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What Really Happened At Oyster Creek, Report Released

The US NRC has finally issued an inspection report on Oyster Creek and the events during hurricane Sandy. During the storm the public was left with many unanswered questions and a considerable lack of information about what was going on at Oyster Creek nuclear plant. On October 31st Reuters reported a 6.8 feet water level. The NRC official event report is more vague, only citing “over 6 feet“. A few reports admitted the full 7.4 feet of flooding but this didn’t get widely distributed via the press or the NRC’s public website. The full flooding height at Oyster Creek was 7.4 feet. The concrete deck at the intake structure sits at 6 feet. Existing documents at the plant stated that the bottom of needed intake pumping equipment was 7 feet. Water … Read entire article »

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Groups File Complaints With NRC About Oyster Creek Failures

A number of environmental and public safety groups have filed an emergency legal complaint with the NRC over failures at the Oyster Creek nuclear plant. Some of these issues were related to incidents during hurricane Sandy. Others related to more degraded reactor equipment found as part of the refueling inspections. This collection of groups also demanded the plant’s emergency plans be updated to take into consideration the current situation in the area after the hurricane. Many roads are not passable, people are concentrated in different areas, local emergency services are degraded and other upheaval changes the conditions of what was already a very unworkable evacuation plan. The groups also point out that Sandy would have been much worse had the reactor been operating at the time of the storm. Flooding took out … Read entire article »

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Oyster Creek Under Special Inspection By The NRC

The NRC announced they are doing a special inspection of Oyster Creek today, after incidents that arose during Hurricane Sandy. The NRC didn’t elaborate about specifics but gave a somewhat vague statement via email. “The team of three NRC inspectors is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the company’s event declaration activities related to water level increases at the plant’s water intake structure during the storm” “Nevertheless, there are certain observations involving procedures and on-site activities that surfaced during the event warranting a closer look. This Special Inspection will focus on those areas to gain a better understanding of how the intake water level information was monitored and communicated during the event.” It is unclear exactly what the NRC is referring to but will issue a report within 45 days. Hopefully this tells the public what the problems actually were. … Read entire article »

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NRC Provides Some Answers On Sandy Aftermath

Communications staff over at the NRC blog have provided a bit more information on what happened at two plants after and during hurricane Sandy. The NRC posted this in the comments: “Here is updated information on what happened to the circulating-water pumps at the Salem Unit 1 nuclear power plant during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29: The Salem Unit 1 plant is equipped with six circulating-water pumps, which supply cooling water to the plant’s condenser from the Delaware River. At the plant’s water intake structure, there are screens to strain out debris and keep such extraneous material from entering the plant. After the storm passed, the screens had to be inspected. Damage was identified to two of six screens. Divers recovered grating that was displaced by wave action and fell into the water … Read entire article »

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Another Media Outlet Confirms Salem Intake Pumps Damaged

Local media outlet NewJerseyNewsroom cites additiional information about what transpired at Salem nuclear plant though they do not cite where they obtained this detailed information from. “But just after 4 a.m. Tuesday morning, while Sandy’s eye was barreling down on the Jersey Shore, the high waves in the river swamped four of the six massive pumps in a building along the river’s edge which pull in the water through a 40-foot wide conduit jutting into the river. The loss of these pumps caused a chain reaction of events: The loss of river water meant the steam in the secondary loop was no longer being condensed, sending hot steam back into the carefully calibrated system. The added work load, coupled with accumulating junk clogging Salem’s underwater intake pipe, caused the two remaining pumps to … Read entire article »

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NRC Provides Additional Information On Salem & Oyster Creek Outages

The NRC has updated their last post about the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. The newest post provides details about the intakes at Oyster Creek. The NRC claims the intakes continued to operate and pull in water during the alert. They did not provide an answer to the time frame of the cooling outage at Oyster Creek. Previous NRC reports cited the cooling went out until it was “reenergized” as part of switching to diesel back up power but they did not provide a time frame. On Salem the NRC makes this statement about the intake pumps that they were “no longer able to perform their function because of high river levels and debris in the waterway,” Platts quotes a PSEG Official “Ralph Izzo said during a press teleconference Wednesday morning. One of … Read entire article »

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Salem Unit 1, No Timeline For Restart

