contradicting official statements downplaying the extent of damage to fuel rods at the Taishan 1 Nuclear Reactor in Taishan, Guangdong province.

The whistleblower, who works at a French nuclear energy company, warned that more than 70 fuel rods were damaged, 14 times the figure acknowledged by China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) in June, when it stated “about five” rods were damaged. Additionally, the whistleblower claimed the damage may be linked to a “design flaw.”

Under pressure from public activism, France’s nuclear energy regulator, Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN), yesterday announced it would halt the development of the EPR reactor at Flamanville in Normandy, which uses the same design as Taishan, pending inquiries into the malfunctions at Taishan.

There is still a lot of work to be done on the [Flamanville] site before start-up operations, and feedback from the experience of the Taishan 1 EPR deviation must take place,” said ASN deputy general manager Julien Collet yesterday.

Located 110 kilometers south of Guangzhou, Taishan is the site of the world’s first reactors of the Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR) design to commence operation. Its two reactors are capable of generating 1,750 Megawatts electric (Mwe) each.

According to the whistleblower, the problem of the Taishan EPR reactor is “a not-very-successful hydraulic system at the bottom of the vessel which gives an uneven distribution of power in the assemblies. A transverse current is created in the core and causes the assemblies to move, especially those at the periphery.”

The whistleblower’s claims were relayed by Bruno Chareyron, director of the Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation (CRIIRAD), a Paris-based NGO established in 1986 to monitor radioactive leaks in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.

According to the whistleblower, the problem of the Taishan EPR reactor is “a not-very-successful hydraulic system at the bottom of the vessel which gives an uneven distribution of power in the assemblies. A transverse current is created in the core and causes the assemblies to move, especially those at the periphery.”

The whistleblower’s claims were relayed by Bruno Chareyron, director of the Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation (CRIIRAD), a Paris-based NGO established in 1986 to monitor radioactive leaks in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster.

There are at least three consequences. One is the fact that due to the damage to the nuclear fuel, a significant amount of radioactive substances migrate across the cladding of the rods and is go into the water of the primary circuit,” according to Chareyron.

“So radioactive gases like krypton and xenon are accumulating in the water inside the pressure vessel… Those gases are collected into tanks and those tanks are opened to the atmosphere normally every two months. But with fuel rod damage, some of the gases released have half-lives of years, like Krypton 85.”

He continued: “[The] second problem is the impact on the people working in the plant. Because if you have such damage in the core of the reactor, you contaminate the water inside the pressure vessel, but some of this contamination will stay inside the tubes, the pipes, the pumps.

“So when the operators have to conduct maintenance, they receive much more radiation than if the cladding fitted properly.”

Finally, “The third problem is if the fuel assemblies are a little bit broken, it means that you may reach a situation when, for example, in case of an earthquake, you cannot insert the control rods into the fuel assemblies because the assemblies are damaged,” Chareyron said…………….                                       

Jesse Turland

Jesse Turland holds a degree in Chinese language and Asian Studies from the University of Melbourne and writes about contemporary Chinese society.  https://thediplomat.com/2021/12/safety-concerns-mount-over-damaged-fuel-rods-at-chinas-taishan-nuclear-plant/

December 14, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents | Leave a comment

Whistleblower explained the tank design problem that caused the shutdown at Taishan nuclear power station

Last July, in China, the Taishan nuclear power plant was shut down. A few weeks earlier, an incident had taken place in the only EPR plant in service in the world, designed jointly by the Chinese CGN and the French EDF.

At the end of November, perhaps finally an explanation: the incident was due to a fault in the design of the vessel, according to a major French association specializing in nuclear safety. The incident which led in July to the shutdown of a reactor at the EPR nuclear power plant in Taishan, in southern China, is believed to be due to a design flaw in the vessel, the French association CRIIRAD said on Saturday.

The Commission for Independent Research and Information on Radioactivity (CRIIRAD) would get its
information from a “whistleblower”. “This is a Frenchman who works in the nuclear industry, having access to very precise technical information on the situation of the Taishan 1 reactor core,” a CRIIRAD official told AFP.

Taishan is the only pressurized water reactor (EPR) plant in the world, with two reactors. Four other EPR reactors are under construction, all in Europe: one in Finland, one in France in Flamandville and two in England. It is a tank design problem that would be the cause of the incident in Taishan reported on June 14, 2021. This is a first explanation.

 TV5Monde 28th Nov 2021

https://information.tv5monde.com/info/nucleaire-l-accident-la-centrale-epr-de-taishan-serait-du-un-defaut-de-conception-434319

December 2, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents | Leave a comment

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission found violations of federal regulations at Vogtle nuclear site.

U.S. regulator to raise oversight at Georgia Vogtle nuclear power reactor  https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-regulator-raise-oversight-georgia-190308554.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmluZy5jb20v&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFLUuKMz6yKJdBOQz3f8MPdcejq875Aj93HjGgabK-76iDLroU7mahePG2UUtceKXHdb4cvQJDADLfjHUAdSK7rs4T9iB9Q1qhV5_ncjUA7ziTqk0iBJCIU8oMPpX7xIkkm7oOJH6GBmgz  Nov 18 (Reuters) Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Thursday said it will increase oversight at one of the Southern Co (SO.N) operated Vogtle nuclear power plants under construction in Waynesboro, Georgia.

The decision to increase oversight comes after finalizing two inspection findings involving the safety-related electrical raceway system at Unit 3, the NRC said.

The NRC said it had launched a special inspection in June 2021 and found two violations of federal regulations at the site.

NRC inspectors found that Southern Nuclear did not properly implement its corrective action program, resulting in construction quality issues, extensive rework, and a report to the NRC for a significant quality assurance breakdown.”

“They also found that the company did not follow design specifications while installing safety-related cables for reactor coolant pumps and equipment designed to shut down the reactor safely.”

The NRC said these findings fall under a low-to-moderate safety significance and will schedule a supplemental inspection to verify Southern Nuclear understands the root cause and has taken appropriate corrective actions.

November 20, 2021 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

Report: Nuclear Plant Failed to Prevent Flooding During Ida

Report: Nuclear Plant Failed to Prevent Flooding During Ida, Claims Journal, By Dave Collins | November 15, 2021  Operators of the Millstone nuclear power complex in Connecticut were too late in activating storm protection protocols when the remnants of Hurricane Ida hit the East Coast in September, resulting in minor flooding at the plant, federal regulators said Friday.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission report said Dominion Energy, which runs the Millstone plant in Waterford along Long Island Sound, violated federal requirements, but deemed the violations of “very low safety significance” and did not issue penalties. The flooding did not affect any nuclear or safety equipment, the report said.

The commission, however, said Dominion’s “performance deficiency was more than minor” and that “required steps to protect risk significant structures, systems, and components from external flooding were not taken until after the consequential rainfall event was in progress.”…………………

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission report said the plant’s operators should have activated flood prevention measures before the storm hit, including closing flood gates, based on forecasts made earlier in the day. But they did not do so until after 8 p.m., when heavy rains already were falling. Two flood gates were not closed at all during the storm, resulting in minor flooding in an area near the Unit 2 reactor, the report said.

The commission said Dominion “did not take timely actions to place the plant in a safe condition prior to the arrival of a major storm.”………….   https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/east/2021/11/15/307069.htm

November 16, 2021 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment