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« Successful event raises funds and awareness on Entergy Palisades atomic reactor's brittle pressure vessel | Main | Public confronts NRC and Entergy over Palisades' safety and security risks »
Wednesday
Apr152015

Docket of Beyond Nuclear and coalition interventions against Entergy Nuclear's Palisades atomic reactor

First intervention proceeding, Dec. 1, 2014 to present

(Entergy applied for alternate fracture toughness regulatory relief, under 10 Code of Federal Regulations 50.61(a), because it can't meet the standard regulation 10CFR50.61, after 2017 for neutron radiation bombardment induced embrittlement of the reactor pressure vessel, and thus pressurized thermal shock risks -- a meltdown risk. The risk is brittle through-wall fracture.)

Intervention by Beyond Nuclear, Don't Waste MI, Michigan Safe Energy Future--Shoreline Chapter, and NEIS, filed Dec. 1st, 2014.

Beyond Nuclear issued a press release on Dec. 2nd.

Beyond Nuclear also posted an entry on its website, with links to additional background information.

(On Dec. 23rd, our expert witness, Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen at Fairewinds Energy Education, published a humorous short video about a serious subject -- RPV embrittlement and PTS risk at Palisades.)

Entergy Nuclear and NRC staff both responded in opposition to Beyond Nuclear et al.'s intervention on Jan. 12th, 2015.
The coalition, represented by Toledo-based attorney Terry Lodge, and Vermont-based expert witness Arnie Gundersen (Chief Engineer, Fairewinds Associates, Inc.), filed a Combined Reply on Jan. 20, 2015.
Beyond Nuclear did a web post on the Jan. 20 filing, with links to additional background info.
 
On March 25, 2015, our environmental coalition defended our intervention, against attacks by NRC staff and Entergy, at an NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel oral argument pre-hearing at NRC HQ in Rockville, MD. See the transcript of the hearing. (Hearing Transcript available at ADAMS ML# ML15086A540).
(On April 6, 2015, both Entergy and NRC staff objected to parts of the environmental coalition attorney, Terry Lodge's, testimony at the March 25th oral argument. They accused him of introducing new info., that should not be allowed in any longer. Lodge will rebut that attack with an official sur-rebuttal, in the near future. It will be posted here ASAP thereafter.) NRC Staff Brief in Response to Petitioners’ Statement Regarding Sister-Plant Data (Apr. 6, 2015) (ADAMS Accession No. ML15096A594); Entery’s Brief in Response to New Issue Raised in Petitioners’ Reply (Apr. 6, 2015) (ADAMS Accession No. ML15096A590).
In a May 9, 2015 media release, the coalition vowed to appeal the ruling, within the allotted 25 days.
The coalition appealed on June 2, 2015.
On June 29th, both Entergy Nuclear and NRC staff issued Answers to the environmental coalition's June 2nd appeal.

 

Second intervention proceeding, March 9, 2015 to present

(Entergy applied for regulatory relief under an "Equivalent Margins Analysis" under 10CFR50, Appendix G, because certain parts of its reactor pressure vessel at Palisades will fall below the Charpy V-Notch Upper Shelf Energy 50 foot-pounds screening criteria for metal degradation, as early as 2016. The risk is of through-wall "ductile tearing."):

On March 9, 2015 the coalition opened a second front in the safety regulation battle, filing an intervention petition and hearing request regarding the parallel issues of Entergy Palisades' "Equivalent Margins Analysis." This attempt by Entergy at yet another weakening of regulations is due to the "Charpy V-Notch Upper-Shelf Energy" of RPV plates and welds at Palisades falling below NRC's 50 ft.-lb. safety screening criteria. In addition to refiling Gundersen's December 1, 2014 expert witness declaration, Lodge also cited a recent Greenpeace International report, warning that extensive cracking of RPVs in Belgium raises a red flag for similar cracking occurring worldwide. Greenpeace Belgium also issued a press release.

Beyond Nuclear posted a March 10 web entry about the March 9 filing. Although it repeats a lot of the same info. as immediately above, it does provide some additional background/context.

 

April 3, 2015 NRC staff and Entergy oppositional responses to our March 9 filing.

Beyond Nuclear et al. filed a rebuttal to NRC's and Entergy's responses on April 10, 2015.

 

 

And, for historical context, and lest we forget, a broad environmental coalition fought the 20-year license extension at Palisades. That proceeding was back in 2005-2007. Embrittlement of the reactor pressure vessel/pressurized thermal shock risks of meltdown and catastrophic release of hazardous radioactivity was the single greatest safety concern (of a long list of concerns) back then, as well. This campaign is chronicled on the NIRS website.