NRC Report: New York nuclear plant entered emergency plan because it couldn’t extinguish fire — FEMA, DHS were notified — Fukushima-type reactor

Published: November 13th, 2012 at 10:48 am ET
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Follow-up to: Fire at New York nuclear plant burns for hours -- Outside firefighters called in to help -- Reactor goes into shutdown

Title: Current Event Notification Report
Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Date: Nov. 13, 2012
h/t timemachine2020

Facility: FITZPATRICK
Region: 1 State: NY
Notification Date: 11/11/2012
Notification Time: 06:08 [ET]
Event Time: 03:55 [EST]

Event Text: REACTOR SCRAM DUE TO TURBINE TRIP FOLLOWED BY UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO MAIN TRANSFORMER AND BUS DUCT FIRE

“An unplanned, automatic reactor scram occurred at 0355 EST due to a Main Turbine trip signal [...] On-site fire brigade and offsite fire assistance have successfully extinguished the T-1A transformer fire. There is still an active fire in the T-1A bus ductwork [...] At 0545 EST the plant entered the emergency plan at the NUE [Notification of Unusual Event] level due to inability to successfully extinguish the fire.”

[...] Notified DHS SWO, FEMA, DHS NICC and NuclearSSA via email. [...]

According to an update at 8:10a ET: “Reactor level at 206 inches and pressure is at 530 pounds”

Enformable: “This weekend, a transformer fire at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant shut down the Fukushima-style BWR reactor, and has sidelined the station until a new transformer is installed.”

Published: November 13th, 2012 at 10:48 am ET
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16 comments

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16 comments to NRC Report: New York nuclear plant entered emergency plan because it couldn’t extinguish fire — FEMA, DHS were notified — Fukushima-type reactor

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    "sidelined the station" Cute, using football terms. How about kicking the coach out of the game and fine the owner.


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  • patb2009

    a station at SCRAM should not be at 530 PSI,


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  • TheWorldIsFüküd

    Oooh man its only a matter of time till one of these Mark I BWRs blows in the USA.

    Got my Military Issue Domestic Prepardness Extreme Gas Mask on standby.

    LoL my Mom was laughing at me when I bought it.

    Then Sandy ripped our town a new a** and now all these reactors only a few hundred miles from us are having all kinds of problems.

    Next on my order list – Geiger counter. Then Radiation Protective suit.


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  • "This was the second time the plant had shut down in a week."

    No mention of any possible radiation release event.
    No mention if there is any immediate concern… this time.

    Are the sirens even working?

    Maybe time to order some extra car batteries?
    They came in handy at Fukushima. Imagine that.


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    • correction:

      They did finally state:
      "* UPDATE FROM MARK HAWES TO DONALD NORWOOD AT 0747 EST ON 11/11/2012 * * *

      "Local fire department is on-site. No radiological release and no protective actions required. Plant cooldown in progress."

      Fingers crossed!
      What an idiotic way to boil water.


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      • lam335 lam335

        Doesn't "plant cool down" after unexpected shutdown typically involve venting steam (and tritium)?


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        • guezilla

          Pressure water reactors leak "significant" amounts of tritium even when working correctly. These are not generally considered under the umbrella of "radiological releases" for some strange reason.

          However, this reactor was of BWR type, where the primary coolant loop encompasses both reactor and turbines, and is completely enclosed within containment. In part due to this, tritium leaks are considered much less.

          In both cases, an expected or unexpected shutdown (or stopping the primary nuclear reaction) do not necessarily differ from each other. In both cases, if the "ultimate heat sink" ie. outside water is lost, a reactor SCRAM is the result, and with no way to condense steam back into water, it has to be dumped into the atmosphere. This applies only if the cause of the SCRAM is loss of condensing ability, though.


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        • Sickputer

          There is always some radiation going rogue despite the many safeguards. From the NRC training manual for workers:

          "Some materials in the vicinity of the reactor core (impurities in the reactor coolant and the reactor coolant itself) will absorb some of the neutrons produced during the fission process and will be changed from a stable form to an unstable (radioactive) form.

          This process is called activation, and the radioactive isotopes formed are called activation products. These activation products are located in the reactor coolant system, unlike the fission products which are located inside the fuel rods, and are,
          therefore, easily transported by the reactor coolant system to any support system that connects to the reactor coolant system.

          Activation products are the source of most radioactive contamination at nuclear power plants and are also the source of most occupational radiation exposure at the plants. If the activation products or any other impurities plate out on reactor coolant system surfaces, the deposits are called CRUD. Prior to going into a refueling outage, some plants will add a chemical to the reactor coolant system to force the CRUD off the surfaces, and then use the cleanup system to remove the material from the coolant. This helps to reduce the radiation levels present during the refueling outage."

          http://mitnse.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/radiation_npp_07.pdf


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  • Sickputer

    BTW…CRUD actually was originally an acronym, now it is just generic for the pipe and plate deposits:

    "CRUD: "…an acronym for 'Chalk River Unidentified Deposits.' …black, highly radioactive substances found on the inside of piping and components at the Chalk River nuclear reactor … CRUD has now become a standard industry term referring to minute, solid, corrosion products that travel into the reactor core, become highly radioactive, and then flow out of the reactor into other systems in the plant. … CRUD can settle out in crevices or plate-out on the inside of piping in considerable quantities … The major components of CRUD are iron, cobalt, chrome, and manganese … CRUD is a concentrated source of radiation and represents a significant radiological risk because of its insolubility." (United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Testimony of James K. Joosten, September 15, 1997, pg. 13-14)."

    http://www.davistownmuseum.org/cbm/Rad1.html

    SP: And now you know the rest of the story… *;-)


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