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NEWS: Largest Nuclear Power Plant in US Shuts Down

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posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 12:32 AM
Palo Verde, the United States' largest nuclear power plant, shut down all three of its reactors. Arizona Public Service said they could not demonstrate to regulators, that a key safety system would perform as designed. Until the safety issue is resolved and restarting can be cleared by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the plant will remain offline.
The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, 50 miles west of downtown Phoenix, was idle Wednesday after two of its three reactors were shut down because of safety concerns. A third unit at the nation's largest nuclear power plant was taken off-line Oct. 7 for refueling and repairs.

It's one of only a few times the plant has been completely off-line during its 20-year history. There is no indication of when it may be back in operation.

APS shut down the plant's two operating reactors late Tuesday after it was unable to demonstrate to regulators that a key safety system would perform as designed. The problem, which involves an emergency system that cools the plant's nuclear reactors after an accident, also affects the third unit being refueled.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

If the Southwest US gets a warm spell, it could mean blackouts from Los Angeles to Phoenix. Palo Verde #1, #2 and #3 are responsible for supplying electricity to 4 million customers from Texas to California.

Temperature forecast loop of the US

Given it's history and the current energy crisis, something else is going on besides a safety concern that was uncovered until after 20 years of operation.

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station courtesy of Wikipedia

Related News Links:
• An ABC News Investigation Has Found That Nuclear Reactors
on 25 U.S. College Campuses Lack Security

• APS seeks rate hike to offset cost of Palo Verde outages
• Wiki's Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
• Arizona Public Service

[edit on 13-10-2005 by Regenmacher]

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 01:38 AM
It wasn't until I got to reading the source article that I could tell what 'nation' you were talking about. ATS members are from all over the world.

The closure of the plant will have a hard effect locally. Utility bills are going to shoot up and further dig into the pockets of people who are already in shock over gas process.

It is a hard time in the energy industry, or rather a hard time for the consumer.

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 05:22 AM
Here is the event notification from NRC's database:

"On October 11, 2005 Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (PVNGS) Units 2 and 3 at approximately 1602 and 1655 Mountain Standard Time (MST), respectively commenced reactor shutdowns required by Technical Specification 3.0.3.

"Engineering personnel were unable to demonstrate that the original design of the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) could perform its safety function for its mission time under certain postulated accident scenarios. Specifically, the Refueling Water Tank (RWT) is designed with baffles to prevent a vortex from developing and air binding the Safety Injection pumps during a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA). On a LOCA, the High Pressure Safety Injection pumps take a suction from the RWT and inject borated water into the Reactor Coolant System (RCS). At 7.4 percent RWT level, the source of borated water by design automatically shifts from the RWT to the containment sump. However, for small break LOCA there may be insufficient containment pressure to ensure inventory is not continuing to be drawn from the RWT. This may allow the baffles in the bottom of the RWT to uncover. With the RWT baffles uncovered, a vortex may develop, leading to potential air binding of the Safety Injection pumps before the operator manually isolates the RWT. "

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 06:56 PM
Thanks Valhall for the detailed report...helps shed some light on the issue. "Original design can't demonstrate" would imply that Palo Verde was operating with this "alleged" design flaw since 1986.

"It doesn't mean the system couldn't perform as it's supposed to," he said. "It just means we couldn't prove it would." eastvalleytribune

Problem with Palo Verde cooling system went undetected for years
A potential problem with the emergency reactor core cooling system at the nation's largest nuclear power plant went undetected since it began producing power in 1986, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and the plant operator confirmed Thursday.

The design flaw put the plant outside of it licensing guidelines and operator Arizona Public Service shut down the two operating reactors immediately until a fix is put in place. The third reactor in the complex 50 miles west of Phoenix was already down for maintenance and refueling.

Why Now? It is very odd that ASP completely shut down Palo Verde:
• Is it in response to an undisclosed terror threat?
• Did APS shutdown the nuclear plant to push a rate hike agenda?
• Is it another facet of the "energy cabal" to stick it to Joe consumer?

APS seeks rate hike to offset cost of Palo Verde outages
In July, APS asked the corporation commission to approve a fuel-cost "adjuster" that would hike the typical residential bill 2.1 percent and raise $100 million to offset rising energy costs

SRP board approves rate hike
Rates for business customers will increase 1.9 percent, and the combination of residential and business rates increase will create an average price increase of 2.9 percent.

