Katrina Approaching Louisiana, US NOAA image
Waterford 3 is located in Killona, Louisiana. The open house is this evening in nearby Hahnville. Killona is from the Gaelic kill (cill), meaning church, churchyard or graveyard. The latter could now be an appropriate name. Killona was the name of James A. Whalen’s plantation (see NYT Dec 4 1878). Waterford was a neighboring plantation.
During Hurricane Katrina Waterford Nuclear Reactor ran for a week or more on diesel generators. So, diesel generators do matter. Not only does this area get hurricanes, it get tornados too! Unlike hurricanes, tornados come with little to no warning.
“Waterford 3… is receiving additional NRC oversight based on … a violation issued March 31, 2014, for failing to ensure the operability of an exhaust fan in a room housing the plant’s emergency diesel generators.” (NRC, Emphasis added)
“The emergency diesel generators do not power all plant systems, only those required to shut the reactor down safely, remove decay heat from the reactor, provide emergency core cooling, and, in some plants, spent fuel pool cooling.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_plant#Emergency_power_supply
“St. Charles Parish is encouraging all residents to BE PREPARED for a hurricane threats. Atlantic Hurricane Season lasts from June 1 until Nov. 30. St. Charles Parish, with its low elevation and close proximity to open water on both East and West Banks, remains uniquely vulnerable to all types of hurricane threats.” http://www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/hurricane/
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2014/14-019.iv.pdf (underline added; links to additional info at web site)
“No. 05-118 August 28, 2005
NRC MONITORING APPROACH OF HURRICANE KATRINA;
WATERFORD SHUTS DOWN
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Sunday dispatched additional personnel to three nuclear power plants in Louisiana and Mississippi in response to the expected landfall Monday of Hurricane Katrina.
One plant near New Orleans – Waterford – informed the NRC it shut down to ensure that all safety precautions are in place ahead of the storm.
The NRC is monitoring the hurricane from operations centers in Arlington, Texas, and its Rockville, Md., headquarters.
‘We are staying on top of the situation because protecting public health and safety is paramount,’ said Nils Diaz, chairman of the independent regulatory agency.
At the Waterford plant the major concern beyond winds was the storm surge, last predicted to approach the top of an 18-foot levee on the Mississippi River. Nuclear plants are very robust structures designed to withstand winds in excess of those in Katrina and associated storm surges. Both Waterford and the other plants have watertight doors at key safety systems.
All three plants the NRC was monitoring are owned by Entergy Nuclear. The Waterford plant is about 20 miles west of New Orleans. The River Bend plant is about 25 miles north-northwest of Baton Rouge, La., and Grand Gulf is located 25 miles south of Vicksburg, Miss.
Waterford initially declared an ‘unusual event’ because of the approach of the hurricane, and will raise its level of preparedness on the NRC’s four-step scale to an ‘alert’ as winds reach hurricane strength and to a ‘site area emergency’ should winds exceed 110 mph. The alert levels are specified in advance precautionary plans dictated by the NRC. The ‘site area emergency’ classification is associated with plant personnel safety.
The NRC will have to approve the restart of Waterford and any other plant that shuts down. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will have to determine that evacuation routes in the area are passable.” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2005/05-118.html (Emphasis added)
August 30, 2005
NRC CONTINUES TO MONITOR NUCLEAR PLANTS AFFECTED BY
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is working closely with operators at three nuclear plants to ensure continued safe and secure operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
As a precautionary measure, the Waterford 3 nuclear plant near Taft, La., shut down when a hurricane warning was issued for St. Charles Parish on Saturday. It remains in an Unusual Event, the lowest of four emergency action levels. Electrical power for key safety systems on site is being supplied by the plant’s standby diesel generators, following a loss of off-site power caused by instability in the regional electrical grid.
NRC staff have independently verified that key plant systems and structures, are undamaged and able to support current plant operations. At the direction of the NRC, the nation’s nuclear plants, which are among the most robust structures in the critical infrastructure, have increased security preparedness and capabilities available during emergencies.
A member of the NRC staff plans to accompany officials from the State of Louisiana and the Federal Emergency Management Agency during a survey of the site within the next 48 hours. NRC approval is needed before the plant can be restarted. This survey will include off-site evacuation routes and emergency sirens.
The Grand Gulf nuclear plant near Port Gibson, Miss., and River Bend Nuclear Station near Baton Rouge, La., were both operating at reduced power this morning. The plants operated through the storm, but voluntarily reduced power generation to assist in restoring stability to the electrical grid when a drop in energy consumption caused grid voltage to fluctuate.
Some emergency sirens were unavailable at Grand Gulf and River Bend, but Entergy Nuclear has informed the NRC they can make offsite notifications in the event of an emergency, should the need arise. The NRC will work with FEMA to independently verify siren operability.
NRC staff continue to monitor the situation from its incident response center at its Region IV office in Arlington, Texas.” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2014/14-019.iv.pdf (Emphasis added)
U.S. NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
Office of Public Affairs, Region IV
No. IV-05-032 September 8, 2005
WATERFORD NUCLEAR PLANT TERMINATES UNUSUAL EVENT
The Waterford nuclear plant near Taft, La., has terminated the Unusual Event due to Hurricane Katrina and has begun recovery operations in preparation for restart. As a result, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is shifting from monitoring the effects of Hurricane Katrina to oversight of Waterford’s activities in preparation for restart.
On Aug. 27, Waterford declared an Unusual Event and shut down protectively when a hurricane warning was issued for St. Charles Parish, in which the plant is located. The robust design of the plant protected it from any damage, although offsite power and some communications capability was lost during the storm. An Unusual Event is the lowest of four emergency action levels.
