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Nebraska nuclear plant thread.

  1. Jun 19, 2011 #1

    <Crackpot link deleted>

    Anyone have details or an opinion rooted in science?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2011 #2


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    I know several people who work at the plant. They are very dedicated to their work, their families and their community.

    The article cited in the OP is pure crackpottery (link to article was deleted per PF Guidelines).

    http://www.oppd.com/AboutUs/22_007105 [Broken]

    The plant is actually designed with greater flooding (1014 feet above mean sea level (MSL)) based on an upstream dam burst and additional rain locally.

    The utility is expecting a peak river elevation of up to 1008.5 feet above sea level and has taken action to protect the switchyard and other capital assets from a greater flood.

    There was an NRC action last year and the plant revised their flood protection program to address what the NRC considered deficient.
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  4. Jun 19, 2011 #3


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    OPPD rumor control site:
    http://www.oppd.com/AboutUs/22_007105 [Broken]

    Alert has been canceled

    NOUE remains in effect

    Small leak being sealed (46965)

    There has been a No Fly Zone (FAA NOTAM) over every US nuclear plant since 9/11. FAA was asked to issue a reminder. I' see if I can find a reference.

    Edit: here is the reminder.
    http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_1_6523.html [Broken]

    Rdit here is a reference to the latesr issue of the 9/11 NOTAM
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  5. Jun 20, 2011 #4


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    Thanks for that info. Living in the area we saw all the stories on the news. Good to know they were just blown way out of proportion. Now if only the rest of the population were smart enough to see through the media's scare tactics.
  6. Jun 20, 2011 #5


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    Wait until the "informed public" latches onto this story.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/us-nuclear-regulators-safety-industry_n_880222.html [Broken]

    Strip out the one-sided opinion, misinformation, Fear Mongering,and untraceable claims and you are left with "AP" and the date. My favorite part is their claim that UCS doesn't oppose nuclear power. They spent a year researching and this is what they came up with?
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  7. Jun 20, 2011 #6


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  8. Jun 20, 2011 #7
    You push that point much too far in my opinion. As articles about nuclear issues go, that one isnt so bad, and even if there are some mistakes in it there is still much left worth thinking about.

    Ageing reactors are a real issue, and is correct to look at this with some concern, and not to dismiss all but the most technical of talk on such matters as ill-informed fear-mongering.

    There is always a balance to be struck between risk and reward, and ageing equipment may change this balance. Its very important that regulations are not being relaxed in order to maintain a balance on paper that does not reflect the full reality of the situation.

    By all means deride and mock the most hysterical anti-nuclear nonsense, but take this too far and you'll actually end up adding to the lack of public trust. Public ignorance and media hysteria are reasons to open up more and dedicate even more energy towards maximum transparency and understanding.
  9. Jun 20, 2011 #8


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  10. Jun 20, 2011 #9


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    I understand that risk,and you are right that aging is an issue that needs to be addressed. I believe it is being addressed. But if you look at this article closely you will see that they started out with a conclusion and looked for anything they could find to support that conclusion. There is no balance to that article.

    For example, They complain about license renewal in light of aging. Yet the license renewal process requires plants to institute aging management programs including replacement of components with known aging issues. They didn't look at any regulatory actions that have imposed stricter requirements or new requirements on existing plants. At one point the articleclaims to have "found proof", but they must be saving that proof for a future article.
    They complain about risk-informed approaches, and claim it is nothing but a means to further loosen standards, but if Japan had not been so far behind on risk analysis they might have identified risks of tsunamis and flooding.

    Take a look at their quotes from NRC Commissioners and NEI and you see the immediate "Yes, But," that negates what they just heard. That isn't investigative reporting, it is editorializing.

    Try to identify a reference so you could research their complaints for yourself and you find maybe a date or a date range, they claim had such and such a number of failures. Even if their interpretation is right, and with all the resources I know about it would not be easy to prove or disprove the validity of those claims. The average citizen would find that impossible.

    This thread is probably the wrong place to go into this. Maybe a Press Performance thread should be started. I just provided information here to counter the wild speculation and fear mongering of a "level 4" event at Ft Calhoun, when I saw this atrocity.

    One of the biggest non-issues they raise is RPV embrittlement. The original standards were written for PWRs where the core edges are very close to the RPV walls. In a BWR the core is close to the shroud which has the water filled downcomer region between the shroud and the RPV wall. This extra water provides a significant reduction in neutron flux at the RPV wall. Relaxations for BWRs RPV NDT requirements recognize that FACT. But the article nuances that into a problem.

    Nuclear plant reliability and capacity factors are at record levels in the US. If everything was leaking and rusting and falling apart, how could that be?

    No, I appreciate your warning, but this article, probably researched for a year as they claim, got rushed to print to chime in on the controversy of Fukushima and apparently lax regulation in Japan. It fails to do anything that a high school junior couldn't duplicate in a weekend by plagiarizing a few anti-nuclear websites and making a few phone call interviews.
  11. Jun 20, 2011 #10
    NUCENG, would you clarify further what you mean by Japan being "so far behind on risk analysis"? Because I don't get it. Risk analysis for Japan is not something one can be "far behind on". History records quakes and tsunami. For Fuku, it would, at this stage, appear to have been a clear deliberate glossing over of risk instead, don't you think?
    Also...is there still a controversy regarding Fuku in the "apparently" lax regulation in Japan? How so? I thought the lax regulation was now proven rather definitive. You know, with TEPCO, the Japanese gov. and regulators all looking out for one another.
  12. Jun 20, 2011 #11
    I'm curious if you see this as evidence of reliability:

    If "reliability" means "no TMI or Fukushima incidents for the last few years" then I would question whether you guys are using the term in the same way as us other folk.
  13. Jun 20, 2011 #12


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    In 90 minutes the fuel pool temperature rose 2 degrees. To say it was close to boiling goes beyond lying it is deliberate fear mongering.

