Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#1 Nov 8, 2013
"Asked if there was any chance that the NRC would move to close Pilgrim, Macfarlane said that the agency has closed down other nuclear plants for poor performance and likened Pilgrim to Fort Calhoun nuclear station in Nebraska – shut down by the federal agency two years ago."
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#2 Nov 8, 2013
Is this the model we are going to see all over the industry? A utility will try to support their stock price with whatever it takes in a deflating electric price and load market. They will descend into a deepening credibility and operability problems. The utility will wreck the good image of a nuclear plant in the minds of the public. Then if lucky, the plant will permanently shut down.

What if the nuclear utility repeats this over and over again wrecking the collective image of the nuclear industry...
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#3 Nov 8, 2013
Basically for many years the NRC allowed Fort Calhoun to operate in a very nonprofessional mode and allowed them to operate outside the rules. The flood of a century stood outside their plant and almost surrounding them...then NRC then called them on their illegal and poor perpetration for a maximum flood. During the flood the NRC asked them to remain shut down. They had recently grossly installed new large safety related breakers...where a breaker exploded exposing how poorly engineered the installation was. Of course, they were questions why didn’t the NRC catch it, any idiot could see the breakers were mismatched.

You get it, we see this over and over again...the NRC allows a plant to dig a hole so deep for themselves and it involved the NRC allowing a plant to be out of regulation compliance for many many years. An inconceivable incident shows up uncovering horrendous safety problems.The NRC didn't catch it other than the incident outed it to the outsiders.

So then the plant has to spend two or three years fixing the hole the NRC dug from them...

All this expense to the ratepayers is basically the fault of the NRC...
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#4 Nov 8, 2013
There has to independent eyes watching over the alcoholic punch bowl. You have to yank the punch bowl away from a group before they get hog wild.

I think that is the human condition in all of us. We have to have independent eyes over all of us before we go crazy and especially if acting in groups or clans.

This the the nature of why we invented government...
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#5 Nov 9, 2013
Mike Mulligan wrote:
Basically for many years the NRC allowed Fort Calhoun to operate in a very nonprofessional mode and allowed them to operate outside the rules. The flood of a century stood outside their plant and almost surrounding them...then NRC then called them on their illegal and poor perpetration for a maximum flood. During the flood the NRC asked them to remain shut down. They had recently grossly installed new large safety related breakers...where a breaker exploded exposing how poorly engineered the installation was. Of course, they were questions why didn’t the NRC catch it, any idiot could see the breakers were mismatched.
You get it, we see this over and over again...the NRC allows a plant to dig a hole so deep for themselves and it involved the NRC allowing a plant to be out of regulation compliance for many many years. An inconceivable incident shows up uncovering horrendous safety problems.The NRC didn't catch it other than the incident outed it to the outsiders.
So then the plant has to spend two or three years fixing the hole the NRC dug from them...
All this expense to the ratepayers is basically the fault of the NRC...
Basically for many years the NRC allowed Fort Calhoun to operate in a very nonprofessional mode and allowed them to operate outside the rules. The flood of a century stood outside their plant and almost surrounding them...the NRC then called them on their illegal and poor preparation for a maximum flood which was known by the agency for years. During the flood the NRC asked them to remain shut down. They had recently grossly installed new large safety related breakers...where a breaker exploded exposing how poorly engineered the installation was. Of course, they were questions why didn’t the NRC catch it, any idiot could see the breakers were mismatched.

You get it, we see this over and over again...the NRC allows a plant to dig a hole so deep for themselves and it involved the NRC allowing a plant to be out of regulation compliance for many many years. An inconceivable incident shows up uncovering horrendous safety problems. The NRC didn't catch it other than the incident outed it to the outsiders.

So then the plant has to spend two or three years fixing the hole the NRC dug from them...

All this expense to the ratepayers is basically the fault of the NRC...
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#6 Nov 9, 2013
It is the same problem with San Onfre which then became a two plant dead ender...
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#7 Nov 9, 2013
Right, the nuclear industry rules are now made to limit the behavior and activities of the NRC inspectors(by congress) instead of protecting the bad plant outliners damaging the whole industry.

