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Thursday
Jan262012

Entergy Nuclear suffers black eyes at both its FitzPatrick, NY and Palisades, MI atomic reactors

Entergy's FitzPatrick GE BWR Mark 1 on the shore of Lake Ontario in upstate NYOn the same day, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has lambasted Entergy Nuclear for violations at both its FitzPatrick atomic reactor in upstate New York on the Lake Ontario shoreline, as well as at its Palisades atomic reactor in southwest Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline.

In a media release entitled "NRC CONFIRMS ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN AT FITZPATRICK NUCLEAR PLANT TO ADDRESS VIOLATIONS INVOLVING RADIATION PROTECTION PROGRAM," NRC addressed "actions... intended to address multiple violations involving radiation protection technicians at the Scriba, N.Y., plant...[involving] failures by the technicians to perform or properly execute their duties." These included:

"Failure by technicians to perform required respirator fit testing on multiple occasions from 2006 to 2009; a failure to maintain accurate documentation of completed respirator fit tests during the same period; a failure to perform and/or accurately document independent verification of certain valve positions after the valves were manipulated between September 2007 and December 2009; a failure to document a personal contamination event on at least one occasion; a failure to perform a contamination survey, or check, prior to the removal of an item from the plant’s radiologically controlled area; and a failure to carry out daily radiological surveys, on multiple occasions from 2006 to 2009, of a reactor building airlock."

FitzPatrick is a 38 year old General Electric Boiling Water Reactor of the Mark 1 design, identical to Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4. NRC has granted FitzPatrick a 20 year license extension, as well as a power uprate.

And, in a media release entitled "NRC ISSUES CONFIRMATORY ORDERS TO PALISADES POWER PLANT OWNER AND PLANT OPERATOR," NRC discussed a 2010 incident in which "A supervisor walks off the job in the control room without permission, apparently after an argument, which leads to a violation notice."

NRC has also granted Palisades a 20 year license extension, as well as a power uprate, despite its age related degradation and litany of mishaps.

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