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This is an update on the situation at North Anna's two PWRs since the Cuckoo Earthquake of August 23, 2011. For those who aren't familiar with rural Virginia villages, the one that happened to be situated directly on top of the epicenter of that 5.8 earthquake is called "Cuckoo." What that has to do with the bulk of weird news coming out of North Anna - situated about 6 miles away from Cuckoo - is yours to weave as you like.

Follow below the Orange Squiggle Of Power for the full update…

I direct readers to the Reuters article, NRC rejects quick restart at Virginia nuclear plant, which looks at some of the issues that have come to light since the earthquake. Dominion claims that its detailed inspections inside the unit-1 containment have revealed exactly zero problems related to the quake, other than some cracked walls on the inside and a nice little, "easily patched" crack in the main containment dome wall. They also reported some fallen pipe insulation and 'cosmetic' damage to 115-ton spent fuel dry casks that did some dancing around in other areas of the facility. The NRC sent extra inspectors anyway, and is definitely double checking every little thing.

I cannot seem to find confirmation anywhere that unit-2 has yet reached a state of 'cold shutdown' that would allow containment depressurization and entry. It remained in 'hot standby' days after the emergency scrams triggered by the earthquake, which means there was still some fission going on after the shutdown and that is all by itself a definite eyebrow-raiser.

Remember when Dominion reported on the day of the earthquake that the scrams were initiated by the operators manually, then the NRC came back to insist the scrams were automatic upon loss of offsite power? Turns out both Dominion AND the NRC were wrong.

First off, the earthquake has been determined to have stressed the plants (unit-2 more than unit-1) to at least twice design criteria based not on the richter scale of the event, but on the actual g-forces applied both up and down and side to side.

Secondly, it was not the loss of grid power that caused the scrams. The grid never actually went down as first reported by Dominion, so they came back with transformer relays that opened during the earthquake as causal. Turns out that wasn't right either. Dominion now admits that "a problem inside the cores at both units" caused the shutdowns. The Reuters reporter misidentifies the rods at issue as fuel rods, but the only rods designed to "go into the core" during a scram are control rods

Dominion officials said it now appears the reactors shut when the earthquake caused a problem inside the cores at both units rather than from the loss of outside power to the plant as initially reported.

"It looks like the (fuel) rods were going into the core prior to the transformer opening," possibly from a relay problem, a Dominion executive said.

Dominion is still working to understand the "root cause" of the plant shutdown as multiple automatic trip signals from various indicators were received within seconds of the quake.

Now, these are not boiling water reactors like those at Fukushima, they are pressurized water reactors like at Three Mile Island. A "problem inside the core" can't be waived away as water sloshing around or anything, since the systems are solid. The only open air is at the top of the pressurizer, and that's not in the core. They are talking rods 'going into the core', and this IS what they call a "scram." Those hafnium control rods all have to drop all the way to their bottom-stops in order to shut down the fission reaction. There will still be decay heat to be removed, of course, and previous reports maintained that cooling circulation was provided during the outage (when the reactor coolant pumps were not working) by "convection flow" via the Emergency Diesel Generators operating pumps in the secondary, heat transfer loop.

Any degree of scram failure - all rods not making it to their bottom-stops - allows fission to continue in the reactor, though in diminished energy level. Convection circulation isn't going to be all that effective in transferring heat from a still-fissioning reactor, which may help explain the far greater Emergency Steam Dump Valve [ESDV] discharge from North Anna's unit-2 reactor as opposed to the unit-1 reactor. In fact, the unit-2 ESDVs remained open for an entire day AFTER the transformer relays had been repaired and offsite power restored to restart the reactor coolant pumps.

Fortunately for Dominion (and the NRC, which doesn't much like for the public to know when things don't work as planned), unit-2 was scheduled for a refueling outage in October, so they're "taking this opportunity" to keep it shut down for that so they don't have to explain why it's not ready for "quick restart" like they say unit-1 is. It has been reported that unit-2 suffered bigger stresses than unit-1 during the quake, and there may well be significant damage inside the containment. Even if some of the rods didn't make it all the way in (a German reactor suffered a 100% scram failure a few years ago when its entire core got shifted during refueling, but that was during power-up so it wasn't a huge deal), the core section where fission is still occurring should burn itself out fairly quickly to allow containment entry.

