Anti-pump condition, Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station, breaker defect, Browns Ferrry, California, Callaway Nuclear, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear, circuit breaker, dangers of nuclear, Davis Besse, environment, Florida, France, Ft. Calhoun, Georgia, Hanul Nuclear Power Station, Hatch Nuclear, Hope Creek Nuclear, KHNP Kori, KHNP Ulchin, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, NLI, North Carolina, NRC, nuclear, nuclear accident, nuclear disaster, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear reactors, Ohio, Pennsylvania, River Bend Nuclear, Schneider Electric, Schneider Electric France, Schneider Masterpact Breaker, Seabrook, SONGS, South Carolina, South Korea, Square D Schneider, St. Lucie Nuclear, STP, Texas, Three Mile Island, Turkey Point Nuclear, US NRC, USA
While several US nuclear power stations are known to have problems, which apparently stem from defective Schneider Electric Masterpact breakers, many more have these breakers, which could cause safety problems. These include two South Korean Nuclear Power Stations, as well as many US ones. These are the Schneider Electric Masterpact breakers provided via Nuclear Logistics Inc., so there may be more. Information about another Schneider Masterpact defect and the nuclear power stations involved is also provided below.
Problem Reported May 12, 2016: “PART 21 – INITIAL NOTIFICATION OF MASTERPACT BREAKER FAIL TO CLOSE… AZZ/NLI is providing written notification of the identification of a potential defect or failure to comply. “On the basis of our evaluation, it has been determined that there is sufficient information to determine if the subject condition is left uncorrected could potentially create a Substantial Safety Hazard or could create a Technical Specification Safety Limit violation as it relates to the subject plant applications. The plants will need to evaluate their application to determine if the identified condition could have an impact to the plant operation… Possible ‘failure to close’ condition of Masterpact breakers NT and NW style, that are being used with specific logic schemes that are subjected to ‘anti-pump’ conditions during normal operation. These breakers have a higher susceptibility to not return to the ready to close position after the close signal has been removed… PSEG reported approximately 14 instances with different breakers in different cubicles where they initiated an electric close order, and the breakers failed to close. All of the 14 instances were in applications of being used to start an inductive load… PSEG performed extensive troubleshooting at the Hope Creek plant and discovered that all of the affected breakers were in an anti-pump condition when the breakers failed to close…. The evaluation of the condition was originally completed in September of 2012. The issue was originally determined at that time to not be a reportable condition based on the breaker not containing a defect and the condition was believed to be attributed to the specific logic scheme at the plant. To date, this issue has only been reported to NLI from the following plants, PSEG Hope Creek and River Bend Station. No other plants have reported this specific fail to close condition…” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2016/20160513en.html (Emphasis added)
This follows on the heels of a February 2014 warning about potentially defective Masterpact circuit breakers. The list of nuclear power stations from 2014 follows the 2016 list.
Nuclear Power Stations “which have been supplied the Masterpact circuit breakers.
“PSEG Hope Creek [NJ] – Issue Identified for NW style
River Bend – Issue identified for NT style
Callaway [Missouri] – This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
St. Lucie [Florida] – This issue has not been identified however. the potential should be evaluated.
Turkey Point [Florida]– This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Beaver Valley [Pennsylvania] – This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Davis Besse [Ohio] – This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Three Mile Island [Pennsylvania] – This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Calvert Cliffs [Maryland] – This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Hatch [Georgia] -This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
STP [Texas]– This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
SONGS [California] – This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
KHNP Ulchin [Now Hanul, S. Korea]– This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
KHNP Kor i [South Korea]– This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Duke Oconee [South Carolina]– This issue has not been identified however, the potential should be evaluated.
Duke McGuire [North Carolina] – Non-safety (not supplied by NU), This issue has not been identified.”
“Advice for plants with breakers currently installed: Evaluate the applications where the breakers may be potentially subjected to an Anti-Pump condition; where the close coil will be energized for an extended period of time. “The circuit breaker will continue to operate if this condition is present however there may need to be human interaction with the circuit breaker by manually pressing the trip/open button on the front of the circuit breaker to free the mechanism.” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2016/20160513en.html [Emphasis our own; States added in brackets; Note that even after shut-down the reactors require cooling so risk continues.]
