Bribery, contractor debarment, corroded spent fuel, corruption, damaged spent fuel, dry cask storage, fraud, Holtec, Holtec International, India, Kickbacks, Krishna Singh, NRC exemption, OIG, TVA, US Department of Justice, US DOJ, US India Nuclear Deal, US NRC, USA
Holtec, a private nuclear supplier company, based in NJ, USA, was founded in 1986 by Dr. Krishna P. Singh of India, who is CEO and President. He is presumably still owner, or an owner. There may or may not be co-owners, such as Alan Soler. The VP Alan Soler helped found it according to some sources, but not according to their web site. Read about Holtec here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holtec_International See also: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/nuclear-supplier-holtec-notice-of-violation-by-nrc-the-india-us-nuclear-deal/
Holtec and the US NRC appear up to no good. Holtec wants to classify corroded spent fuel rods as non-damaged, since no one is supposed to store damaged fuel rods, they want to wish it away, with the complicity of the NRC’s nuclear brown-nosers . Worse the inner sealed part of their dry casks is only one half inch thick, although a slightly thicker 5/8ths inch has been proposed for San Onofre.  They sell them all over the world, not only in the US, but in Switzerland, the UK, Ukraine and elsewhere. Holtec also wants two or three other “exemptions”, which are literally issues of critical importance, which warrant proper examination. They will supposedly re-examine the topic if they get enough complaints: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/02/05/2015-02310/list-of-approved-spent-fuel-storage-casks-holtec-international-hi-storm-100-cask-system-certificate Damaged fuel is a reality that the NRC and Holtec want to wish away: Damaged fuel rods are now stuck in a Holtec Cask in Arkansas and can’t be moved! http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1428/ML14286A037.pdf But, it’s ok says the NRC, because Holtec assures them it is, or that’s how it reads to us: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/31/2014-30718/independent-spent-fuel-storage-installation-entergy-operations-inc-arkansas-nuclear-one-units-1-and
Holtec and the TVA: Fraud?
“The OIG initiated a first in TVA history; the debarment of a contractor doing business with TVA. In October 2010, TVA debarred Holtec International, Inc., based on the results of a criminal investigation conducted by the OIG. Because of our recommendation, TVA created a formal suspension and debarment process and proceeded to debar Holtec for 60 days. Holtec agreed to pay a $2 million administrative fee and submit to independent monitoring of its operations for one year. The TVA Board’s Audit, Risk, and Regulation Committee and TVA management fully supported the OIG’s recommendation to create a suspension and debarment process and submit Holtec to that process. TVA’s Supply Chain organization and Office of General Counsel worked collaboratively with the OIG to achieve this milestone in TVA history.
How does one contractor being debarred make life better for Valley residents? Ultimately, the less vulnerable TVA is to fraud the better chance rates stay low. This debarment signaled TVA’s commitment to do more than simply ask for the money back. This debarment action was literally heard around the world and drew a line in the sand. Yes, much of this was symbolic, but symbols matter when you are the largest public power company in America.
the limited power of the OIG. We can make recommendations, but we have no power to make TVA follow these recommendations.” p. 8 , October 1, 2010 – March 31, 2011 “Semiannual Report, TVA-OIG“: (Emphasis our own) http://oig.tva.gov/reports/node/semi/50/semi50.pdf
LINE IN THE SAND! MY EYE! PERMANENT DEBARMENT WOULD BE A LINE IN THE SAND! Even 6 years, but 60 days? Come on!
The real question is why they were only debarred for 60 days and not permanently? We can only think of three possible reasons: Lack of other NRC approved options besides Holtec; Gullibility; a Bigger Bribe. Guess what kind of dry cask system Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Power Station has? Holtec! It seems that they contracted to use them before Holtec was debarred. Dare we guess how? And, opted to renew the contract. Perhaps this is the fourth possibility? Or perhaps not. http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1428/ML14281A023.pdf http://www.gao.gov/assets/390/381548.pdf
This certainly LOOKS like bribery or bribery’s cousin the kickback? Does bribery have other cousins besides the kickback? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kickback_(bribery)
Maybe Krishna Singh would call it generosity? A charitable donation? He must be filthy rich, if he is Holtec’s owner.
http://oig.tva.gov/PDF/pressreleases/Symonds.pdf (Emphasis our own).