At any rate, that's where things now stand at North Anna. Kudos to the NRC for not just taking Dominion's word for it this time, and going ahead with a full in-depth investigation before allowing restart for either unit. Those of us who aren't fond of nuclear electrical generation can hope that they will be so thorough the plants will never be returned to service, and that Dominion's planned third unit is never built. They lost their gamble on that fault they built these things directly on top of. That gamble was that the "once every hundred years" earthquake wouldn't happen during the 40 years - now 60 years, as both units got their licenses extended for another 20 - of their operation. 40 years was really pushing things, 60 is just plain old idiotic.

I will keep trying to track information as it is released and keep you all up to date. Meanwhile, I'll just say once again - because this situation lets me do that - not all scrams are entirely 'successful'. And a scram failure complicated by those ubiquitous "unforeseen events" can be positively catastrophic. Let's shut these suckers down for good.

Links:

Recommendations for nuclear plants come after Louisa quake
NRC rejects quick restart at Virginia nuclear plant
Quake shook U.S. plant twice as hard as design allowed

Originally posted to Joieau on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 12:51 PM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for this update. (25+ / 0-)

    I live about 40 miles from the North Anna Plant. It's the first thing I thought of when the shaking stopped and I found out where the epicenter was.

    I am quite familiar with the area. Been to Lake Anna - nice, warm water. Also, in the early 80s, some buddies of mine lived in a trailer on the the hippy commune up there, called Cuckoo Farm, after the communards had split for California. The trailer was the only place connected to the grid. The rest of the dwellings were little cabins, some of them with green design features quite advanced for the late 1970s.

    Courage is contagious. - Daniel Ellsberg

    by semiot on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 01:33:50 PM PDT

  •  Does your definition of hot standby differ (7+ / 0-)

    from this old one found at random on the web?

    One table in it gives values for reactivity for various conditions, and for hot standby it says Keff < 0.99, which means the reactor as a whole is subcritical. Also listed is percent of thermal rated power, and for hot standby that is listed as 0%.

    Startup and power operation are both listed as greater than or equal to 0.99, with percents of thermal power of < 5% and greater than or equal to 5% respectively.

    Hot shutdown is listed as Keff < .99, power of 0%
    Cold shutdown Keff < 0.99, power of 0%
    Refueling is Keff <= .95, power of 0%

    Average coolant temps are different among hot shutdown, cold shutdown, and refueling, being progressively cooler starting with hot shutdown at between 200 and 350 F. The states from hot standby on up are all >= 350 F.

    If the reactivity of the reactor as a whole is less than 1, how can there be fission occurring in any self sustaining way?

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 01:40:57 PM PDT

    •  I dunno, Bill. You tell me. (6+ / 0-)

      I R not an RO. What's the difference between cold shutdown and hot standby, if unit-1 is cold and unit-2 is hot? Do you have a link to any reports about depressurizing unit-2's containment and allowing inspections? I looked and looked, tried Googling a dozen ways, nada. Hopefully they're in by now, but I can't confirm that, even via a steady supply of incoming NRC notifications and updates.

      And if you've got inspection reports, do they include any examinations of the pad? I saw them trying to wire the earth together for unit-1's pad back in the day with rebar, struck me funny as hell. I'm wondering if they even bothered to do that much for unit-2, wasn't around for that. All they ever really needed to do was move it all over 30 feet or so. It was really quite humorous before anything radioactive was on board.

      •  Hot and cold (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        billmosby, Lujane, erush1345
        What's the difference between cold shutdown and hot standby, if unit-1 is cold and unit-2 is hot?