Over the weekend, operators restored offsite power, ending reliance on standby diesel generators. An additional set of generators, brought in before the storm as a precautionary measure, were never needed. Repairs have also been made to communications systems, which had been disrupted by Hurricane Katrina. The reactor is safely shut down and the plant cannot restart without NRC permission.
‘Under existing emergency plans, the NRC and its licensees took aggressive and appropriate steps to prepare for Hurricane Katrina,’ NRC Chairman Nils Diaz said. ‘The NRC requires all nuclear plant operators to have in place detailed site-specific plans and procedures for a variety of emergency situations, including natural disasters.’
The plant will remain shut down while workers perform some minor maintenance unrelated to the hurricane. Operators will not restart the reactor until NRC completes its restart readiness assessment, to verify both the plant and its staff are ready to support full power operation. The agency’s resident inspectors, augmented by regional and Headquarters staff, will continue around-the-clock oversight of licensee activities“. (Emphasis added). http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2005/05-032iv.html
Nuclear Reactors and Natural Disasters http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/naturaldisaster&nuclearpower.pdf
Tornados in the general area of the Waterford reactor http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lix/?n=13feb07warnings
In Florida Hurricane Andrew hit the Turkey Point Nuclear Reactor:
“On August 24, 1992, Category 4 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 is the most
severe) Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida and caused extensive onsite and
offsite damage at Turkey Point….
Hurricane Andrew is historic because this is the first time that a hurricane
significantly affected a commercial nuclear power plant. The eye of the storm, with sustained winds of up to 233 kilometers per hour (km/h) [145 milesper hour (mph)] and gusts of 282 km/h (175 mph), passed over the Turkey Point site and caused extensive onsite and offsite damage.
The onsite damage included loss of all offsite power for more than 5 days, complete loss of communication systems, closing of the access road, and damage to the fire protection and security systems and warehouse facilities. However, despite the intensity of the hurricane and the age of the plant, onsite damage was limited to fire protection, security, and several non-safety-related systems and structures. There was no damage to the safety-related systems except for minor water intrusion and some damage to insulation and paint, and there was no radioactive release to the environment. The units remained in a stable condition and functioned as designed.”
“USNRC, OFFICE OF NUCLEAR REACTOR REGULATION, July 20, 1993
NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 93-53: EFFECT OF HURRICANE ANDREW ON TURKEY POINT NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION AND LESSONS LEARNED” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/gen-comm/info-notices/1993/in93053s1.html (Emphasis added; more info at link)
Where is a boat for the NRC Regional Facilities? Memphis, a regional facility, is upriver on the Mississippi.
Waterford on the Mississippi – you don’t even want to know how much radiation is going in there legally! There may also be some extra radiation going in for laniappe, in true Louisiana style! Just wait ’til it floats down the river a bit before testing it was reportedly a strategy used by at least one chemical plant in the area. But, wait! That’s currently allowed by the US EPA and NRC for radionuclides! Placing reactors in such a watery environment is needed because they use huge quantities of water, but it also facilitates dilute and deceive strategies, which are encouraged by the NRC. The NRC doesn’t really care how much you put as long as you dilute it! But, the environment cares! Those many getting their drinking water from the Mississippi downstream need to know and care about what’s going in the river. And, it gets worse – there’s a new crazy idea of putting small modular reactors on rigs offshore! Then they can more easily dump it into the ocean in an emergency, or a storm may dump it into the ocean for them!
More than a boat is needed to save everyone from the next Fukushima… Who’s gonna save us?
The Miracle of the Cross at the Bridge of S. Lorenzo in Venice, 1500 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_Cross_at_the_Bridge_of_S._Lorenzo
(That’s Venice Italy and not Venice Louisiana!)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Waterford Nuclear Generating Station
Location of Waterford Nuclear Generating Station
Country United States
Location Killona, Louisiana
Coordinates 29°59′43″N 90°28′16″WCoordinates: 29°59′43″N 90°28′16″W
Commission date September 24, 1985
Owner(s) Entergy Louisiana
Operator(s) Entergy Nuclear
Nuclear power station
Reactor type pressurized water reactor
Reactor supplier Combustion Engineering
Units operational 1 x 3,716 MW thermal, 1,180 MW electrical gross
Annual generation 8,949 GWh
The Waterford Steam Electric Station, Unit 3, also known as Waterford 3, is a nuclear power plant located on a 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) plot in Killona, Louisiana, in St. Charles Parish.
This plant has one Combustion Engineering two-loop pressurized water reactor. The plant produces 1,218 megawatts of electricity since the site’s last refuel in October 2009. It has a dry ambient pressure containment building.
On August 28, 2005, Waterford shut down due to Hurricane Katrina approaching and declared an unusual event (the least-serious of a four-level emergency classification scale). Shortly after Katrina, Waterford restarted and now is in normal operation.
The plant shutdown on October 17, 2012, for steam generator replacement. The plant returned to full power in the middle of January 2013.
Waterford is operated by Entergy Nuclear and is owned by Entergy Louisiana, Inc.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.
The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Waterford was 75,538, an increase of 7.4 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for msnbc.com. The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 1,969,431, a decrease of 0.8 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include New Orleans (33 miles to city center).
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at Waterford was 1 in 50,000, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.
1. a b Waterford on US Nuclear Power Plants List
2. NRC Page on Waterford 3 shutdown prior to Hurricane Katrina
4. Bill Dedman, Nuclear neighbors: Population rises near US reactors, msnbc.com, April 14, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42555888/ns/us_news-life/ Accessed May 1, 2011.
5. Bill Dedman, “What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk,” msnbc.com, March 17, 2011 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42103936/ Accessed April 19, 2011.
6. http://msnbcmedia. msn.com/i/msnbc/Sections/NEWS/quake%20nrc%20risk%20estimates.pdf” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterford_Nuclear_Generating_Station