AP: 4 diesel generator failures hit US nuclear plants — Prevents meltdown during power outage, like Fukushima

Published: October 9th, 2011 at 3:51 pm ET


SOURCE: 4 generator failures hit US nuclear plants, AP, October 9, 2011:

Four generators that power emergency systems at nuclear plants have failed when needed since April, an unusual cluster that has attracted the attention of federal inspectors […]

[D]iesel generators serve the crucial function of supplying electricity to cooling systems that prevent a nuclear plant’s hot, radioactive fuel from overheating, melting […]

That worst-case scenario happened this year when the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan lost all backup power for its cooling systems […]

In the U.S., an average of roughly one diesel generator has failed when needed each year since 1997. […]

“We are concerned with the fact that diesels are having issues, and that could very well be the subject of future inspections” –Gerald McCoy, NRC branch chief overseeing federal inspectors at North Anna

Published: October 9th, 2011 at 3:51 pm ET


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37 comments to AP: 4 diesel generator failures hit US nuclear plants — Prevents meltdown during power outage, like Fukushima

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    They might BEGIN to check to see if their backup power works?
    I assume that means they never checked before!

  • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

    I have worked on backup power systems for 25 years, private, government, military. Once in a great while, during construction, a load bank will be brought in and the units tested “under load”. this is very expensive, and annoying. Even that sometimes gets “shined” aka forgotten, bypassed.

    After that, NO ONE EVER TESTS their backup system under real conditions, under real loads, and especially supplying the circuits they are meant to serve.

    GOT IT? It doesn’t happen. Real tests are rarely performed. And this doesn’t just apply to the nuclear industry, but with their secrecy and “self governance” while being publicly insured, you can bet the PNP (Pro Nuke Pimps) have a disdain for anything that raises their cost or calls into question their godlike status as they turn matter directly into energy.

    • Erin

      This is insane! I’m not really surprised, just feeling exceptionally cranky about the whole frickin’ mess this morning.

      Please folks … I just can’t believe only 40 people agree with the petition to end nuclear energy enough to sign it, so PLEASE help spread it around if you agree. It’s at: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/end-use-nuclear-energy-united-states/H0Pd79B1?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

      It says: “WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: End the use of nuclear energy in the United States.

      The best available science has taught us that radioactive substances are extremely hazardous to human health. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the ongoing crisis in Fukushima, as well as recent U.S. nuclear accidents can leave no doubt — nuclear energy is neither safe nor clean. Please end the use of nuclear energy, and use the funds currently invested in advancing nuclear power to support safer alternatives, such as wind and solar.”

      If you basically agree with the spirit of it, but you disagree with the wording I chose, then I beg of you to reword it, submit another petition, then tell us all about it here, so we can sign that one. Please just don’t let this opportunity to force a statement from the White House slip by!!!

      Anyone who’s had or has difficulty signing, please try first refreshing the page to see if that helps. Then make sure you check the box to allow the WH to send you e-mails. Finally …

  • patb2009

    i’ve worked some very large complex systems.

    Often as part of commissioning, the real gear will run on the real UPS/EDG, but then a couple of years go by, and all of a suddent, 300 amps of new load will be in place and the UPS will go from good for 2 hours to good for 10 minutes,

    Often the EDG won’t spool up.

  • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

    Four backup generators have failed WHEN NEEDED since April.

    WHEN NEEDED means that there must have been an emergency of some kind.

    Then there are all the emgergencies when the backup generators worked. Probably a larger number than four. So these things are really needed if we are to avoid a repetition of Fukushima.

    The article explains that there is no reason for concern, as most plants have more than one backup generator. The odds are very small that this could lead to a disaster like Fukushima.

    So, lets look at the odds.

    There are 104 operating reactors at 64 sites in the U.S. (plus some military and university reators).


    How many reactors had an emergency since April? I don’t know. If it was 100 it means that the odds are 4 to 100. The number is probably much lower. If it was only 20 it means that the odds are 4 to 20 that the backup system fails (in 6 months).

    The article states that the high number of backup system failures are a fluke and that normally only 1 failure is expected per year.

    Those are still very bad odds.

  • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

    This comment on “World Nuclear News” got my dander up
    THEY SAY–20 mSv in Japan
    This compares to a global average background dose rate of 2.4 millisieverts per year from natural sources to which all people are exposed with no apparent ill effects.

