[ RadSafe ] SONGS

Michael LaFontaine, P. Phys. physics at execulink.com
Fri Jun 22 22:13:01 CDT 2012

Hopefully all can access the following.


If not, the text reads,

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission pointed a finger at the design of 
steam generators manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as it 
summarized recent inspections of premature tube wear at Southern 
California Edison's San Onofre nuclear plant.

San Onofre nuclear plant. Source: NRC
At a public meeting Monday (video below) and in statements by NRC 
personnel published over the weekend, the federal agency said 
inspections point to faulty testing and design as likely causes of 
steam generator problems that have kept SONGS units 2 and 3 offline 
for months. At the meeting, NRC officials said MHI miscalculated the 
velocity of water flowing through the steam generators by a factor of 
three or four, California media reported, leading to unexpected 
levels of vibration and wear.

In an interview with the Associated Press Sunday, NRC Regional 
Administrator Elmo Collins said inspections have primarily pointed to 
the steam generators' design. It was modified to add 400 tubes and 
V-shaped support structures engineered to minimize tube wear. 
Instead, eight tubes in unit 3 failed pressure tests, which Collins 
said was unprecedented in the industry.

Both Combustion Engineering reactors have been under inspection since 
a tube rupture and small steam leak Jan. 31 in unit 3 and the 
subsequent discovery of premature tube wear in steam generators of 
both units. The equipment was replaced during outages in 2009 and 
2011. While MHI delivered the parts in question, Southern California 
Edison is responsible for the plant's license and may face NRC 
penalties resulting from the inspections. Few indications of a 
possible restart date emerged during the recent NRC announcements, 
although Edison executives indicated earlier they do not expect the 
plant to come back online this summer."

BTW - I voted for the life extension.


M. LaFontaine, P. Phys.

Michael LaFontaine, P. Phys.  

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