Shippingport open house focuses on emergency plan for disabled nuclear reactor
By John Oravecz
Published: Friday, April 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The nuclear power industry is developing a strategy to be able to bring power, water pumping capacity and needed equipment to a disabled reactor, employees of the Beaver Valley nuclear power station in Shippingport said Thursday.
They talked about the FLEX Mitigation Strategy during an open house held by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to meet with the public and others interested in the safe operation of the 1,800-megawatt, two-unit nuclear plant on the Ohio River. The event is held each year after the NRC releases its assessment of the plant's operation.
The NRC increased scrutiny at the nuclear plant operated by FirstEnergy Corp. since an inspection in August uncovered a security problem.
“They are telling us that they are ready to do a full inspection, which we will do soon,” said Erin Bonney, a NRC resident inspector at the plant. FirstEnergy has fixed the security problem, which officials have declined to detail, she said.
The inspection will try to demonstrate that to regulators within the one-year period the company has to address the issue. Regulators have stepped up assessements of security at nuclear plants since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. And the nuclear industry is working to address safety issues identified after the meltdown and radiation release at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan caused by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The FLEX strategy is being designed by the industry to get power and coolant to a disabled reactor, said Dan Murray, director of performance improvement at Beaver Valley.
“We're designing common electrical equipment, diesel-powered portable pumps for water, hose and fittings” among other equipment that could support cooling a reactor, he said.
In the planning stage are three regional support centers across the country to supply more of that equipment to plants that might need it, he said.
Some safety issues from past problems need more attention, said Ted Robinson, at attorney for advocacy group Citizen Power of Squirrel Hill. He was one of the few people not connected to the NRC or FirstEnergy to attend the open house in the Shippingport Community and Municipal Building.
Citizen Power has asked FirstEnergy to re-examine testing of the plant's inner steel containment liner, stemming from discovery in 2009 of a small hole. The hole, caused by corrosion from a piece of wood left between the two containment structures, was discovered and repaired during regular service maintainance by FirstEnergy.
John Oravecz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Health-insurance mandate poses potential hitch for volunteer fire companies
- Washington County gas drilling spill cited in lawsuit not reported to state
- Pace of enrollments on Healthcare.gov more than double, government says
- PNC plans to do away with tellers
- Maximize tax deductions with charitable gift
- Poll shows strong opposition to in-flight calls
- Pennsylvania, other states considering bids to host Boeing 777X production
- Area jobless rate slips on decline in workforce
- Unemployment rate falls as employers add 203,000 jobs nationwide
- Consol cuts office workers after Murray deal
- Cecil-based Rice Energy to go public