    Excuse me, but over 30% of us die from cancer, of course not all related to radiation, but to make a statement of “no ill effect”, well to me death seems like an ill effect.

    • Irritated Kalifornian


      Good evening, the website that you call a “PNP pro nuke website” is World Nuclear News which is exactly what I read, which, is nuclear news in the world. They are reporting news. Everyone is always complaining about under reporting, so…. here’s some news not only from Japan but the world! Then when you read these news stories you get angry because why? Does it bother you to read things you don’t agree with or what?

      Also what does “over 30% of us die from cancer” mean? Of the U.S.? The world? Hawaii?. What? Where did you get that statistic?

      Regards, IK

      • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

        Lies are what I don’t like, that makes me angry. They are pimps for the nuclear industry. Without the Nuke industry their livelihood would go away.

        Actually I researched it a bit more seems like 22% to 25% is a better “modern” statistic since medicine is getting better at making people with cancer live longer, so the rate of death per year is going down.

        Obviously, getting a cancer and living through the treatment mean your whole body and mind takes a shot…leaving you open to other bad diseases.



        • Irritated Kalifornian


          What makes you think they are lying when they write the news? Because it is nuclear?. Without the nuke industry they would probably just report other world news. Lies to promote certain view points also exist in the non MSM. I have read many on this site. It would seem if you want to be completely informed you would read all news & then make an educated decision. If that is possible. Besides the nuke industry is going to be around a while you might as well learn something about it.
          Regards IK

          • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

            Because they are lying about the 20mSv per year will not cause any illness.

            That is a bald faced lie.

            That is why I think they are lying, not for any other reason.

          • IK:

            The gloves come off? Or perhaps it is the mask that is disclosed?

            I’ve never seen such outright lies, deception, and omissions as found in the government and mainstream media coverage of the BP oil spill and now this mega-disaster Fukushima.

            I’m disgusted by your comments.

          • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

            I agree with you, Majia…the thing is the lies about nuclear fallout being harmless are harmful to people…on occasion alternative media has misinformation, but usually it isn’t harmful to one’s health.

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          Sure, after radiation you just have a reoccurance of cancer that is no longer “treatable” with chemo or radiation, or die of a heart attack soon after. Hardly a cure!

        • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

          “The decrease in cancer incidence and mortality reflects progress in cancer prevention, early detection…”

          Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2007, Featuring Tumors of the Brain and Other Nervous System

          “ Results
          “ Overall cancer incidence rates decreased by approximately 1% per year; the decrease was statistically significant (P < .05) in women, but not in men, because of a recent increase in prostate cancer incidence. The death rates continued to decrease for both sexes. Childhood cancer incidence rates continued to increase, whereas death rates continued to decrease. Lung cancer death rates decreased in women for the first time during 2003– 2007, more than a decade after decreasing in men. During 2004–2007, more than 213 500 primary brain and ONS tumors were diagnosed, and 35.8% were malignant. From 1987–2007, the incidence of neuroepithelial malignant brain and ONS tumors decreased by 0.4% per year in men and women combined. “Conclusions “The decrease in cancer incidence and mortality reflects progress in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment. However, major challenges remain, including increasing incidence rates and continued low survival for some cancers. Malignant and nonmalignant brain tumors demonstrate differing patterns of occurrence by sex, age, and race, and exhibit considerable biologic diversity. Inclusion of nonmalignant brain tumors in cancer registries provides…” http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2

      • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

        same on that cancer.org site….if you download the PPT which is good.

        A male has a 50% chance of contracting cancer in his life, a female has 33% chance.

        So more than 33% of us will get cancer.

        We know that radiation causes cancer, we know that nuke plants create radiation, sometimes alot of it.

        We know that humans can be greedy, can have denial, and that in tough economic times, shortcuts will be taken.

        We know that any man made machine, once it reaches 40 years old, should be put to pasture, think airplanes and nuke plants.

        We know that big money controls the media and the governments to a great extent.