Reuters is reporting no timeline for restarting unit 1 at Salem after a high wave from hurricane Sandy took out 5 of the 6 water intake pumps. PSEG says grid stability is not an issue. It is likely that the widespread outages still going on across the area mean there is less demand for power. It could also be that they are still repairing the intake pumps for Salem yet choose to not publicly disclose the status of this issue. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other than www.simplyinfo.org … Read entire article »

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The Media Takes On The Nuclear Industry After Sandy Failures

A long list of media outlets are criticizing the nuclear industry and the safety lapses exposed by hurricane Sandy. While the nuclear industry talking heads have bragged up Sandy as a “success” because there were no major nuclear disasters, it has been pointed out everywhere that this is a public relations deception. Multiple plants lost grid power, had to shutdown, lower power or had failures that challenged critical reactor systems. Questions remain about Oyster Creek’s specific systems through the alert and information on the intake pump damage at Salem has been slim. United Press International said nuclear plant safety was questioned by Sandy. Washington Post highlighted how little is known about the real natural risks in the US and how dangerously close these plants are to major population centers. The New York Times points out … Read entire article »

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Damaged Salem Nuclear Plant Has Long History Of Failures

The New York Times reported in 2004 on the horrible track record of the Salem nuclear plant. Salem was damaged by hurricane Sandy, taking out 5 of the 6 cooling water intake pumps and blocking the intake system with debris. A major investigation by the NRC in 2004 found a laundry list of failing equipment, safety violations and management retaliation against employees for pointing out safety issues. Even supervision in the control room was found to be a serious safety risk. Before the 2004 findings in 1995 Salem was forced to close down for 2 years to repair major deficiencies at the plant. This is something unheard of in the nuclear industry so focused on profits and avoiding down time. It is even more rare for the NRC to demand it. … Read entire article »

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Salem Nuclear Plant Developing Repair Plan, No Restart In Plans Yet

The Wall Street Journal is quoting the owner of the Salem nuclear plant as being in the process of developing a repair plan for unit 1 and has no projection or timeline for possibly restarting the plant. “The company is “developing a repair plan” and will “make repairs as needed to return the plant to safe operation,” a spokesman said on Wednesday, offering no timeline for bringing the plant back to power.” WSJ mentioned the damaged water pumps at the water intakes in vague terms. Platts previously quoted the plant operator as having 5 of the 6 intake water pumps damaged. The NRC previously admitted the intakes were clogged with debris from the hurricane. Salem has a long history of damage and outages related to the intake water system. This article would not … Read entire article »

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Salem Nuclear Plant Still Offline, Broken Water Pumps

We reported last night that the Salem nuclear plant didn’t just suffer water intakes clogged with debris from Hurricane Sandy but a wave also took out 5 of the 6 critical water pumps. These pumps pull water from the river to cool the reactor. Five pumps were damaged, the operator was in the process of repairing those pumps. The NRC has not reported this incident to the public and there has been no update from the initial report that Salem had an emergency shut down. The NRC only mentioned the clogged intakes. As of November 1st there has been no unusual event declared and the NRC has not informed the public of the broken water pumps that feed water to cool the reactor. Salem is still operating on emergency cooling systems. … Read entire article »

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Salem Nuclear Plant Damaged Cooling Pumps

The NRC has proven to be rather useless throughout hurricane Sandy and the aftermath as the public tries to find information about the status of the damaged nuclear plants in the US east coast. Platts provided detailed information about what happened at Salem unit 1. Waves on the river were high enough to hit the water recirculation building. Five of the six water pumps inside were damaged. All six were considered inoperable in what the NRC called “high river level” and detritus from the hurricane. The NRC has not informed the public of the water pump damage at Salem. These pumps are a key system for a nuclear reactor. These pumps sit near the river and pump water from the river into the intake canals or pipes that then deliver that water … Read entire article »

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Salem Nuclear Plant Still Without River Access, On Backup Systems

The NRC is reporting Salem unit 1 to still be on auxiliary feedwater and steam venting after the water intakes for the condenser cooling system became blocked. Rising river water and storm debris blocked the water intake system on Oct 29th when hurricane Sandy passed by. The NRC has not reported any change to this condition as of Oct 31 morning reports. The NRC also reported that a low pressure turbine rupture disc was broken open in relation to the condensers experiencing high back pressure.  According to the NRC reports access to the ultimate heat sink (the river) has not been regained at Salem unit 1. This would put the reactor still on emergency back up cooling methods. The reactor currently sits at 549f (287c) with that temperature steady. This is a good sign … Read entire article »

