Explosion reported at U.S. nuclear plant, emergency declared

Published: July 3rd, 2013 at 10:45 am ET


Title: Event Notification Report 49169
Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Date: July 3, 2013
h/t Anonymous tip

Facility: PALO VERDE [Arizona …]
Emergency Class: UNUSUAL EVENT
10 CFR Section: 50.72(a) (1) (i) – EMERGENCY DECLARED […]

“On 7/2/2013, at approximately 2027 MST, Palo Verde Unit 1 experienced a reactor power cutback from 100% rated thermal power due to explosion [in a non-safety related load center (1ENGNL02)]. The unit was at normal temperature and pressure prior to the cutback. […]

“Unit 1 is stable at 61% rated thermal power. No ESF actuations occurred and none were required. The event did not result in any challenges to the fission product barrier or result in any releases of radioactive materials. There were no adverse safety consequences or implications as a result of this event. The event did not adversely affect the safe operation of the plant or health and safety of the public.” […]

See full report here

Published: July 3rd, 2013 at 10:45 am ET


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55 comments to Explosion reported at U.S. nuclear plant, emergency declared

  • domjox domjox

    Really? WTF. So this is classic example. No immediate or harm to public. I feel so much more secure!

    • davidh7426 davidh7426

      Me too…

      Which reminds me, I must remember to collect my lead-lined underwear from the dry-cleaners.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    "Non-safety related area"..
    What portion of a Npp in non-safety related?
    What would explode in that area?
    Sounds like it needs safety regulations.

    • We think they meant to say, there is safe area inside a nuclear plant facility, so no safe areas were threatened.

      Makes sense, don't it?

      The whatchamacallit did a thingamaging, which then went boom, and the doowap hit the fan…

      Understand now?

      If this gets you stressed out, take a chill pill!

    • palisadesnpo

      A piece of equipment is designated "safety-related" if it can be used to shut down the reactor and/or to keep it shut down…such as diesel generators, safety injection pumps, component cooling water pumps, concentrated boric acid tanks, or a safety injection refueling water tank.

      "Non-safety-related" equipment is not needed to ensure shutdown of the reactor and/or keeping it shut down…for example: the main turbine, the main generator, the air compressors, the main feed pumps, the heater drain pumps, one of our 2400V buses and all of our 4160V buses.

      Sounds like they had a fault on one of their non-safety related buses, and the loss of whatever equipment it was powering prompted a power reduction. Here at Palisades if we lost any of our buses (safety or non-safety) at 100% power we are going to end up tripping the plant either automatically or the NCO will do it as soon as he sees one of the buses has gone away. I am not familiar with Palos Verde so I can't really say what they have that allowed them to continue running, although at a reduced power output.

  • weeman

    A nuclear power plant is one of the most complicated machines mankind has developed, it has hundreds of thousands of moving parts and redundancy systems, hence the more complicated a machine is the greater the chance of failure in one system or another, no one system failure should be able to cause catastrophic failure but as plants age, once you put design limits to the max the chance of cascading failure is multiplied and you can not design a reactor to with stand probability.
    Our existance is based on probability, the universe is built on probability, light is a particle as well as a wave.
    Explain that and I will let you run a nuclear reactor and not untill you have a full understanding of matter. Never.

    • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

      @weeman….How right you are.
      I just ran some calculations.

      Let us assume your parts count as 100,000 (moving or not)
      Assume each part has been designed with a lot of safety margin,
      i.e. a failure rate of 1 in ten million.

      To be conservative, let us assume 1000 parts are super critical to plant safety/functioning, I calculate a probability of failure at 1 in ten thousand.
      Not exactly odds I would feel safe with.

      No doubt there are more than 1000 critical parts in a NPP.
      And I am just counting the moving parts where if they fail TSHTF.

      I have assumed no correlation between any of the parts failing, which of course is absurdly optimistic. The point being that one part failing could take out many others.

