NRC Meeting On GE BWR Reactors – Live Blog Transcript






Below is the live blog transcript from the Oct. 7th NRC meeting. Comments and feedback from various members is included.

by lillymunster – 4:06 PM – Fr 07 Okt 2011
NRC meeting – live blogging

– 4:05 PM
Im currently trying to load the NRC meeting

NRC reading through the petition and the list of names of the groups intervening

There will be no time to speak at the meeting, 2 hour meeting. Some sort of feedback will be allowed via email til Oct. 14th.

I missed the guys email address for feedback if anyone was able to catch it please let us know. They really should have someone easier to understand conduct the meeting. Lingham mumbles


– 4:09 PM
NRC staff introducing themselves

Paul Gunter, Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear, Bridenbaugh – individual, Gundersen – Fairwinds Assoc, Deb Katz, Zeller – blueridge defense, Kehler – safe and green campaign, Mariotte – nuclear info service, Paul – exec GA womens action, Are in attendence

Robert Nelson NRC running the meeting – talking of process

Doing more introductions of various NRC technical and region staff on the meeting.

Today’s meeting will determine to accept or reject the petition. The petition asks to revoke all GE BWR reactor licenses. NRC says the power plant owners will not be part of this review process. Beyond Nuclear et al are the petitioners

8000 people signed on as co-petitioners of Beyond Nuclear’s petition.
Fundamentally flawed pressure suppression containment concerns. NRC rejects this due to NRC reactor changes

Spent fuel pools above reactors without emergency cooling systems or containment.

These are the petition complaints. Spent fuel is reviewing this issue

mark 1 units by 1979 were found vulnerable to early failure in accidents due to pressure containment issues. 90% chance of failure in severe accident NRC rejects this issue claims regulations fixed this

4 – same design in Japan didn’t contain releases in an accident in Mark 1 units. PRB is accepting this issue for review

5 – long term containment integrity, fixxed by wet well vent stack per NRC. Failure of containment even with venting says it is inadequite as a fix NRC accepted this for review

Petition asks for all BRW GE Mark 1 be suspended.

NRC is rejecting this request for enforcement to suspend reactors for review

Public meeting in emergency zones around reactors to get public and expert feedback. NRC rejected this

revoke approval of vent systems at mark 1 reactors – NRC accpeted for review of the vent systems but rejects suspension of these units

action orders to install dc battery systems for spent fuel pools NRC accepts for review

accidental or intention airline crash into spent fuel pools – NRC refueses to review this potential accident

Reactors on flood plains – NRC accepts for review

critical failure modes of fuel pools and floor slabs – NRC rejects review, claims other NRC actions handles this

NRC refused to take immediate action on the petition in April 2011 for anyone wishing to watch the video broadcast

Paul Gunter – Beyond Nuclear to take the floor: panel of experts, activists and community leaders.appeal comes after fukushima disaster – asks to suspend these antiquated power plants and asks for due process for the people in US

these reactors are identical to GE units in Fukushima

Speaking on the partial accept-reject by NRC. Containment failures with vent system shows inadequate safety and containment. The gross failure of pressure suppression is key to the petition. Mark 1 ccontainment failure not just prolonged station blackout. But the poor system that can fail in many situations

Containment is represented to people as last line of defense to public

NRC requires containment to be leak tight in licensing contract

– 4:29 PM
The contract made with the public. The mark 1,shows to be patently false

Since 1972 we know mark 1 is prone to failure in accident conditions. By 1989 the venting system was put to save containment from failure. Fuku showed the mark 1 containment is false and breach of contract. Extent of failure as seen in NRC as statement highly rad fuel fragments around fuku site 1.5+ miles ejected from the reactor core. Containment failure confirmed that extensive cesium 307by/kg locations 35 miles from FUKU. Exceeds JP safety standards and show need for larger population evacuation plans.