Right, government serves corporate interest instead of government serving the greater good.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#8 Nov 9, 2013
NRC boss: Pilgrim headed for trouble
PLYMOUTH — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's top official toured the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station on Friday and later told reporters the 41-year-old plant, plagued by mechanical problems, is headed for trouble with federal regulators unless it improves its performance.
When asked whether the NRC would ever close Pilgrim, Allison Macfarlane said the agency has the authority to shutter any plant for as long as it takes for the operation to turn around and run safely.
"We did that with Fort Calhoun in Nebraska, and it's been closed for two years," the commission chairman said. "Pilgrim is not in the worst shape yet, but it's headed that way, and we want to make sure they don't get there."
Macfarlane's visit was routine, but it came at the end of a tough week for Pilgrim.
On Monday, the NRC announced a performance rating drop for the Plymouth plant based on shutdowns with complications over the last several months. The downgrade placed Pilgrim among 22 reactors nationwide that will be more closely watched by federal regulators. Currently it leads the nation's 100 reactors in shutdowns this year.
Entergy Corp., Pilgrim's owner-operator, was informed by the NRC on Wednesday that the plant's standing is expected to fall even further at the close of the year's fourth quarter, based on its high number of unplanned shutdowns in general.
That further downgrade will place the Plymouth plant among the nation's eight worst performers.
Plant officials are aware of their situation, and we'll see if they can step up and address the issues," the Macfarlane said. "The proof will be in the pudding. If they continue to have problems, we will continue to increase oversight."
Macfarlane said the plant will be inspected more frequently based on its degraded status. Plant officials must also provide federal regulators with a plan for addressing the root cause of all its problems.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#9 Nov 9, 2013
"They would also have to address equipment reliability problems," said William Dean, administrator for the NRC's Region I office in Pennsylvania. He accompanied Macfarlane on her tour.
Asked if the NRC gets involved with plant staffing, in light of eight layoffs announced this week, Macfarlane said the agency's only concern is that the plant remains adequately staffed to provide safety and security.
Following the session, Entergy spokesman James Sinclair expressed confidence that Pilgrim will show improvement.
"We're very comfortable," Sinclair said.
"We know where we are and have programs in place to turn things around."
Macfarlane also touched on storage of spent fuel rods, a subject of great concern to residents and officials in Plymouth and on the Cape.
Currently Pilgrim's spent fuel pool, located on the top of a building and containing more than 3,200 spent rods, is at capacity. Entergy has begun to construct casks to store some of the rods, but the number in the pools is not expected to drop below 3,000.
Based on an NRC task force report on lessons learned from the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in Japan, the agency is considering "expedited transfer of the rods from pools to casks," Macfarlane said.
While the NRC maintains pools are as safe as casks, other scientific experts have challenged that position.
Macfarlane also met with local and state officials Friday. State Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, said the NRC's top official acknowledged their concerns about reliability and maintenance issues at the aging plant, storage of radioactive fuel rods and lack of proper evacuation plans.
"My hope is they look at safety and security issues and respond to the concerns that officials and the public are having," Wolf said.
David Agnew, a Harwich resident and co-founder of the Cape Downwinders, said Macfarlane listened, but he and members of other anti-nuclear citizens groups did most of the talking during their session with the commissioner.
"I think it was information gathering," Agnew said. "We feel it was useful. The chairman seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say."
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#10 Nov 9, 2013
This is way different behavior of the NRC. They normally allowed this to get much worst.

There has been many indication of quickening decline of the plant for years…all the professionals know this plant has a bad trajectory for many years…plus the history of Entergy.

It this a drastic recent decline or something else going on.

How about it is the NRC’s sensitivity of the new senator Markey?
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#11 Nov 9, 2013
Right, there has beem a tremindus shift in power...

The state's two U.S. senators recently stepped into the nuclear safety debate, writing a letter to Entergy Corp. to urge the owner-operator of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station to expand the emergency planning zone and develop a realistic evacuation plan should the plant have a radioactive release.

Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both Democrats, said those estimates are based on "highly unrealistic" assumptions.
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#12 Nov 9, 2013
Right the teabager nuclear republicans, they had issues with the way the agency was going. They fought like hell over this. The republican pro nuclear extremist commissioners coalesced around Jascko is the enemy and he is intimating everyone. They had a assortment of senate hearings over this and they make the NRC’s IG write up a controversial report. That is how we got the new chairman.

Have you ever seen the democrats pick an safety issue and go crazy over it…drum up all sorts of media stories about un safety and senate hearing out the ying yang…
Mike Mulligan

Brattleboro, VT

#13 Nov 9, 2013
It is interesting the NE pro nuclear safety advocates have been talking about what should be our role in the Dresden nuclear plant SRO problem.
Is the NRC chairman throwing the Pilgrim plant under the bus in order to draw our attention away from Dresden?

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