      Drop the reliability to 1 failure in a million on each part and the system breaks one in a thousand.

      Point being that it seems a bit of a miracle that these things have not gone off the rails much sooner than they have.

      And I am not even considering the control system electronics and computers, nor the issue of loss of external power in order to keep the SFPs cooled!!

      Just thought I would toss this out so the numbers can have a sense of reality to them.

      • weeman

        Thanks for elaborating subject, just another feather in our cap.
        There has to be a easier way to boil water, my preference is geothermal, especially for Japan.
        A wink is as good as a nood to a blind horse.

      • Trawling4Trolls

        "I have assumed no correlation between any of the parts failing, which of course is absurdly optimistic."

        What, you wouldst, as the British say, wouldst deny the fog of war?

    • Trawling4Trolls

      " .. and you can not design a reactor to with stand probability."

      In contrast to that, a solar panel soaking up electrons is FREAKING BLISS.

  • …implementing abnormal operating procedures
    …loss of one Main Feedwater Pump

    "Palo Verde Unit 1 is stable [now] at 58% rated thermal power and is implementing abnormal operating procedures for reactor power cutback due to loss of one Main Feedwater Pump and degraded electrical power due to loss of non-class 13.8kV load center 1ENGNL02. Load center 1ENGNL02 was damaged from an apparent electrical malfunction that originated within the load center."

    Do they ever consider sabotage?

    • Tom in AZ Tom in AZ

      About 40 miles from where I sit. Last one built I think, in 78? And I don't trust Arizona Public Service as far as you can throw them. Their customers have been paying it so APS can sell the power every where but here.

    • stable; what does that mean?

      Not going to fall over in the next 50 seconds?

      not drunk?

      Not actively seeking out several drugs to take?

      working at a job they hate?

      working for a boss they despise?

      not going to explode in next 60 seconds?

      releasing radiation at a stable rate?

      Stable… hmmmm

    • They don't need terrorists or sabotage..

      They are committing national suicide/genetic genocide just operating normally, long term…

      Accidents or melt downs just speed up this process.

      See mutagenasis

      Nuclear power is ANTI LIFE.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Too many variables..too many things that can go wrong.
    Shut them all down..

    • ftlt

      Rose: What would be the immediate impact of shutting them all down to the grid??

      I am with you..

      We would face a new reality if we did close them.. It would be wonderful IMO…

      Less is better..

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Alternative sources of energy would have to be phased in.
    And a whole lot of nuclear waste has to be stored…somehow.

    What a mess..

  • This is unrelated but it's alarming and needs to be disseminated on the web:

    FORTY MILLION bees killed by chemicals in GMO corn field in Canada.

    Read more here: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/07/nearly-40-million-bee-holocaust-in.html


    We had heard about 25,000 bees recently sprayed and killed in Oregon, but this is an even more massive loss, which has gone almost ignored by the media.

    Bee pollination is crucial for our food supply, but bees are disappearing at an alarming rate.

    It seems that every step taken by big industry, big nuclear, big pharma, big agriculture, and big government gets us closer to the brink.


    • We Not They Finally

      I believe that is part of why Monsanto was kicked out of several European countries. Here in the U.S. they get special perks and privileges, and immunity from prosecution. Liberty — ain't it great?

    • andagi andagi

      Dear Tracy W,
      'In addition to working with the honey bee community, Monsanto, alongside other agriculture industry leaders, supports best management practices that are beneficial to honey bee health. Monsanto supports The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship, which the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) and CropLife America (CLA) recently released. The Guide is an industry-wide initiative that promotes the safe handling and management of treated seeds…
      About Beeologics
      Beeologics is an international firm dedicated to restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination. Beeologics was founded in 2007 upon many years of research conducted by some of the world's leading scientists and became a unit of Monsanto Company in 2011. Through continuous research, scientific innovation and a focus on solutions, Beeologics is developing a line of products to specifically address the long-term well being of bees. With offices and laboratories in the United States and Israel, Beeologics brings together some of the world's most recognized scientists in its field to help achieve its mission to positively impact bee health worldwide. To learn more about Beeologics, please visit: http://www.beeologics.com.'