Considering the shortage of national natgas supplies and the US Southwest must subsidize its electricity production with gas powered turbines, it's an economical disaster in the making. New Nuclear industry regulations put into effect by the Patriot Act/Bush administration and backed by the oil lobby, is essentially shooting the feet of the nuclear industry.

If they announce that the plant has to be retooled to do as designed, then it could be offline for years. Since the Southwest is a market corridor to the entire US, these energy problems will effect prices nationwide, especially in food commodities and technology.

More nuclear plant shut downs to come:

The fact the potential problem took so long to be discovered should prompt the NRC to look at other plants and procedures, said David Lochbaum, a nuclear safety engineer for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nuclear watchdog group.

[edit on 13-10-2005 by Regenmacher]

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 08:15 PM
How very Enronesque.

What's Kennyboy doing these days? Selling more power by any chance, or his fanclub in for a killing too?

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 08:45 PM
Enron meltdown redux is coming around the corner and this time it can happen to the entire energy sector.

Inflation Report Tomorrow (CPI), Retail Sales Sept, Industrial Production Sept, Business Inventories Aug. and Treasury Budget Sept(TBA). Dow Jones index may fall beneath the 10,000 level soon, which will make a bold statement of "get me the hell out of this market!"

WSJ Utilities Might Face Ugly Reality
Sector Has Gleamed Recently, but Worries About Energy Prices and Interest Rates Spur Concern
In the past several trading sessions, however, the sector has slipped amid worries that inflation and interest rates are headed up, that the economy will slow and that energy prices have peaked. That skittishness after such a long run-up reflects marketwide concern over the same issues. Major stock indexes suffered one of the year's worst weeks, and the price of crude oil fell sharply.

Crony Capitalism at our Nuclear Facilities
What could be worse than our nation's hurricaine response being left in the hands of incompetent Bush cronies?How about the safety of our nuclear plants handed over to an incompetent GOP corporate crony, a company which has repeatedly botched security drills and lied about it to cover up its incompetence.

Watch what big nuke plant shutdowns do to the won't be pretty.

[edit on 13-10-2005 by Regenmacher]

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 04:53 AM

I interpreted the NRC notification the same as you. This shutdown isn't about something that's changed or a newly installed system by what that reads. This is due to something being broke for about 2 decades! And it really can't come at a worse time. We've got 4 billion scf/day (standard cubit feet per day) of natural gas shut in on wells in the Gulf Coast and predictions those wells won't be back online before the end of this year. And the sad part of that is, they are now contemplating allowing the well owners to flare the natural gas because the pressures will start building up in the well since they can't transport it from the wellhead. And our natural gas reserves were already low, so if we have the terribly cold winter they are predicting for the northeast, we're in deep doo doo.

Texas utility company TXU is predicting a 60 to 90% rate increase over last year on natural gas. I'm worried about low-income families with children and I'm worried about the elderly who have nothing but their social security. I'm afraid these people are now going to be faced with a decision between minimal heating and food or medicine.

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 07:12 AM

Originally posted by Regenmacher

Why Now? It is very odd that ASP completely shut down Palo Verde:
Is it in response to an undisclosed terror threat?
• Did APS shutdown the nuclear plant to push a rate hike agenda?
• Is it another facet of the "energy cabal" to stick it to Joe consumer?

SRP board approves rate hike


IF, all this is a response to a terror threat...ya'll might keep an eye for news
about the other SRP,

a terrorists confusion over
SRP=Salt River Project.............Arizona
SRP=Savannah River Project...S.Carolina

The Savannah River site is:
....'a 310 sq mile site, home to the Defense Waste Processing Facility,
the largest high-level radioactive-liquid stabilization plant in the world.
The sites 9,000 employeees are engaged in environmental
remediation and maintenance of the nation's nuclear stockpile.'
snip from;

Of course, if there is no news about suspicious activities at the other
sensitive SRP site (in SC)
then it would make sense that its all about the $$$$ and getting the higher-priced natural gas turbines to replace the
Palo Verde nuclear plant electricity...the SRP (in AZ) service area.

either way, there's a 'puppet master' pulling the strings

posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 09:55 PM
Power emergencies have started in the Southwest.


Palo Verde shutdown adds to tight supplies in California

LOS ANGELES California power officials called a Stage 1 power emergency for the southern part of the state this afternoon after higher than normal temperatures led to tight electricity supplies.

Part of that power shortage is due to the shutdown of the big Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix. That plant normally would provide more than 600 megawatts of power to Southern California Edison Company - enough for more than 600-thousand homes.

