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Did a Mouse Make a Hole in the Secondary Containment of Hope Creek Nuclear Power Station? “1 inch diameter hole was discovered in the secondary containment wall,…
Who done it? Does this mouse look guilty? Like the culprit?
Deer Mouse CDC gov
At 1358 [EDT] on July 28, 2015, a 1 inch diameter hole was discovered in the secondary containment wall, between the Reactor Building and the Auxiliary Building, causing the Secondary Containment to become inoperable under Technical Specification 3.6.5.1… The hole was sealed at 1600 and technical specification 3.6.5.1 was exited…
The hole was discovered by plant personnel that were walking past the wall. Due to the discovery of the hole, the plant is performing an extent of condition inspection.
” (See entire text below).

The secondary containment is fairly thick. Could the concrete be that rotten?
BWR NRC thickness of secondary containment most recent diagram
Maybe the mouse had a little bitty tunnel boring machine? Or did someone else make the hole?
Yucca mt boring machine gov
The every nutty USNRC decided to retract the event 2 weeks later and after the hole was patched!

* * * * RETRACTION FROM MARIAZ DAVIS TO STEVEN VITTO AT 1232 EDT ON 08/ 12/15 * * * *

“This event is being retracted.

“Hope Creek Generating Station Unit 1, is retracting the 8-hour non-emergency notification (EN# 51274) made on July 28, 2015, at 1855 EDT. The notification on July 28, 2015, reported that secondary containment was declared inoperable when a 1 inch hole was discovered in the secondary containment wall, between the Reactor Building and the Auxiliary Building. Secondary containment was declared inoperable based on the initial interpretation of the definition of secondary containment. The hole did not impact the ability to maintain the Tech Spec required negative pressure.” [ Never mind that radiation could leak out.] “Subsequent evaluation determined that secondary containment was always operable. Based on the engineering evaluation, the condition reported in EN# 51274 did not result in an inoperability of the secondary containment. Therefore, there is no reportable condition and this event report is being retracted.

The “event” had been classified as “POT UNCNTRL RAD REL” (Potential Uncontrolled Radiation Release) and even with a small hole that could be possible. Of course, uncontrolled is the key word here because nuclear reactors do controlled releases of radiation legally on a routine basis and possibly controlled illegal ones, as well.

Notice what the NRC says here about boiling water nuclear reactors:
In a typical design concept of a commercial BWR, the following process occurs:
The core inside the reactor vessel creates heat.
A steam-water mixture is produced when very pure water (reactor coolant) moves upward through the core, absorbing heat.
The steam-water mixture leaves the top of the core and enters the two stages of moisture separation where water droplets are removed before the steam is allowed to enter the steamline.
The steamline directs the steam to the main turbine, causing it to turn the turbine generator, which produces electricity.
The unused steam is exhausted to the condenser, where it is condensed into water. The resulting water is pumped out of the condenser with a series of pumps, reheated, and pumped back to the reactor vessel. The reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost, emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators.
” [When they start.] “Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power. BWRs contain between 370-800 fuel assemblies.http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/bwrs.html
Let’s see that again:
The nuclear “reactor’s core contains fuel assemblies that are cooled by water circulated using electrically powered pumps. These pumps and other operating systems in the plant receive their power from the electrical grid. If offsite power is lost, emergency cooling water is supplied by other pumps, which can be powered by onsite diesel generators.” [When they start] “Other safety systems, such as the containment cooling system, also need electric power.” So, nuclear reactors MUST be connected to the grid or have backup diesel generators! No wonder that there is an old conspiracy theory that nuclear power doesn’t even exist, based on nuclear power stations’ need for outside sources of electricity!

Hope Creek is a Mark I reactor. List of US Mark I and II: http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/operating/ops-experience/japan/us-boiling-water-reactors.html. List of Mark I, II, III worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_boiling_water_reactors
Mark III’s are problematic too.

Does it Matter if There is a Hole in the Secondary Containment?
Browns Ferry BW Reactor Torus
Browns Ferry BW Reactor Torus

In order to protect the Mark I containment from a total rupture it was determined necessary to vent any high pressure buildup. As a result, an industry workgroup designed and installed the “direct torus vent system” at all Mark I reactors. Operated from the control room, the vent is a reinforced pipe installed in the torus and designed to release radioactive high pressure steam generated in a severe accident by allowing the unfiltered release directly to the atmosphere through the 300 foot vent stack. Reactor operators now have the option by direct action to expose the public and the environment to unknown amounts of harmful radiation in order to “save containment.” As a result of GE’s design deficiency, the original idea for a passive containment system has been dangerously compromised and given over to human control with all its associated risks of error and technical failure.” Read more and see original documents here: http://www.nirs.org/factsheets/bwrfact.htm
But, that means that they can vent at any time doesn’t it? Basically they are venting radiation to save the building?