      Oh, how my heart aches at the utter disconnect. No words.

      • Dear Andagi, thank you for your reply.

        Just two points:

        1) Bees are dying by the millions and at this rate they will disappear forever.

        2) It's nice that Monsanto has that bee program, but bees were doing great until Monsanto appeared in the picture.

        The evidence pointing to Monsanto products as the cause of the destruction of the bees, along with many other serious problems, is so overwhelming that their PR efforts can't stop the growing public awareness and alarm at their part in unleashing this tragedy.

        • andagi andagi

          Dear Tracy W,
          Precicely! Folks keep reading, posting, sharing ENENews -generating change worldwide 24/7! Happy & safe July 4th to all 🙂

        • It can and has happened already.

          China has large areas where there are NO BEES.

          Everything that is grown for a PROFIT has to be pollinated BY HAND, one flower at a time.

          Good part? These are jobs that cannot be exported overseas to slaves that work for nothing. It will stimulate permanent JOBS, and lots of them.

          Bad part? We lose nature; the part that does not MAKE MONEY and get hand pollinated!

    • andagi andagi

      "The health watchdog group "Natural Society" rated Monsanto "the worst in 2011 for its ongoing work to threaten human health and the environment."

      Seems 'Natural Society' has made a bold statement, what about the nuclear industry?!!


  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Heart of Rose.. you are very wise and yes..what a mess!

    Finally some of the smartest people on the planet are catching on..maybe they owe it to Steve Jobs who left way to early.

    When will the rest of the world catch on?

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    When the bees are gone..we humans.. will soon follow the same fate.

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    If anyone is familiar with the coding on their reports, what does the RX CRIT stand for on the report? It is in the little summary bar between the header and the body of the report.

  • irhologram

    So what would make a coolant pump blow up or explode in an electrical-related event besides sabotage? H2S in the coolant water intake. If so, this may be linked to the 7/1 Davis-Besse shut-down in northern Ohio that experienced a loud noise and a coolant pump malfunction and the 6/19 Grand Gulf Mississippi remediating "release of toxic and flammable gases"…"adverse to the normal operation of the plant" in the electrical switchgear room. Does it not strain credulity to think that we are having one of these events every week…to think that nuclear infrastructure, all built at different times…simultaneously begins to fail in electrical and coolant system areas?

  • Sol Man

    Tracy and Obewan, It isn't just the bees that are affected. All of creations' genomes are under attack by our various products. I mourn for the loss of all life for the chemical and nuclear wastes that has been put out there. Future? It is looking very doubtful.

    But, some made much money on the deals.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Yes Sol Man…it would appear that money is the "Root of all Evil!"


    I was just listening to a CBC radio interview with the owner of the bee hives that were wiped out by chemicals used in surrounding GMO corn fields.

    He said the dead bees had been tested and it was confirmed that it was the Monsanto chemical mix that poisoned them. Then he described how his bees died in agony. The chemical paralyzes their legs and their wings, and the poison comes out their backside. Their suffering is heartbreaking. And we're talking about millions of them in only this farm. The whole country should outraged, but the media have barely touched this issue.

    (You can click for an audio of the interview on this page too.)

    Readers may want to write to the government of Canada asking them to ban the bee-killing chemicals, as Europe has already done.

    • Trawling4Trolls

      He should document that as the bee spray manufacturers several years ago were required to use a less destructive chemical than the one on the market now.

      The old bee spray would totally contort and eat them from the inside before they hit the ground but the current one is not nearly so dramatically destructive.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Canada is our little sister and highly doubt they care about a few million bees…Monsanto probably owns them too!

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    There used to be a very knowledgeable person posting here who had worked at Palo Verde. I wonder what he would have to say.