California ISO

posted on Oct, 15 2005 @ 09:33 AM
Guess Homer would be proud, eh?

If this is an issue of safety in the containment building, according to Wikipedia and a guy I know who worked on the construction of Watts Bar in the 90's...

Containment Building

A containment building, in its most common usage, is a steel or concrete structure enclosing a nuclear reactor. It is designed to, in any emergency, contain the escape of radiation despite pressures in the range of 60 to 200 psi. The containment is the final barrier to radioactive release, the first being the fuel ceramic itself, the second being the metal fuel cladding tubes, the third being the reactor vessel and coolant system.

In the event of a worst-case emergency (called a "design basis accident" in NRC regulations) the containment is designed to seal off and contain a meltdown. (Redundant systems are installed to prevent a meltdown, but as a matter of policy, one is assumed to occur and thus the requirement for a containment building.)

Yet, if there is a true discrepancy that is causing this outage, why hasn't it been discovered previously? Is now, before it's too late, as good a time as any?

The NRC has some questions to answer to the public, imho.

The latest re-appointee, coincidentally two days ago, seems to be non-political (he served the previous administration also). Along with a master degrees in physics and public policy his experience in arms-control, international policy, and congress makes an impressive dossier:


Prior to his appointment to the Commission, from February 1983 to August 1996, he served as a legislative assistant, then legislative director, and finally senior policy advisor to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). McGaffigan supported the Senator's work on defense policy, technology policy, personnel and acquisition reform, and nonproliferation and export control policy.

McGaffigan was a member of the Foreign Service from May 1976 to February 1983. From 1981 to1983 he served as a senior policy analyst and then assistant director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he oversaw international scientific cooperation and export control matters. During much of this time, he held a dual appointment on the staff of the National Security Council.

Previously, Mr. McGaffigan carried out various assignments within the State Department dealing with U.S.-Soviet relations and politico-military issues. He was stationed as a science attache in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from July 1978 to April 1980, where he reported on Soviet energy and atomic energy developments and managed bilateral science cooperation in those and other areas.

"...arms-control, international policy, and congress"

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 08:10 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:19 AM
This is very interesting indeed, Something else you may want to keep in mind is there is a large concerning sunspot coming to the be in direct direction of the
This could be a possibility also.
A power supplier of that size and value to the nation would not want to risk any damage.
I happen to work in this industry and know there is concern for the potential by major utilities and providers

[edit on 12-7-2010 by Lil Drummerboy]

[edit on 12-7-2010 by Lil Drummerboy]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:23 AM
I predict that others will follow. Down south I predict they will shut down due to possible clogging from the oil gusher. Why would I predict this? Because I see it in the symbolism from the Google subliminal of July 4th.

(see thread for more detail)

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:27 AM
So they have bribed somebody to shut down the reactors in the summer. Not good I hope the customers sue when their bills go through the roof. This breaks many laws enacted since the enron mess.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:30 AM
is it still down five years latter because original post was in 2005

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:05 AM
reply to post by proteus33
HA ha ,.. duh,.. Didn't even see that...nice point
Wow somebody slap me...

[edit on 12-7-2010 by Lil Drummerboy]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:10 AM
Nobody else has mentioned anything about this, so I'll be the first:

Could this be related to the drug wars going on in AZ? I mean, could they shut down the power around the border form this? If so, this would be the perfect opportunity for the whole drug cartel to move its' operation onto US soil......

Just saying this can't be related to a safety inspection on a plant that has been operating fine for over 20 years....

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:22 AM
reply to post by proteus33

During a March 24, 2009 public meeting, the NRC announced that it cleared the Confirmatory Action Letter (CAL) and has returned Palo Verde to Column 1 on the NRC Action Matrix. The commission's letter stated that "The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has determined that the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has made sufficient performance improvement that it can reduce its level of inspection oversight." “Performance at Palo Verde has improved substantially and we are adjusting our oversight accordingly,” said Elmo E. Collins, NRC’s Region IV Administrator. “But we will closely monitor the plant. We are reducing our oversight, but not our vigilance.”

It's operational and functioning.

This is old news folks.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:32 AM
Palo Verde is and has been back online for years now.
Perhaps we should cut off the feed to California, since a Southern California Politician has called for his constituents to boycott anything and everything from Arizona in response to Arizona's new illegal immigration law.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:59 AM

[edit on 12-7-2010 by mryanbrown]

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