Revoke hardened torus vent systems at all mark 1 units. NRC accepte for review. Petitioner wants revoked. Any modification to mark 1 units should be brought to public meeting and due process. Cites laws that show public can have hearing on such

Gunter done.

Kamps Beyon Nuclear now speaking: Power systems to be installed on spent fuel pool and dc battery systems installed. NRC is agreeable. No mention about make up water issue. Why instrumentation not in NRC ideas. Wants instrumentation – water level, temp, radiation monitoring

called for hardened onsite storage for fuel. includes emptying pools to original low density storage. into dry cask storage in fortified storage. emptying pools could take any 5+ year old fuel to casks.

I wish they would add the vulnerability to reactor safety systems from support or auzilliary systems not built to same rigorous seismic standards
by dean

oyster creek reactor – 700 tons of waste fuel – pool at capacity in re-racked high capacity 125 million curies cesium 137. Up to 100% could be released in a pool fire.
Millstone 1 reactor shut down still has all spent fuel on site in pools. None in dry casks.
Fermi 2 – well over 500 tons of fuel in pool 90 million curies of cesium 137. Pool 4 hours for that pool to boil if loss of water circulation

Dry cask not installed at Fermi even with permit – missing welds at facility – can’t support the casks and crane to remove fuel

Vermnt Yankee reactor – 625 tons of fuel – most in pool 100million curies of cesium 137. Dropped a cask onto refueling floor – seismic risk.
Pilgrim reactor 70 mill curies of cesium in fuel pool – none in dry cask storage

Fuku units 1-4 – fuel pools are less than many of the US fuel pools.

TEPCO states recently fuel pools – Aug 10th cycling cooling equipment operated – 5 months later. 3 months unit 2 – 3 months at unit 3. August before unit 4 was being handled

Talking about allt he extreme methods to attempt to cool these pools with helicopter drops, water cannons, fire trucks.

citing book on spent fuel risk. Many mark 1 reactors – series of incidents with fuel pools showing risks are high in US.

Shortened terms: FUKU – fukushima SFP – spent fuel pool

Bridenbaugh now speaking on phone: indivdual not repreting any group. 40 years exp in nuke industry

has also worked with GE. 1st BWR reactors in containment vessels – Dresden 1 – 200mw plant. 190 foot sphere volume 3.6 million cubic feet. Newer plants similar. Dry containment became a problem due to cost. Mark 1 system developed – containment size made smaller by factor of 10 – cheaper but maintenance and inspection and safety suffer.

1975 nrc – said mark 1 owners – containments should be leak tight to accidents in design basis. GE was involved in investigation. 16 mark 1 units asked ge for help. GE said – program to test for the contaiment problem. He was the manager of this project.

program was to develop definition of design basis accident loads and create modification. Issues with determining loads. Ended up of defending the reactors as low probability of events. Some fixes to overcome design deficiencies. 12-15 years reactors were out of compliance and uncertain safety. He resigned in 1976 out of frustration. FUKU calls into question the fixes being adequate and for public safety. Vent modification was inadequate to prevent containment damage and hydrogen explosions

Some failures at Fuku may have been part of the reactors issues. US people at risk while these uncertainties exist. Investigation must happen soon. Certain limits for all mark 1 units to assure that unlimited operation not continue.

Gundersen – Fairwinds: concerns about mark 1 reactors. certain mark 1 reactor would be the likely accident to happen. Mark 1 too small when built (containment) – weaknesses in pressure suppression. Involved in design studies on mark 3 units. Mark 3 showed that torus would be destroyed in mark 1 in an accident

first fix for torus was large straps to hold torus down. 80’s hydrogen concerns added the vents to containment. Problematic design. Containment purpose – these vents are absurd as they violate containment and might not close. At fuku all vents failed. mark 1 has long flaws and fixes. Failed catastrphically at FUKU. How can NRC let them continue.

holes in bottom of reactor vessel allows fuel to leak out readily. Pre-prone to melt through. Containment inadequate to handle an accident. Oak Ridge lab showed this in studies. NRC has allowed mark 1 to increase their power level.

