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North Anna reactor leak causes partial shutdown

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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:03 PM

North Anna reactor leak causes partial shutdown

Tuesday - 1/3/2012, 11:53am ET Hank Silverberg,

WASHINGTON -- A leak that forced the North Anna nuclear power plant in Central Virginia to temporarily shut down has been fixed.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulator Commission says a steam line, which leads to a valve that leads to a reactor turbine, sprung a leak Monday. The plant operated at about 4 percent capacity while repairs were made and started powering back up early Tuesday.

The NRC spokesman says there was no radiation leak.
(visit the link for the full news article)

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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:03 PM
The genie has been out of the bottle for quite some time. Those who are suppose to jave our safety in primary focus have been bought and paid for many time ver by the industry they are supposed to be regulating.

There is ni real plan todeal woth the waste byproducts which are dangerous for time periods longer thas acknolwedged human history.

The number of plants in dangerous locations is unbelievably ridiculous, my teenagers are smart enough to know youn don't build something as dangerous as a nuclear reactor in an area of known seismicity.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:21 PM
The News and Advance is the news paper I get if that gives you and idea to where I am, but the day the earthquake happened my thoughts went to the North Anna plant immediately.

I have suspected they've been having problems for years now. Melt down would be immediate if another quake were to happen. Scares me to death really, but what can we do? S&F I always like to keep an eye on that place.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:37 PM
Misleading headline because the reactor itself did not leak. A steam line leaked steam so it was repaired. Steam lines run to and from the turbines from the steam generators.

I have suspected they've been having problems for years now.

From 2000 to 2010 unit one had an average load factor of 92% and unit two had an average load factor of 88%. Apart from the earthquake last year it doesn't exactly look like they have been having difficulties.
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posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:46 PM
reply to post by lilowl53

Scares me to death really, but what can we do?

Be aware and stay prepared. Continue keeping an eye on it and have a plan which includes an evacuation route, be aware of prevailing winds throughout the region, arrange a rendouz point with friends and family ahead of time. That's all anyone can do in these times.

Become involved in public hearings, do your own research, ask lots of questions, find other impassioned individuals who are also feeling the same way (what can we do?) sned emails to public officials and related interest groups. There actually is a lot you can do, and if the zombies ever come, hope you've got some ATSers nearby because you know we're going to be some of the long-term survivors.

I've got this thing just down the coast from me

Cracking at South Texas Nuclear Station Jolts Entire Industry

On April 12, 2003 with one of the two units at South Texas Project nuclear power station near Bay City, Texas shut down for routine refueling, an inspection of the bottom of a major safety component, the reactor pressure vessel, found cracking in two bottom-mounted instrumentation penetration nozzles.

The unanticipated cracking was discovered after small crystalline deposits of leaking reactor coolant were visually discovered around the penetration nozzles.

[color=Chartreuse]The “first-of-a-kind” cracking at South Texas is another in a series of mounting surprises that plague an aging nuclear power industry and its federal regulator.

In fact, the cracking in a relatively young South Texas reactor may indicate that the industry and its regulator are falling behind an event-driven curve of unanticipated and significant safety problems that are emerging faster than can be recognized and effectively managed.

And we have hurricanes, so trust me. I can relate...

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 08:59 PM
And in the mean time coal fired power plants "leak" millions of tons of pollution, including thousands of poisons and carcinogens...and no-one gives a damn.
But 1 minuscule leak of steam on a nuclear plant and it's hte end of hte world!

total death toll from Fukushima leakage so far: 0

Coal mine deaths in the USA alone: 47 deaths in 2006, 34 in 2007, and 30 deaths in 2008.....

Premature deaths due coal pollution in USA: perhaps 24,000 per year

And you think nuclear is a problem??!!


edit on 4-1-2012 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 09:04 PM
reply to post by C0bzz

I can see your point about the headline, the fact remains, however, that the possibilty of a similar loss of cooling accident could lead to a substantial release.

Looking at the history of how Fukushima has been handled and reported, I am not filled with much confidence in he NRCor any of the other agencies which we are supposed to be able to rely on.

According to local Virginia media station, WHSV, "The two North Anna reactors are among 27 in the eastern and central U.S. that may need upgrades because those plants are more likely to get hit with an earthquake larger than the one on which their design was based, according to a preliminary Nuclear Regulatory Commission review." The Nuclear Regulatory Commission extended the operating licenses of these plants for an additional 20 years back in 2003. Dominion has publicly stated that on-site, spent-nuclear-fuel long-term storage canistersshifted during the earthquake along with various building cracks, all while maintaining such damage does not representunsafe operatingconditions.As of December 20, 2011, both units at North Anna Power Station have restarted, and are operating at full power.

Also considering embrittlement of the various reactor components (see story linked on my previous post), I think 20 year extension on licensing is a bit too long.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 09:17 PM
)reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul

Yeah, I do think nuclear is a problem.

Not the only problem by far, but it is one that shoudn't be swept aside.

Coal does release a tremendous amount of poisons in to the atmosphere (some of which is radiaoactive and I know you are aware of this) and can be linked to quite a bit of environmental damage and human suffering.

Natural gas extraction (specifically fracking) is also not being pursued in a fashion which is beneficial to anyone other than those at the top and is similarly situated as nuclear and probably coal in that industry players are the ones paying the regulators and politicians to look the other way while the earth is exploited down to the very last molecule.