  • paschn

    "There used to be a very knowledgeable person posting here who had worked at Palo Verde. I wonder what he would have to say."

    Something like, " Help!, I'm being held prisoner by the corporation's private security! they're going to rendition me to keep me from ratting them out!"
    In this dying republic it's becoming more and more clear that if you don't make millions and sleep with politicians you're kept "out of the loop".
    As for "free press", it's still alive and well…. They're free to choose NOT to inform their readers. Consider that our media, (from Hollywood to New York), is owned by 5 or 6 corporations who carry title to "our" leaders. For proof, did anyone see this video in the main stream for the citizens to see and vent righteous rage? I think not;



    Why do we continue to put up with this sort of bald faced treachery, (treason?), from this bunch of dogs? Politicians, alphabet agencies, military, media…. Yeah, they're all owned but it ain't by us. Other countries discover a thing isn't good for their citizens, boom, banned…why does this nation allow corporations/special interest groups to cloud, hide issues such as this and force these things down our throats? Why do we allow it?

    • irhologram

      Because the majority prefer electricity, paschn, not that the 2% of our energy produced by nuclear power makes any difference (and when Germany went no nukes, they found they had surplus energy to sell other nations), but electricity will be withheld anyway. We all know it. And the majority here are still wondering what they would do without electricity. iMO, you'd better find out, because IMO that's coming as a method of control.

  • I have noticed that about every two days there is a problem with a nuke plant, mostly in the USA! Not to mention fires threatening places like los Alamos! Same answer every time. No immediate threat to the public safety! Frankly I don't believe it! How can we trust anything these liars say after all the recent revelations!

  • captndano captndano

    It's interesting to wonder how the Supreme Court ever came up with the decision that a corporation is a somehow a 'person'.
    You would think that they would have asked themselves the obvious question, that is; what if every person's motive, like a corporation, was to to generate a profit and focus their lives on the "bottom line"? Who would ever become a teacher, a minister or social worker? Why would you ever have children, help out a neighbor in need, donate to a charity? Again, can you imagine what life on this planet would be like if everyone ran their lives like a soulless corporation? On the flip side, what would life be like if corporations ran their entities like real human beings? IMHO, the latter question is far more appealing to imagine.

  • Trawling4Trolls

    Perhaps big Clare knows how? He's angry.



    I was wondering, would Schwarzenegger tell Thomas to "Stop whining."?

    Thomas seems to have heard Arnold's "Let's Party.".

  • You betcha corps are people…

    They LIVE FOREVER, just like us commoners..

    They accumulate WEALTH, POWER AND INFLUENCE FOREVER, just like us regular peoples

    Each huge corporation has enough money all by itself TO BUY AN ELECTION ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, just like us sheeples.

    Understand now?

    Further, Corporations should all get immunity from prosecution and to pay NO TAXES while collecting corporate welfare all at the same time, just like us regular peeples.

    • Ooops, sorry, they already have all of that in the last paragraph…

      please forgive the lapse in memory…

      mea culpa…

      NEVER MIND.. move on, nothing to see here.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    Here's something sure to turn your stomach(s):


    A picture says a thousand words ….

  • irhologram

    I'd like to know the time frame of all those fires, Ho Taters…

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      I don't know the time frames, but if you were to do a search of NRC information, you could probably find dates. It might be an exhausting task. Pretty sickening, huh?

      Sometimes if we SEE what has happened it has more impact than if we just read about it.

      Does that make sense, irhologram?

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        That is, the NRC has to file incident and accident reports. If you're not familiar with where to find them, I'll post a link or links. (Right now I'm tired so I can't look it up.) Sorry, nap time calls ….

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Here's the link for the Event Status reports:


          Sometimes one has to do some poking around there. It can take several days for incidents to get reported at the NRC site.

          Hope this helps.

          There's an interesting YouTube video (or series) documenting all the global nuclear accidents, year by year. Fascinating to watch — but also alarming, to say the least.