NRC ignoring issues with mark 1. NRC should go back and look at contianment over pressure issues. 3 reactors blew up at FUKU exposing fuel pools to air. Brookhaven labs showed fire in fuel pool could kill 187,000 people. Fuel pools are why NRC said largeer evacution of the people around FUKU – 50 mile US evacuation

No basis to allow mark 1 to operate. Wisdom of knowing when to modify and when to just stop

Katz: vulnerability of mark 1 has been raised many times before. What NRC told us could not happen was wrong based on FUKU. 2004 we petitioned NRC. vulnerability of fuel pools in accident and need to move fuel out of pools.

see @lilly.. all the indicators are being seen here that begs reorganization
by dean

2005 academy of sci. said the mark 1 was so vulnerable fuel should be moved. Worried the vulnerablility is a terrorism risk so much that plans of reactors should not be public

venting system failed at each FUKU for different reasons. couldn’t open, computer said it was open and wasn’t. cascading problems. NRC assured public this could never happen. What about people who live around mark 1 reactors and the NRC unwillingness to deal with this issue in timely manner. Problems with these reactors since 70’s. Slow motion catastrophy like ours in Japan scar the country forever. Act on behalf of the people – move the fuel out of the pools and shut these reactors. Allow the nuke industry to put us all at such risk

– 5:01 PM
Zeller – Blue Ridge: NRC should protect public health and safety. Browns Ferry – petition focuses on the unreliability of mark 1 containment system and lack of emergency power for fuel pools. mark 1 reacotrs should cease operation until actions taken. 1. nrc order TVA to evaluate pressure suppression venting. 2. nrc should issue TVA to inspect control rod blades. 3. nrc order TVA remove fuel storage from pool to casks. cites NRC rules about backfitting to assure adequate protection to public safety and security. Containment – mark 1 bad design. Correct flaw pressure suppresion was added to the design. Vent designs to vent to air. Safer dry containments were asked earlier – would make mark 1 unlicensable.

Time to evaluate containment venting to see if reactors should continue operating. Germany when faced with energy vs. safety said no to nuclear power. wrong to posit that no leaks are associated with mark 1 pressure suppression – is designed to do in an accident. all 3 at FUKU leaking significantly. Without pressure suppression band aids? TVA should be reviewed related to venting

control rod cracks – Browns ferry control rods have cracks. GE says control rods will fail sooner. ge says design life of rods is less than stated. 100% of blades inspected had cracks. More widspread and serious than previously known. Browns Ferry and 16 more mark 1 reactors. 83% of mark 1 have cracked blades. 30-40 units max life. Browns Ferry are that old.

Control rod mismanagement involved in accidents at Argonne Lab and Chernobyl. NRC should issue TVA to check blades rather than rely on notices. 1415 tons of fuel at Browns Ferry only protected by sheet metal building. Has tornado blow out panels. Tornadoes made browns ferry lose power this year. NRC said contianments were upgraded but that is not true.

NRC should order TVA to move to cask storage. TVA has a pile of issues at Browns Ferry and failures. Red significance violations, valve failures. NRC issued fire protection notices at Browns. NRC violation many problems in Torus integrity and not maintaining welds. NRC should protect public safety.

Kehler: lives near vermont yankee. Safe and green campaign member. Wants vermont yankee to close at end of 40 year life span. at risk population near Yankee, we want to urge NRC to immediately temporarily suspend mark 1 units in US. review all implications of US reactors vs. FUKU. Focus on failed venting and containment. Mitigation issue, NRC mission is climate of public confidence. Public confidence in NRC very low before FUKU. 2 weeks after FUKU, NRC approved Yankee 20 year renewal. Residents were shocked and lost any confidence in NRC. Urges NRC to hold public accountability hearings with FEMA and public and explain to people why their reactor has not been shut down. What the NRC will do to prove safety. Climate conditions, increase in nature issues. Yankee concerns due to floods and hurricanes in area recently. Intense rain in area saturated plant underground systems were not designed to be under water or wet.