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Oyster Creek Leaves Alert Status, Questions Linger

  Exelon is reporting via email press release that Oyster Creek has exited alert status. Water levels have receded below the alert levels but there is still no clear information on the status of the intake pumps during the alert. It is also unclear if access to the ultimate heat sink (the river) was lost at any point during the alert. This is critical as it is required to cool both the reactor and the spent fuel pool even if the reactor is turned off. The reactor does have some alternative methods to cool the reactor in an emergency but there is not an alternative heat removal system for the spent fuel pool. This makes access to the river for cooling critical for safety. Temperatures and water levels for the reactor … Read entire article »

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Update On Oyster Creek & Salem Nuclear Plant Status

Oyster Creek has been without any information most of the day from either the NRC or the operator. The NRC did release some information late this afternoon. NRC reports “Shutdown cooling and spent fuel pool cooling have been restored.” They do not clarify if this is just the electrical power to these systems or if these systems have access to the ultimate heat sink (the river) by way of the pumps & intake systems down by the river that have been flooded by storm surge. So we still do not know for sure if Oyster Creek has functioning access to the ultimate heat sink via the normal pumping systems. Entergy claimed via Reuters that a temporary pump was brought in in case it was needed. Since the public has no access … Read entire article »

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Area Near Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant Damaged, Flooded

Enenews has two videos reporting that the area near Oyster Creek nuclear plant is heavily damaged and flooded as of today. Many homes are damaged and rivers are still over their banks in the area. Videos etc. here This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other than www.simplyinfo.org (or www.fukuleaks.org) it may be plagiarized, please let us know. If you wish to reproduce any of our content in full or in more than a phrase or quote, please contact us first to obtain permission. … Read entire article »

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Oyster Creek Continues To Be Under Alert – UPDATED

Update: Reuters reported last night that 7 feet was the height of the service water pump needed to cool the spent fuel pool. “However, a further rise to 7 feet could submerge the service water pump motor that is used to cool the water in the spent fuel pool” Reuters quoted the NRC this morning that water peaked at 7.4 feet. They have moved in a temporary pump but the NRC claimed they have not needed to use this. The vague statement does not clarify if the service water system continues to operate or if they have shut it off and are going to use the temporary pump to restart cooling if the pool reaches an increased temperature level. “On Tuesday, an NRC spokesman said the levels reached a peak of 7.4 feet … Read entire article »

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Update On Multiple East Coast Reactor Incidents & Alerts

Oyster Creek had service water pumps at risk due to high water from Sandy. This included the cooling water for the spent fuel pool cooling system. As of 2:53am EST Exelon did not know if the service water pumps had been impacted. Media contacts at Exelon, owner of Oyster Creek are promising an update shortly. We will pass on any new information as soon as we get it. Update: Oyster Creek as of 2003 has more than 3025 assemblies in the spent fuel pool with a capacity of 2645 assemblies  that are at risk if the service water pump is lost. As of November 2010, there were 1,159 used assemblies stored in 19 dry casks. Casks are stored in a concrete block system and would not be at risk in this scenario. Oyster Creek; 36 … Read entire article »

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Oyster Creek Lost Grid Power, Spent Fuel Pool Cooling At Risk

We have full confirmation that Oyster Creek nuclear station has lost grid power via Yahoo news. “The plant’s owner, Exelon Corp., said power was also disrupted in the station’s switchyard, but backup diesel generators were providing stable power, with more than two weeks of fuel on hand.” http://news.yahoo.com/nations-oldest-nuclear-plant-alert-024720174.html The loss of grid power puts Oyster Creek in a tense situation where the diesel generators are the only source of AC power needed for many critical systems. The reactor itself is shut off as the plant was in an outage but still requires some cooling. As was seen at Fukushima Daiichi Units 5 and 6 were shut down yet still had their own issues with hydrogen and heat build up as they lost cooling from the ocean.  Flooding is still a problem at Oyster … Read entire article »

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Indian Point Nuclear Plant Under Alert

