Sunday, 5 August 2012

Radioactive Water drained Into a Wastewater Tank- Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

Vermont Yankee employees allow water to drain from spent fuel pool

Nuclear power opponents from at least three states
converged in Brattleboro, Vermont, for a rally Sunday,
Feb. 21, 2010 calling for Vermont Yankee to stop
operating immediately until the source of radioactive
tritium leaking from the plant is found. Their call for a
permanent shut down when the plant’s license
expires in 2012 was echoed Wednesday by a 26-4
vote in the Vermont Senate. – Photo: Susan Keese
(http://www.sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010
/02/Vermont-Yankee-anti-nuke-protesters-from-3-
states-Brattleboro-022110-by-Susan-Keese-VPR.jpg)

 By Anne Galloway/


VERNON—About 2,700 gallons of water from the spent fuel pool at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant drained into a wastewater system on July 22.

The 300,000 gallon pool contains 2,500 spent fuel assemblies removed from the reactor core. The spent fuel assemblies are submerged below more than 20 feet of water.

The water drained about six inches over the course of about 30 minutes when employees who were working on the fuel pool cleanup system left drain valves open. Operators in the control room discovered the problem after an alarm system went off, according to Rob Williams, spokesman for the plant.

The radioactive water drained into a
Yankee Nuclear Power Plant
http://i.huffpost.com/gen/144039/thumbs/s-
YANKEE-NUCLEAR-POWER-PLANT-large.jpg
wastewater collection tank.
Employees didn’t follow proper procedures, Williams said. Entergy Corp., which owns the plant, will be reviewing maintenance protocols.

Vermont Yankee did not send out a press release about the incident. Williams said notifying the public was not necessary because safety wasn’t at issue.

Neil Sheehan, spokesman for the Region 1 District office for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said the plant has clear-cut reporting criteria. If a fire at the plant lasts for more than 15 minutes or if offsite firefighting assistance is called in, for example, the plant is required to report.

The 2007 collapse of a Vermont Yankee cooling tower
convinced many residents to become anti-nuclear
activists. Now they’re celebrating the impending shutdown
of Vermont’s only nuclear power plant.
(http://www.sfbayview.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02
/Vermont-Yankee-cooling-tower-collapse-2007.jpg)
This incident, he said, “fell in the category of not having to be reported because it was a very low level risk and it was caught quickly.” Employees were not at risk of exposure to radiation because the amount of water over the assemblies provides ample shielding, he saidThe NRC’s resident inspector is reviewing the incident, he said.
“There’s no good reason for this to happen at any point,” Sheehan said. “It speaks to human error and attention to detail, no question about that.”

Dry cask nuclear waste storage units at the Vermont Yankee
nuclear power plant in Vernon, Vt. In his State of the Union
speech, President Obama has proposed tripling public financing
for nuclear power. 9/6/2009
http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/
media/images/2010/0204/0204-nuclear-power-obama-vermont
-yankee/7345032-1-eng-US/0204-nuclear-power-obama-
vermont-yankee_full_380.jpg    Toby Talbot/AP/File
Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer and former member of a Vermont Yankee oversight panel, said several steps in a procedure were skipped by employees. He is concerned about oversight and employee training at the plant as older workers retire. Procedures, he said, must be much more specific.

“It’s a big deal, it’s a safety-related system, we’re not talking about mowing the lawn at VY,” Gundersen said. “There’s 300,000 gallons in the pool, and it lost 1 percent of the water in 30 minutes. It is radioactive water, it’s not like what you put in a water cooler.”
Gundersen said last year employees worked on the wrong diesel engine. One was shut down and they inadvertently shut the other one down, he said. “These kinds of mistakes shouldn’t be happening,” Gundersen said.

The NRC treated the incident as “business as usual,” Gundersen said.

Resource: The Commons Online 
 
* Vermont Votes To Close Nuclear Plant in 2012  *Link
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/24/vermont-votes-to-close-nu_n_475511.html 

* Leaking Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant shutdown ordered as Obama pledges $50 billion for nuclear power  

 http://sfbayview.com/2010/leaking-vermont-yankee-nuclear-power-plant-shutdown-ordered-as-obama-pledges-50-billion-for-nuclear-power/

* Obama's nuclear power policy: a study in contradictions?http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0204/Obama-s-nuclear-power-policy-a-study-in-contradictions

***** Amy (Glen Cove, NY) comment   ...
You should read up on VT and Vermont Yankee. VY's license was set to expire in march 2012, and the state of Vermont decided to NOT renew the license and began making big plans for other energy sources. Entergy sued the state of VT in Federal Court and won. The Federal Court (Justice Murtha) decided that federal law trumps states rights and the NRC re-issued the license. This is a VERY simplified explanation, but in essence, the people of VT did not want the nuke anymore, and Entergy and the NRC bullied them into having to keep it going. States rights my *****.

 




2 comments:

  1. Dr Helen Caldicott
    “It’s a big deal, it’s a safety-related system, we’re not talking about mowing the lawn at VY,” Gundersen said. “There’s 300,000 gallons in the pool, and it lost 1 percent of the water in 30 minutes. It is radioactive water, it’s not like what you put in a water cooler.” Stand with Vermont and shut VT Yankee down!

    ReplyDelete
  2. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-Helen-Caldicott/102772801940

    ReplyDelete