Loss of power was major in FUKU. Loss of power at Yankee could happen for many reasons including bad underground cables. No remedial action has been suggested or inspected at Yankee by NRC. Unaccpetable to those in the area.

Mariottee – nuclear information and resourace service: Public doesn’t understand the NRC or why this petition isn’t being acted on. 95% of people know of FUKU. They saw reactors explode and release radiation across the world. 95% don’t know NRC knew 40 years ago this would happen to a mark 1. AEC was told mark 1 reactors were deficient and AEC ignored it. Banning them would end nuclear power back in 70’s. NRC relied on luck as fundamental protection for the public

1986 – NRC – what would happen to a mark 1 90% probability of containment failure in accident. NRC instead added venting systems. Releases some of the radiation and hope they dont explode. Band aid and didn’t help much.

At FUKU the luck ranout. No power to venting system. They exploded and failed releasing radiation. Instead NRC is now proposing slight improvement to venting. Compensation of failure of design deficiency. Band aid on band aid and crossing fingers for luck

PUblic doesn’t udnerstand why you don’t close them mark 1 is 4% of electricity supply. Nobody would notice if shut down. That would be prudent to protect public. Mark 1 older and paid for. Utiltiies get lots of profits for utilities and motivation for running them.

Fed up with this kind of thinking. Large corps get govt. agencies. Profits above public interest and safety. This is why people are occyping wall street. Fed up with large corps being placed above the people.

This is a matter of life and death. Our children. Existence of homes and communities. 80k lost homes in Japan. Health impacts already in Japan. We don’t want tht here. Nobody knows next challenge to a mark 1 will be.

We do know for 40 years wht will happen when that challenge comes. That reactor will fail – it will be on your hands NRC. Stop relying on dumb luck.

We would rather our govt. act on public for a change. Go back and reverse the denials of parts of petition, accept in total.

Paul: Director of womens action – Georgia – 4 plants in GA – public meetings i n 10 mile zones around reactors. Plant Hatch like FUKU. 2002 – 20 year extensions on Hatch. 10 mile zone people deserve to be heard at meetings. Why should we not have public meetings. Why should we have faith in mark 1

1 week ago Tritium was leaking at Hatch. 25 ft below ground. Leak large enough to raise water table in well 5 feet

Raised drinking water 200x limit for tritium. It is impossible to recapture. River in area is a source for water for GA seafood. Significant to the region. We want to know what is going on. Leaks were supposedly fixed in 2006 been happening since 70’s. Pleads NRC come to the community, we hold you and power company resposible for these reactors. Mark 1 have blown up and melted down how can NRC in faith explain. People deserve honest discusion. transparent process and know what is at stke

Germany felt 1 disaster would be 11 trillion dollars to their country. Plants in GA, they have lots of seismic. Tired of companies saying no threats of leaks and accidents. FUKU – we need to know this could happen here.

Concludes remarks from petitioners.

– 5:31 PM
Staff from NRC do you have questions? None. Any questions from regional areas. Region 2 , 3, 4 no questions. Licensees have any questions? none. Paul would like name of person from region 2, chris christensen.
Before we close asks reporter if needed info. Kamps has questions. Class E 1 ac & dc power back ups on pools. prevention of boiling. NRC called for make up water but supposed boiling is underway. This causes steam, water build up in buildings. Should prevent boiling in first place.

NRC – any questions on Kamps comments. HQ officer 30 people on phones. NRC does not wish to unmute the 30 people waiting on the phone. They will NOT be allowed to comment. Terminated phones. Ended video. WTF.


@lillymunster OMG such bullsh*t. The petitioners did a great job delineating the probs. NRC better respond
by M.I.A.

No option for public at the event to comment was offered, nobody on the phones was allowed to ask questions or speak.