Although bribery in America pre-dated the arrival of Krishna Singh, it doesn’t seem to be an everyday thing like in India: “A study conducted by Transparency International in year 2005 found that more than 62% of Indians had firsthand experience of paying bribes or influence peddling to get jobs done in public offices successfully.” That’s people from India, not American Indians! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_India India is improving but Singh moved to America a long time ago. Old habits die hard, so they say. Was that the case here? A lot and probably most Americans would have no idea how to bribe someone. This gives those who know how to engage in bribery, or its cousins, and wish to do so, an unfair advantage in business, school, employment.
This article discusses Symonds, the debarment and more: http://www.timesfreepress. com/news/news/story/2012/may/12/tva-waste-storage-pact-has-hot-history/77761/
About the TVA:
“This act of May 18, 1933, created the Tennessee Valley Authority to oversee the construction of dams to control flooding, improve navigation, and create cheap electric power in the Tennessee Valley basin.
“President Roosevelt signed the Tennessee Valley Authority Act on May 18, 1933, creating the TVA as a Federal corporation. The new agency was asked to tackle important problems facing the valley, such as flooding, providing electricity to homes and businesses, and replanting forests. Other TVA responsibilities written in the act included improving travel on the Tennessee River and helping develop the region’s business and farming. The establishment of the TVA marked the first time that an agency was directed to address the total resource development needs of a major region. TVA was challenged to take on—in one unified development effort—the problems presented by devastating floods, badly eroded lands, a deficient economy, and a steady out-migration. The most dramatic change in Valley life came from the electricity generated by TVA dams. Electric lights and modern appliances made life easier and farms more productive. Electricity also drew industries to the region, providing desperately needed jobs.
Today, TVA is the largest public power company in the United States. The agency also carefully runs the nation’s fifth-largest river system in order to control flooding, make rivers easier to travel, provide recreation, and protect water quality. As a Federal public power corporation, the TVA serves about 80,000 square miles in the southeastern United States. This area includes most of Tennessee and parts of six other states—Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. TVA’s facilities for generating electric power include 29 hydroelectric dams, a pumped-storage plant, 11 coal-fired plants, 3 nuclear plants, and 4 combustion-turbine installations. These facilities provide over 27,000 megawatts of dependable generating capacity. TVA typically produces more than 130 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, making it the largest electric power producer in the country. TVA provides electric power to 160 local, municipal, and cooperative power distributors through a network of about 17,000 miles of transmission lines.” http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=65#
 Metaphorical brown noses from kissing the nuclear industry’s rear end.
 May 31, 2015 update: The original post stated: “Worse, their storage casks are only between 5/8 inch and 1 1/4 inch thick, depending on the model” and referred to this footnote. However, it turns out that the inner, sealed part, is only 1/2 inch thick, though a slightly thicker 5/8 inch thick has been offered for San Onofre, apparently due to complaining citizens.
The differences in thickness, that we had found, had to do with the outer shells, which being vented don’t really count, except for protecting the inner shell from external problems. However, failure of the external parts could lead to puncture.
It is very difficult to find information on the specifications. The Hi-Storm 100 specifications for the vented protective cover appear to be an inner metal part which is 1-1/4 inches thick and an outer one 3/4 inches thick and concrete in between. This sounds good until you consider that the concrete wedged between carbon steel can degrade on its own, as well as interacting with the carbon steel, leading to degradation of the metal and the concrete sooner or later, and not necessarily at the same rate. The concrete could break and jab a hole into the metal. There is a randomness to the damage, which depends on contents, material quality, how the materials interact, and the random damage of radiation.
More details and references on the Holtec casks may be found in later posts.