ABB, Asea Brown Boveri, Brown-Boveri, defect parts, embrittlement, Exelon, Limerick, Limerick Reactor scram, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear reactor, Philadelphia PA, pivot pins, substandard parts
Was the trip due to an electrical fault at Limerick Nuclear Reactor Unit 2 caused by yet another defective ABB part? ABB is Swedish-Swiss. And, quality assurance, or lack thereof, is the responsibility of the parent company, i.e. ABB. Were defects acceptable when original Swiss Brown Boveri (BBC)-the BB in ABB- was making parts for Nazi submarines? Would it be acceptable in Sweden or Switzerland?
This region seems to be unevacuable in a major nuclear emergency. Most likely many will be told to “shelter in place”.
“The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of Limerick was 252,197, an increase of 18.7 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 8,027,924, an increase of 6.1 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include Philadelphia (28 miles to city center).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_Generating_Station
Location exported from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limerick_Generating_Station
“MANUAL REACTOR SCRAM DUE TO UNEXPECTED CORE FLOW CHANGE
“Limerick Unit 2 was manually scrammed from 100 [percent] power at 0900 [EDT] on 6/1/2016 in accordance with plant procedure OT-112 ‘Unexpected/Unexplained change in core flow’ when both 2A and 2B Recirculation Pump Adjustable Speed Drives (ASDs) tripped due to an electrical fault. The shutdown was normal and the plant is stable in Hot Shutdown with normal pressure control via the Main Steam Bypass valves to the Main Condenser and normal level control using Feedwater. The Manual RPS actuation is reportable under 10 CFR 50.72 (b)(2).”
All rods inserted fully on manual scram and the plant is in a normal shutdown electrical line up. Unit 1 was not affected by this event.
The licensee plans to issue a press release.
The licensee notified local counties and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified.”
Was This the Cause?
Regarding a recent defect caused by substandard materials leading to embrittlement:
“ABB recommends that these pivot pins be visually inspected at the next convenient maintenance cycle.” Is that a proper way to deal with a nuclear reactor? Would this be an acceptable way of handling quality assurance in Sweden or Switzerland?
Of related interest:
“This interim report addresses a malfunction of the closing spring charging function in ABB Model HK circuit breakers… Event Date: Discovered Date: Report Date: February 3, 2004 February 13, 2004 April 9, 2004” http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0411/ML041110893.pdf
“Unit 2 HPCI vacuum breaker check valve replacement on August 7, 2015” http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1530/ML15307A386.pdf
“List of Shocking Evidence Documenting a Pattern of Negligence by NRC and Exelon at Limerick Nuclear Plant“, May 1, 2016 by The Alliance for a Clean Environment http://www.acereport.org/archives/402
Brown Boveri was the maker of the failed Pebble Bed Reactor. Germany is currently trying to get the US to take the high level nuclear waste from this poorly designed reactor for dumping. It was recently alleged that the THTR workers intentionally vented high levels of radiation in an attempt to dislodge a stuck fuel pebble, and that they used Chernobyl radiation as a cover.