        What more do you need to know to Just Say No Nukes

    • Siouxx Siouxx

      In France we have 1 in 2 men who have cancer, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 couples infertile due to cancer. These stats are known and oft quoted and the cause has been well researched and published by Prof. Dominique Belpomme leading cancer specialist, Clinical Oncology, University Paris-Descartes. He cites, nuclear, pesticides and transport (haulage particulates). The nuclear is back-ground radiation from our many reactors, abandoned uranium mines, military sites, labs etc.,. Look at the Nuclear map of France prior to Fukushima, you can already see the hotspots. It’s not just the Media and governments in denial either, look at the push pro-thorium – try dealing with a disaster with one of those babies. The fact is no human being is good enough to operate a nuclear plant ‘good’ in all its definitions. We make mistakes and then cover them up, in fact, as with finance, we don’t even need to dissemble anymore. Two choices; use less power as individuals and make or buy it local and renewable or don’t bother and go back to sleep.

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        No human is good enough to build a nuclear plant. No plant is safe enough to use. Radiation is vented in the air and in water daily or no one can even work in a nuclear plant. To choose any nuclear chain reaction is to choose death. And the radiation can’t be got rid of. It simply both accumulates physically and bio accumulates.

        The air and water are our most precious resources and with nuclear reactions we are squandering our most precious resources which we will never be able to reclaim. For a technology and for energy which is exorbitantly expensive. For a technology and for energy which we cannot afford economically and which is antithetical to all biological life.

        Nuclear power causes global warming and catastrophic storms with krypton-85 and heats up rivers, streams, lakes and oceans. The dams we build to cool nuclear reactors cause earthquakes which in turn destroys the structures and pipes needed to cool them. We use fossil fuels to run the cooling systems and the sun and earthquakes can knock out the grid and cause extinction level events.
        [Meteorological consequences of atmospherickrypton-85]

        • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

          Agreed with everything you wrote except this….no human is good enough to build a nuclear power plant, and I diasgree that only to this point. they can be built, designed, sited, realtively safely. But to expect that human through think and thin, good an bad, greed and boom times and bust. Good management and bad management, good gov and bad gov, and avoiding terrorist attack. With all these factors against successful continued operation, indeed, and with the evidence already gained through failures at great cost to humanity, Indeed, it is insane to even think of building this species ended monstrosity for the effect of boiling water so that we can air condition ourselves.

          • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

            @stock, your statement: “they can be built, designed, sited, realtively safely”

            Your “relatively safe” is mankind’s nightmare.

            There would be no cancer clusters around nuclear plants if they were safe. There would be no problems with decomissioning, the pipes would never corrode, there would be need to vent radioactive isotopes, there would be no problem with what to do with nuclear waste, there would be no problem from earthquakes damaging structures, there would be no earthquakes caused by the nuclear power plants themselves, there would be no build up of ionizing radiation around the plants, there would be no problem from the frozen methane layer below the plants, there would be no problem with pollution in the water or heating of the water used to cool the nuclear plants, there would be no problem of massive storms caused by the Krypton-85 released from the plants.
            Since these are all documented scientific problems, what could you possibly mean by relatively safe???????

      • pure water

        Thanks for these numbers! If compared with the statistics from the prenuclear time the picture is clear!

    • Sickputer

      Oh boy…what chuckles I got reading that…it’s right down the sheeples alley…telling how to decontaminate when the stuff is still accumulating…kinda like shoveling snow when the blizzard is howling..

      I could pick their article to pieces, but I will just post my favorite sentence from this October article:

      “A survey in May “did not detect any radioactive materials from river water” therefore no decontamination of rivers is planned.”

      SP: Uh…that was 5 months ago guys…and I would still love to hear your ideas on decontaminating rivers! Please share…>;-> Maybe Toshiba has a new filter device big enough for a river?

      • stock stock@hawaii.rr.com

        PNP=Pro Nuke Pimps, or Pro Nuke Pukes if you wish to not insult the worlds oldest profession.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    Just finished “KNOCKING ON THE DEVIL’S DOOR”
    These N.Trolls need A WHIP LASHING I’m exhausted. My New Drive (tomorrow) will be 100 times the effort I’ve had in the past. I’m so pissed..screaming here!

  • StillJill StillJill

    I think the ‘campaign to dumb down’ worked FLAWLESSLY!

    I don’t know exactly HOW TPTB did it,….GMO foods, vaccines, sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup,…..and the TV indoctrination,…..Yup,….the operation was a success, AND the patient is now docile and TOTALLY DEPENDENT,…..way to go,…F’ers!

  • Anthony Anthony

    Nuke plants’ generator failures draw scrutiny


    ewww…. on CBS you guys!!!