And everyone was told that Chernobyl couldn’t happen in the West because others had secondary containment and Chernobyl didn’t. But, this appears to have been based on nuclear industry propaganda! According to the New York Times, 1986-05-19, secondary containments in pressurized water reactors can contain high pressures. However, in boiling water reactors, “the secondary containment is more like the building that blew apart at Chernobyl and is not designed to take a powerful explosion, experts said. The water pool relieves some of the pressure, allowing the secondary containment to be less sturdy“. Dr. Richard Wilson, (pro-nuclear) professor of physics at Harvard was cited: “the huge water pool in the basement of Chernobyl was designed, as in American reactors, to relieve excessive pressure. “I’m just a little nervous that we have the same design and it didn’t work,…” It furthermore notes that hydrogen is believed to have caused the explosion and that zirconium fuel cladding increases hydrogen production. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/05/19/world/chernobyl-design-found-to-include-new-safety-plans.html Hydrogen is constantly produced from corrosion-radiolysis of water in water cooled nuclear reactors. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/nuclear-reactor-cracks-widespread-disease-scourge-warns-nobel-in-chemistry-nominee/
NRC gov BWR diagram ca 2011
USNRC Diagram
A secondary containment structure, or reactor building, surrounds the primary containment. The reactor building is maintained at a slight negative pressure during normal operations. The top most part of the reactor building houses the refueling floor. The spent fuel pool is located within the reactor building.” https://www.oecd-nea.org/press/2011/BWR-basics_Fukushima.pdf

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Hope Creek was 53,811, an increase of 53.3 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 5,523,010, an increase of 7.5 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Philadelphia (43 miles to city center).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Creek_Nuclear_Generating_Station

Hope Creek Generating Station, Unit 1
Location: Hancocks Bridge, NJ (18 miles SE of Wilmington, DE) in Region I
Operator:PSEG Nuclear, LLC
Operating License: Issued – 07/25/1986
Renewed Operating License: Issued – 7/20/2011
License Expires: 04/11/2046
Docket Number: 05000354
Reactor Type: Boiling Water Reactor
Licensed MWt: 3,840
Reactor Vendor/Type: General Electric Type 4
Containment Type: Wet, Mark I
http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactors/hope.html

NRC Notice:
Emergency Class: NON EMERGENCY
10 CFR Section:
50.72(b)(3)(v)(C) – POT UNCNTRL RAD REL
Person (Organization):
RAY MCKINLEY (R1DO)

DISCOVERED ONE INCH DIAMETER HOLE BETWEEN REACTOR BUILDING AND AUXILIARY BUILDING

“At 1358 [EDT] on July 28, 2015, a 1 inch diameter hole was discovered in the secondary containment wall, between the Reactor Building and the Auxiliary Building, causing the Secondary Containment to become inoperable under Technical Specification 3.6.5.1. Reactor Building pressure was maintained at a negative pressure as required by Technical Specification 3.6.5.1 with the Reactor Building ventilation system in service before and after discovery of the hole. In addition, the Filtration, Recirculation and Ventilation system remained fully operable and remained in standby. The hole was sealed at 1600 and technical specification 3.6.5.1 was exited. Plant operation was not impacted by the event and was operating at 100% power. No personnel injuries resulted from this event.”

The hole was discovered by plant personnel that were walking past the wall. Due to the discovery of the hole, the plant is performing an extent of condition inspection.

The licensee notified the NRC Resident Inspector and the Lower Alloways Creek Dispatch.

* * * * RETRACTION FROM MARIAZ DAVIS TO STEVEN VITTO AT 1232 EDT ON 08/ 12/15 * * * *

“This event is being retracted.

“Hope Creek Generating Station Unit 1, is retracting the 8-hour non-emergency notification (EN# 51274) made on July 28, 2015, at 1855 EDT. The notification on July 28, 2015, reported that secondary containment was declared inoperable when a 1 inch hole was discovered in the secondary containment wall, between the Reactor Building and the Auxiliary Building. Secondary containment was declared inoperable based on the initial interpretation of the definition of secondary containment. The hole did not impact the ability to maintain the Tech Spec required negative pressure. Subsequent evaluation determined that secondary containment was always operable. Based on the engineering evaluation, the condition reported in EN# 51274 did not result in an inoperability of the secondary containment. Therefore, there is no reportable condition and this event report is being retracted.

“The NRC Resident Inspector has been briefed on the evaluation results and informed of this retraction.”

The licensee also notified the Lower Alloways Creek Dispatch.

Notified R1DO (Powell).”
Mouse hole event retraction Aug 2015 2 weeks later and after patch
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2015/20150813en.html