This was a class 3 meeting; DEFINITION: his is an NRC Category 3 Public Meeting. Public participation is actively sought at this type of meeting, which has the widest participation opportunities and is specifically tailored for the public to comment and ask questions throughout the meeting.

I think this violated the category definition.

If anyone caught the email address mentioned at the beginning for feedback on the petition we really need to get that so people can respond not just to the petition but the way this meeting was handled. I think this deserves some screaming to the GAO.

I am outraged at the audacity of the NRC to close the meeting without addressing the issues raised. It’s a WTH moment for sure. Thank you for Blogging.
by TearsInHeaven99

@TearsInHeaven99 thanks! Please tell everyone you can what just happened. The NRC was in clear violation of their own rules.

– 5:42 PM
From NRC documents, category 3 meeting definition:
This is a Category 3 Meeting: The public is invited to participate in this
meeting by providing comments and asking questions throughout the
meeting. The NRC provides reasonable accommodations to individual’s
with\ disabilities where appropriate. If you need a reasonable
accommodation to participate in this meeting (e.g., sign language), or
need this meeting notice or other information from the meeting in another
format, please notify the NRC meeting contact

If anyone knows the proper channels to complain please let us know so people can try to do something about this.


@TearsInHeaven99, the were 30 minutes left for the meeting. He could have heard maybe a dozen people.
by Peter

The meeting was to go to Noon. They had time. This is the listing for the meeting calling it a category 3

Well, I dont see how this is good for the Industry. Don’t they WANT to appear Open and Transparent? lol! I’ve spread your blog to others. Amazing read in itself. Thanks again.
by TearsInHeaven99

So who do we complain to that the NRC is violating its own rules?

@lillymunster , the contact for the meeting is:
Siva Lingam, NRR
by Peter

@Peter thank you! I will calm down before I put a letter together. 🙂

Going to assemble an over view of the meeting and the end of meeting antics. Anyone have thoughts of anything specific I should make sure to include?

@lillymunster That only 4% of power comes from mark1, and only reason they get uprates and liscense extensions is because they are paid for cash cows.
by M.I.A.

@M.I.A. thanks. yes that is a shocking statistic that we are allowing this risk for basically NO public benefit.

One issue that the gentleman from the Appalachian Alliance did not mention is the proximity of the three reactors at Browns Ferry, that is the three are under one roof. After Fukushima this proximity screams for a reevaluation of risk. It is like rolling dice. You need on average six rolls to get a six. Rolling three dice, you need to roll ’em only twice!
by Peter

A basic flaw in the system: It costs big bucks to decomission old NPP, which utilities don’t want to pay, hence the re-liscensing. But you HAVE to do it eventually. Who pays for 23 decomissionings? Taxpayers?
by M.I.A.

@Peter You showed me the design plans for Browns Ferry. It is insanely dangerous.

– 6:06 PM
NRC Open Government Reps
White house open government initiative:

Here’s some great advice from a friend:

The NRC has Petitons for Enforcemen­t under Rule 2.206. I would advise people to petition the NRC for several reasons.

First, a written paper trail places the regulators in a bind. If there is a mishap, there were warned in writting in advance about the exact specifics.

Secondly, the NRC staff has an opportunit­y to systematic­ally review the contents of the Petition. Not all Petitions have merit.

Third, the Petitoner must organize his/her materials in a logical, coherent manner.

Fourth, expert witness statements and declaratio­ns may be submitted in support of the enforcemen­t action.
by TearsInHeaven99

@TearsInHeaven99 is the petition for enforcement related to not following their own rules or the process such as Beyond Nuclear used for their action as a blueprint for others?

Link to blog post about the meeting

I put out a bunch of tweets from my twitter account including to the NRC and Sen. Markey’s twitter accounts about the meeting.

If anyone caught the name of the guy who ended the meeting, I think it was Roberts? I am looking for his full name.

@lillymunster Link to NIRS statement viz NRC meet:
by M.I.A.


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