There are many of these circuit breakers so telling people to do adjust them manually appears absurd. In fact, some oil refinery workers used to go on slow down strike by walking around checking valves instead of riding bicycles, which was their normal routine.
“Square D/Schneider Masterpact 480V breakers were installed at the River Bend Station… [which] has 310 in-use Masterpact breakers. There are 66 safety-related 480V cubicles with 57 in-use breakers“. http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1604/ML16047A268.pdf (Emphasis added) See too: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/defective-us-nuclear-breakers-by-schneider-electric-of-france-schneider-appears-involved-in-french-nuclear-parts-scandal-as-original-owner-of-le-creusot-forge-too/
A 2014 warning about Schneider Masterpact involving overheating risk. The power stations which replaced GE AK-50s were considered at higher risk and so we added that info in brackets, along with the states. This appears to have caused the Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Reactor fire, as explained in yesterday’s post. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/schneider-masterpact-breaker-role-in-ft-calhoun-nuclear-power-station-fire-appears-clear/
“A list of the cradle types, primary disconnect part numbers and affected facilities (plants) in Table 1 as follows:
Plant Name / Cradle-Breaker Type / Primary disconnect part number / Quantity / Original breaker type-Notes
OPPD-Ft. Calhoun/LGSB4 with Masterpact NW breaker/AHX30701/18/Original breakers: GE AK-50. OPPD replaced all AHX30701 with narrower disconnect p/n R300112 [Greater overheat risk, replaced some apparently after fire, Nebraska]
TVA-Browns Ferry/LGSB4 and LGSB21 with Masterpact NW breaker/AHX30701/28/Original breakers: GE AK-50. [Greater overheat risk-Alabama ]
Entergy-River Bend/LGSB9 Masterpact NW breaker/R300112/5/ Original breakers: AKR-50. Narrower disconnect. [Louisiana – AKR-50 is also GE]
FENOC-Beaver Valley/LGSB4 Masterpact NW breaker/AHX307O1/20/Original breakers: GE AK-50 [Greater overheat risk – Pennsylvania]
FPL-St. Lucie/LISB2 Masterpact NW breaker/AJF30101/15/Original breakers: ABB K-1600 [Florida]
FPL-Turkey Point/LISB2 Masterpact NW breaker/AJF30101/12/Original breakers: ABB K-1600 [Florida]
SCE-SONGS/LISB2 Masterpact NW breaker/AJF30101/8/Original breakers: ABB K-1600 [California]
Nextera Energy-Seabrook/LISB2 Masterpact NW breaker/AJF30101/4/Original breakers: ABB K-1600 [New Hampshire]
“- This issue does not affect all of the cradles identified above. Since the issue is a result of incorrect manufacturing tolerances, it will not be present on all cradles.
“- The overheating issue could be a problem with replacement circuit breakers for GE AK-50 circuit breakers. Due to the construction of the switchgear cubicles, there can be vertical misalignment of the stabs in the switchgear. If the primary disconnect float is not adequate, the overheating issue identified above could occur.
“- The overheating issue is expected to be much less prevalent or non-existent on the replacements for GE AKR and ABB K-line circuit breakers. The construction of the switchgear cubicles results in good vertical alignment of the stabs in the switchgear, so the amount of cradle finger vertical float is not as critical.” http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1407/ML14071A477.pdf http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2014/20140227en.html
Boycott Schneider Electric and prepare yourself for radioactive Freedom Fries if these defective breakers are not replaced.
Oconee Nuclear Power Station South Carolina:
“At 1512 EST, a fire/explosion occurred in the Unit 1 Main Transformer which resulted in a reactor trip. At 1520 EST, the licensee declared a Notification of Unusual Event. Offsite assistance was requested. At 1633 EST, smoke and flame were no longer visible. Fire brigade personnel were applying additional foam to prevent a re-flash. No personnel injuries occurred.” http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/2016/20160307en.html
Fort Calhoun nuclear plant no longer makes financial sense – CEO