Update: We found a nearby river station. It shows 9.8ft but as of now the water has not begun to recede and is not showing a downward trend. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=01372058 Update: Entergy is claiming flood waters peaked and are receding. We can’t confirm due to not being able to find a nearby weather station for the river. At least they are responding to public questions somewhat. Indian_Point11:35pm via Web @FreyaFoust River water at @Indian_Pointreached max level of 9’8″ & is subsiding.   Mother Jones Magazine is reporting the alert at Indian Point Nuclear Plant. The NRC is not providing information. We are working on details. Other issues worsening around the region with many trapped in the NYC area. Update: Entergy is now reporting via their twitter account that unit 3 has gone offline due to a grid failure. Unit 2 is … Read entire article »

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Alert At Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant Due To Flooding, Millstone At 75%

Oyster Creek Nuclear Station is under an alert after storm waters exceeding the high level criteria per the NRC. The NRC does not state what that level was. In our earlier reporting today we mentioned that the plant itself sits about 10 feet above sea level and the water levels at the nearby USGS station had already exceeded 8 feet today. The USGS station near Oyster Creek nuclear station has been going in and out all day. It showed the 8 foot reading, a bit of a drop below 8 feet but then the station stopped reporting before Sandy officially made landfall. “The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is continuing to monitor impacts from Hurricane Sandy on nuclear power plants in the Northeastern United States, including an Alert declared at the Oyster … Read entire article »

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Oyster Creek Sees High Water, Possible Power Outage As Sandy Makes Landfall

Oyster Creek is now seeing elevated water as Sandy makes landfall in the area. Barnegat Bay is the area near the plant. The USGS water sensor went up over the 8 foot level last night and is currently about 7.5 feet.. Atlantic City is showing a 6 foot water level increase at a USGS sea station and has some street flooding as of this morning. NOAA is predicting landfall for about  4pm EST give or take 3-5 hours. Reader April contacted us to explain the flooding in the area near Oyster Creek. She used to live near the plant.  During Irene last year they had 10 foot waves that went 40 feet onto their property. Their home and neighbors homes lost bulkheads and outdoor structures during Irene. Damage to the area … Read entire article »

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Sandy Batters East Coast, Nuclear Plants Stay Online

According to the NRC website updated for today there have been no changes to nuclear plant power output. Sandy is expected to have the eye make landfall at Atlantic City later today. Winds have increased to 85mph in the center of the storm. The outer bands are already causing flooding and damage on the east coast. ABC TV news is reporting the HMS Bounty sank off North Carolina with two crew still missing, the remaining crew was rescued by Coast Guard helicopter. It would be expected that the nuclear plants in the direct path of the eye would shut down 12 hours ahead of the expectation of hurricane level winds. Salem, Limerick and Peach Bottom nuclear plants are all in the path of the central part of the storm. This article would not … Read entire article »

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Sandy To Make Landfall Around Atlantic City NJ

Sandy is expected to make landfall around Atlantic City NJ. This puts Oyster Creek, Salem and Peach Bottom nuclear plants in the direct path of Hurricane Sandy. We will continue to try to find out specific information about these plants but the NRC has not updated anything on the reactor status or events pages all weekend. Outer bands are already hitting New Jersey and a high storm surge is expected. The national guard has been mobilized in NJ. Lower areas have ordered evacuations already.  NJ transit has shut down and storm surge is expected into harbors and rivers. This is a concern for the safety of the nuclear plants in Sandy’s path, the storm surge itself and the high tides already there. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of … Read entire article »

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Hurricane Sandy Targets US Nuclear Plants

Update: Sandy is currently 575 miles from NYC. Storm surge warnings for Long Island Sound and NYC harbor. Sandy should start hitting NY & NJ by Sunday night US time with the center making landfall by Monday night. Minor storm surge flooding is expected as far away as Maine. Cape Hatteras NC is already reporting sustained winds of 49 mph and gusts of 62 mph. We will have more updates tonight as Sandy makes landfall. Hurricane Sandy has been projected to hit the US east coast. Meterologists now have a more specific zone for landfall. A number of aging US nuclear plants sit facing the ocean or in areas near the coast that can be impacted by the hurricane and storm surge. The current “track center” for the landfall path is … Read entire article »

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