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 09:35 PM
reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul

Gosh the great chemtrail debunker thinks coal extraction is EVIL but believes nuclear is SAFE...

Who would have thunk dat?

edit on 4-1-2012 by SpaceJockey1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 4 2012 @ 11:06 PM
reply to post by jadedANDcynical

Any complicated piece of machinery will have issues from time to time. In the nuclear industry those issues are usually identified and fixed before they become an issue - which they were in the case of STP. Obviously in other cases they are not.

Since I do not trust NIRS as they only quoted less than one cherry-picked line from the NRC, I decided to find what the NRC actually said on the issue:

On April 12, 2003, during a visual examination of the instrument penetrations located at the reactor vessel lower head at South Texas Project Unit 1(STP-1), a small amount of white residue was discovered around the circumference of two instrument penetrations. Susbsequent analysis of this residue revealed the presence of boron and lithium, indicating that this residue had originated from the reactor coolant system. The licensee repaired the instrument penetrations and committed to implementing monitoring programs at STP-1. After reviewing the licensee’s activities, the NRC staff concluded that the licensee had taken all actions necessary to ensure a safe restart and operation of STP-1. The licensee has restarted STP-1.

The small amount of leakage from the cracks discovered at STP Unit 1 did not represent an immediate safety problem due to the size and orientation of the cracks. In addition, safety systems included in plant designs and required to be available during plant operation would be able to mitigate the effects of more significant leaks, including a gross rupture of an RPV lower head penetration. Although unlikely, a significant leak from an RPV lower head penetration could introduce operational and safety concerns since it would require operation of safety systems for an extended period and complicate longer term efforts to stabilize the plant. To maintain the overall defense-in-depth philosophy incorporated into the design and operation of nuclear power plants, licensees should take appropriate actions to ensure the integrity of the RPV lower head penetrations bulletin.pdf

In 2006, the following NUREG was developed which includes the responses from the licensees to the NRC Bulletin 2003-02. NUREG-1863, “Review Responses to NRC Bulletin 2003-02-Leakage from Reactor Pressure Vessel Lower Head Penetrations and Reactor Coolant Pressure Boundary Integrity.”

So a problem was identified before it became a big issue, was repaired, and better inspection practices are now in place to make sure it doesn't happen again. I don't see a problem with this. So it wasn't a "significant safety problem" nor did it "jolt" the industry. STP is only 24 years old, 15 years old at the time of the incident, so it is hardly aging either.

Speaking of STP they have had some pretty impressive performance as of late - from 2000 to 2010 unit one had an average load factor of 91% and unit two 91%. Which have actually gotten better over time as the nuclear plant ages, experience is gained, and the operators get better at running them. From 2007 to 2010 unit one had an average load factor of 96% and unit two 95%.

STP is unique in its design of the safety systems for the reactors. Each unit has three, rather than the customary two, fully independent emergency core-cooling systems (ECCS) and associated support systems.

STP also has achieved the lowest production cost (1.356 cents per kilowatt-hour) and the lowest fuel cost (0.399 cents per kilowatt-hour) among U.S. nuclear power plants. Since uranium costs less than coal, natural gas and oil, STP has achieved the lowest fuel cost of all power plants in the country.

STP has received more awards and honors than any nuclear power plants in the United States. In 2010, STP was the first nuclear facility to be named to the EHS list of America's Safest Companies. The plant is the only repeat winner of the industry’s highest commendation, the B. Ralph Sylvia Best of The Best Award, which STP has won three times. The company also has garnered seven annual Top Industry Practice awards. In addition, STP has received a Project of the Year Award for Best Nuclear Project worldwide, and has twice won the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Utility Achievement Award.

STP is probably one of the best run and safest nuclear plants in the country. I get the impression you simply post anything you find that's anti-nuclear without understanding the context. If you want to focus on something focus on bigger issues, like loss of off-site power and BWR mk-1 containment vessels.
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edit on 4/1/12 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 5 2012 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by C0bzz

Thank you for that.

I mean that.

I do tend to leap before I look more often than is good for me, so I must concede you the point. I also pride myself on being able to admit when I am wrong, and this seems to be one of those cases. Beleive it or not, I have learned a lot from your posts and links throughout many threads.

Nuclear has it's dangers, and it's benefits. I'm a very long way from thinking that the positives outweigh the negatives.

In the end, we are (I hope) all here to learn from one another and to deny ignorance in the process, thank you for helping me to do the former and latter simultaneously.


If you want to focus on something focus on bigger issues, like loss of off-site power and BWR mk-1 containment vessels.

You are entirely correct in this, and if you note in this segment of my reply to you here you will see that loss of offsite power could result in a loes of cooling accident. Especially if this were to occur in a MkI reactor.

I can see your point about the headline, the fact remains, however, that the possibilty of a similar loss of cooling accident could lead to a substantial release.

I've got many thingsd on my mind at present, so some of my critical thinking has suffered. Again, thank you for rationally presenting your points and not demeaning me in the process; those types of arguments are always much more persuasive. This is a valuale lesson for everyone, me especially due to something I've got going on atthe moment in my life.
edit on 5-1-2012 by jadedANDcynical because: more to say

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