The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected a petition by Beyond Nuclear and other public interest groups to shut down or take other remedial action for 18 reactors at 14 nuclear plants. The petition alleged that the reactors named in the request rely on potentially defective safety-related components and potentially falsified quality assurance documentation. Instead of accepting the recommendations of the petitioners, the NRC said the defects appear to be “negligible” and do not warrant immediate action. In its petition to the NRC, Beyond Nuclear cited the potential defects in nuclear reactor components manufactured by AREVA-Le Creusot Forge (ACF). The defects involve flaws in the steel manufacturing process that result in carbon macrosegregation, a condition marked by excess carbon that can make the metal brittle and subject to sudden fracture or tearing under high pressure. The flaw showed up when AREVA notified French authorities of anomalies in the upper and lower heads of the reactor pressure vessel of unit 3 of the Flamanville nuclear plant in France. Both of those parts were manufactured by ACF. The discovery prompted French regulators to request Electricite de France to close the reactor in order to test the materials in the reactor. Eventually 20 of the country’s 58 reactors were taken offline.
Utility Dive 10th Aug 2018 read more »
Upset about contamination from a Westinghouse nuclear fuel plant, Lower Richland residents lambasted the company Monday night for failing to tell them about a recent uranium leak and for ignoring the rural, working-class community the company has operated in for nearly 50 years. At a meeting in Hopkins to discuss the leak, company executive Mike Annacone pledged to improve relations with the community after conceding that Westinghouse had fallen down on the job. Westinghouse had promised in recent years to improve communication with the community, but that hasn’t happened, company executives told the overflow crowd at Hopkins Park Adult Activity Center. The leak occurred in June, but high levels of uranium in the soil were not reported to state and federal regulators until July 12. Some people said they knew nothing of the leak until reading about it in The State newspaper in late July, shortly after the leak became public on a federal website.
The State 14th Aug 2018 read more »