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Remember to Comment by July 30th (Deadline extended from May: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/holtec-proposal-to-bury-high-level-nuclear-waste-teleconference-sign-up-deadline-monday-written-comments-due-end-may )
Joy Russell of Holtec Nuclear waste cans, who has worked for them for over 21 years, and is supposedly a West Point Mechanical Engineer, does not know that gases such as air, natural gas, and helium can leak? She thinks only liquids can leak? She helped design the Holtec spent fuel casks, which are “backfilled” with helium gas.

Ms. Joy Russell is currently Holtec Nuclear Vice President of Corporate Business Development and Communications. She says she’s been there for over 21 years. At approximately 11 min, 15 sec to 18 sec she makes an incredible WTF statement: “I would like to point out that spent nuclear fuel is not a liquid, it can’t leak.” Link – https://youtu.be/GKZwsukGQSU

Life experience, the dictionary definition of leak, and the US NRC indicate otherwise. Not only is she old enough to know that balloons can leak air or helium, and tires leak air, but she is supposed to be a mechanical engineer from the US Military Academy at West Point. Of course, she and her apparent husband (from India like Holtec owner Kris Singh) both work at Holtec, so a lot is at stake for her. Her married name seems to be Joy R. Chaudhary.

The dictionary definition of leak includes: “To escape or pass through a breach or flaw: helium leaking slowly from the balloon… To permit (a substance) to escape or pass through a breach or flaw: a damaged reactor leaking radioactivity into the atmosphere“.[1]

Holtec’s Certificate of Compliance states regarding leaks: “At completion of welding the MPC shell to baseplate, an MPC confinement weld helium leak test shall be performed using a helium mass spectrometer. This test shall include the base metals of the MPC shell and baseplate. A helium leak test shall also be performed on the base metal of the fabricated MPC lid. In the field, a helium leak test shall be performed on the vent and drain port confinement welds and cover plate base metal. The confinement boundary leakage rate tests shall be performed in accordance with ANSI N14.5 to “leaktight” criteria. If a leakage rate exceeding the acceptance criteria is detected, then the area of leakage shall be determined and the area repaired per ASME Code Section III, Subsection NB requirements. Re-testing shall be performed until the leakage rate acceptance criterion is met….” https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1602/ML16029A531.pdf The above certainly sounds like some leakage is allowed. Won’t small leakage over time empty the casks of the helium and other gases? Like a tiny leak leading to a flat tire?

on September 12, 2014, Arkansas Nuclear One (ANO) determined during cask drying operations for MPC-24-060 that a loaded fuel assembly previously classified as intact potentially contained one or more fuel rods with cladding damage greater than a pinhole leak or hairline crack….” https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1428/ML14286A037.pdf

According to the Holtec web site, Joy Russell was involved in the development and licensing of Holtec spent fuel containers from the end of the 1990s. They says that she “played a critical role“. Is that a Freudian slip? It also explains that her “nuclear analysis methodologies” still “serve as the licensing bases for Holtec’s dry storage and transport systems and components.”Read the bio here: http://web.archive.org/web/20180607144001/https://holtecinternational.com/company/leadership/corporate-leadership/ms-joy-russell What methodologies? Calling leaks releases? A release implies that it is on purpose. A Joy Renee Russell is listed as a 1987 West Point graduate, but there are no pictures. https://www.westpointaog.org/findagrad There are other Joy Renee Russells who do NOT work for Holtec. However, there is a Joy Renee Russell, age 52, who appears to be married to Pankaj Kumar Chaudhary, is also known as Joy R. Chaudhary, and lives in NJ. A Pankaj Kumar Chaudhary is another VP at Holtec. There is a P.K. Chaudhary who graduated from the same school that Holtec owner Kris Pal Singh supposedly graduated from in India: “P B Chaudhary, Scientific Officer, Nuclear Fuel Complex Hyderabad, Department Of Atomic Energyhttp://central.gutenberg.org/articles/Birsa_Institute_of_Technology We say “supposedly” because foreigners have been let into US grad programs without proof of degrees, plus degree proof could be easily faked, especially then. Holtec’s Pankaj Kumar Chaudhary is “Senior Vice President of Operations, IT and Manufacturing” and is supposed to have a B.S. in Electronics & Power Engineering from Nagpur University in India, but this could be P.K. Chaudhary’s son. http://web.archive.org/web/20180607162615/https://holtecinternational.com/company/leadership/corporate-leadership/mr-pankaj-pk-chaudhary Recall that Kris Singh is a large donor, family friend and possibly kin to Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Joy certainly looks a lot like Kris Singh’s wife: http://web.archive.org/web/20180607162146/https://holtecinternational.com/company/leadership/board-of-directors/martha-j-singh/

There have been several instances during loading and drying of fuel in dry storage canisters where a release of radioactive material, notably Krypton-85, a fission product gas, was observed. These releases have occurred with both Holtec and TN systems.

The observation of fission product gases during the drying raises several related questions:
• Was the actual fuel cladding condition been correctly classified as “intact/ undamaged” before loading?
• Has the loading and drying process potentially changed fuel cladding condition?
• What action needs to be taken when such a release is detected?

These question need to be addressed since the approved contents in the Certificate of Compliance are conditional on the fuel classification, using the following principal definitions:

• Intact/ Undamaged: Fuel cladding defects are limited to pin hole leaks or hairline cracks (PL&HCs). Such defects would not affect the geometric arrangement of the fissionable material, hence they would be inconsequential from a criticality safety perspective. Note that for some canisters, even larger defects are permissible under the undamaged category for fuel that meet certain criteria.

• Damaged: Fuel defects are sufficiently large to allow fuel particles to exit the fuel rod and the potential changes in geometric arrangement need to be considered.

This HIB presents discussions of the technical and historical background associated with Krypton releases during drying and loading, and provides recommendations for the users of the Holtec system.

The release of Kr-85 during the drying process has been attributed to the release of remaining fission product gases contained in the fuel cladding through existing pin hole leaks and hairline cracks. In general, the release of radioactive material, specifically fission gases, from fuel characterized as “intact”, during drying is not unexpected. During the drying process, fuel temperatures increase and pressures inside the fuel rods increase. The increased internal cladding pressure will tend to enlarge an existing defect. In addition, if the vacuum drying process is used, an increase in the differential pressure inside and outside of the fuel cladding occurs. The increase in differential pressure can cause the release of fission product gases remaining in the fuel rods through existing pin hole defects.

Forced Helium Dehydration (FHD), used with Holtec systems, maintains low fuel temperatures during drying; however, the release of contained fission product gases at low pressure can still occur.

For gas releases from Holtec systems, no deficiency or inadequacy in the equipment or system used in the dry storage operation has been identified….”

Click to access ML17122A275.pdf

[1] For the American Heritage Dictionary definition:
leak. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved June 7 2018 from https://www.thefreedictionary.com/leak

Video and Screen shot from video are Creative Commons-BY EON 3: https://youtu.be/GKZwsukGQSU

Many thanks to James Heddle for drawing our attention to this statement in a Counterpunch article and for linking to the following post https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/why-was-holtec-debarred-as-tva-contractor/

Read his detailed article here:
The California – New Mexico Nuclear Connection” by JAMES HEDDLE, JUNE 7, 2018
Target: ‘Nuclear Alley,’ New Mexico https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/07/the-california-new-mexico-nuclear-connection/

Here is a page from the Holtec Certificate of Compliance discussing leaks. Note the many changes (Amendments) Holtec has requested and gotten.

Click to access ML16029A531.pdf