    You can twist and turn the facts any way you want here on the forum. You can sit in front of your computer, as can I, to research and see what we believe or disbelieve. People in Nebraska may not have that kind of time or even access to internet. They should not have to deal with these lies while they are fighting a major disaster.

    You want to know about reliability look at the trends in nuclear power generation. SCRAM frequency is down. Production is up. Capacity factors are up. Unplanned outages are down. Doses to workers and offsite releases are down. None of these things would be true if the plants were not improving safety and reliability every day.

    Why do you think the authors of the AP article were able to find all that information in Preliminary Notifications and event reports? The answer is that these problems are reported and public records. The fire at Ft Calhoun was self-reported. They are right there on the NRC website. If they needed Freedom of Information Requests it wasn't for that.

    Orcas George, I don't doubt your sincerity is saying the fire was not the way to earn trust. But the fire was extinguished. Cooling was restored. The point I am trying to make is that does not excuse deliberately inflating the issue into something it wasn't.

    Don't try to tell me I'm not using common language understood by the "other folk." If you think making a major safety issue out of this event is clear communication, the problem is with your understanding of the words. I still believe the way to fight lies is with the truth. And that scares people who wouldn't know the truth from their ... elbow.

    There is no "you guys" here. This post is my work and my position. I don't need a playbook or canned talking points. So debate me if you want to defend the liars. I challenge you to check some facts before you respond. It may be a stretch, but assume for a second that I'm telling truth. You might find it easier to prove that than that the NRC and Cooper and Ft Calhoun are all lying. Funny thing, if you assume most people are honest and telling the truth, it becomes easier to spot the few liars that are out there. If you believe everybody is lying, why do you believe those news reports?
  14. Jun 20, 2011 #13


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    As I undertand it NISA and the rest of the regulatory bodys in Japan heave endorsed a goal of moving to risk based regulation. Plants have done some analysis but apparently have not completed an IPEEE Individual Plant Examination of External Events like seismic, tsunami, fire, severe weather, etc. This would have been one more opportunity for TEPCO to see that the initiator of an earthquake and tsunami could lead to what happened.

    As to lax regulation being proven, I at least think they came well short of being rigorous and independent regulators.
  15. Jun 21, 2011 #14


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    Omaha World-Herald - NRC: No flood danger at reactor
    http://www.omaha.com/article/20110617/NEWS01/706179913/0#nrc-no-flood-danger-at-reactor [Broken]

    As for the fire in the switchgear, one would have to consider similar events in all types of plants for context. Is it extraordinary or significant at an NPP as opposed to a hydro or fossil fueled plant? I was working in a small oil/gas-fired generation plant back in the 70's when some switchgear arced. One can find numerous examples of such events at fossil-fueled plants.

    Switchgear fires are one of many incidents that NPP staff must anticipate and plant to deal with. That's not necessarily the case for fossil plants.

    See also this thread - https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=339638
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  16. Jun 21, 2011 #15
    Okay. I see what you meant now.
  17. Jun 21, 2011 #16


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    I'm pleased to hear that the plant is operated by some good people that you recommend. I hope they will all have less trouble with mother nature than the operators at the Fukushima plant are having. Most of all, I hope they will be safe.

    Having not clicked the link prior to it's rightful deletion, I find it difficult to compare the veracity or bias of it's contents to those of the link you posted. I guess I'll just try to use my best judgement to filter out all the "crackpot" news on my own.

    That is very good to know. If you have a chance, would you mind posting a link to a place where we can find such information?

    I hope their predictions of max water levels are better than the ones used when designing the Fukushima plant.

    Furthermore, I hope that they continue to find all the leaks in the plants before they cause major problems, and before they are too numerous to handle simultaneously.

    I understand that it would probably cost them millions of dollars, but do any of you know of any reason they should shut down the Cooper NPP until water levels are more normal? It seems like it would be better to have a great portion of the decay heat removed prior to serious flooding problems.
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  18. Jun 21, 2011 #17


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    NPPs have mandatory restrictions based on safe operation of the plant as well as environmental restrictions. These are found in the plant FSAR or updated FSAR.

    Plants on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts normally shutdown if there is a hurricane within a certain distance from the plant. Plants where flooding occur, such as those on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers would go to standby or shutdown depending on the water level. Shutdown means that decay heat would be removed under normal procedures.

    The plants are following normal procedures regarding shutdown. Ft. Calhoun was already shutdown, while Cooper has been operating. They will shutdown the plant if the flooding reaches a certain level. Meanwhile, they will monitor the flooding with the Corp of Engineers.
  19. Jun 21, 2011 #18
    Below are links to the National Weather Service's river prediction center. The gage at Blair, NE is a couple river miles north of the plant so be careful about making assumptions related to the elevation at the plant. It does provide a general outlook for the area. The gage nearest Cooper is the Brownville gage also linked below and the same care should be taken regarding exact elevation calculations.

    Blair, NE (FCS)
    http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=oax&gage=blan1&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1%22 [Broken]

    Brownville, NE (Cooper)
    http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=oax&gage=bron1&view=1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1%22 [Broken]

    The OPPD corporate blog contains some pictures and information. It is located here
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  20. Jun 21, 2011 #19


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    This is a nice little expose on the misrepresentation of the situation at Fort Calhoun.

    Fort Calhoun - a flood of rumours from an unreliable source
    http://world-nuclear.org/wna_buzz/fort_calhoun_fact_and_fiction.html.html [Broken]

    NUCENG cited the NOTAM in post #3.
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  21. Jun 22, 2011 #20


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    A comment about Fort Calhoun in Asian Week :

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