        Go read Bill's link. The difference is the average coolant temperature. In hot standby the coolant is (relatively) hot and in cold shutdown the coolant is (relatively) cold. This is exactly what you should expect from the terms "hot" and "cold."

        An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
        -- H. L. Mencken

        by bryfry on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 02:45:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only remaining question (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, Lujane

          might be why is one unit hotter than the other, but if one had been cooling for refueling, that would explain it. I'll have to take another look at the diary for a sec..

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 02:49:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was unit-2 scheduled (10+ / 0-)

            for refueling, both were at 100% when the earthquake hit. Unit-2 is the 'hot' one. If there is any fission (and I have already said that this isn't a meltdown situation), containment entry is going to be short stay-time via the air-lock. You cannot do an in-depth inspection under those conditions, but a quick look-around could be done.

            That's why I ask about the pads. I can't even confirm Dominion inspected those at all. NRC, thankfully, may do a much better job.

            •  Event Notices w/links Hot Standby, Hot Shutdown, (10+ / 0-)

              and Cold Shutdown.

              Event Number: 47181, Notification Date 8.23.11

              Verifies that both units were in "Power Operation" mode prior to the incident and "Hot Standby" at the time the notice was submitted.

              Event Number: 47196 (same link), Dated 8.25.11 reports that at the time of an aftershock on that date Unit 1 was in Cold Shutdown Mode and Unit 2 Remained in Hot Standby mode.

              Event 47198, dated 8.25.11, indicates that the mode of Unit 2 went from Hot Standby to Hot Shutdown at the time of the incident covered by the notice:

              NOTIFICATION TO OFFSITE AGENCY REGARDING AN ONSITE OIL SPILL”At 1610 EDT on August 25, 2011 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality was notified of an oil spillthat occurred at 1900 EDT on August 24, 2011. The spill was approximately 150 gallons to the gravel outside the North Anna Unit 2 Turbine Building. The event occurred while purging CO2 from the Unit 2 Main Generator with air. Standing oil from the gravel was pumped to barrels and oil soaks were applied to the remaining oil. Clean up of the gravel areas continued.”The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified in addition to the state and local authorities.

              Event Number: 47201 (same link), dated 8.26.11 reported that Unit 1 remained in Cold Shutdown and Unit 2's status had changed since the most recent previous notice to Hot Shutdown.

              Event Number: 47228 (new link), dated 9.1.11 reported that at the time of another aftershock that day, both Units were in Cold Shutdown mode.

              So, accoding to the reports filed with the NRC,  Unit 1 achieved Cold Shutdown within 2 days.

              Unit 2 remained on Hot Standby at least through that long and on the third day was in Hot Shutdown.  It was in Cold Shutdown within 9 days, but it is not clear when during that time Cold Shutdown was achieved as it was in Cold Shutdown prior to the event which led to the Sept 1 notice.

              So why did Unit 2 remain on Hot Standby for two days?

              How long did it take Unit 2 to go from Hot Shutdown to Cold Shutdown and why did it take that much longer than Unit 1?

              And why did Dominion say both units had been "shut down" (as reported by the press) on the day of the earthquake?  

              Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

              by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:12:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Markos tells me I now (6+ / 0-)

          have the ability to tell you that you are not welcome in my diaries, and request that you go elsewhere. Which I now do, with feeling. Thanks.

          •  Thanks, I think I'll go also. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Recall, erush1345, buddabelly

            I have more interesting things to do than ask an honest question about your own definition of something and get back an answer of "I don't know, you tell me".

            Moderation in most things.

            by billmosby on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 03:24:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He said you can set the tone in your diaries. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lujane, erush1345, buddabelly
            Asking for civility is one thing (8+ / 0-)
            but no, a diarist can't say "X topic is out of bounds". My rules refer to civility, not content. This is a debate site. If you don't want civil debate, then it's not for you.

            Doesn't sound like you can just eject someone for no reason.

          •  Show where Markos says you can kick people out (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yuriwho, erush1345, buddabelly

            of your diary for simple disagreement.

            "Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance."

            Just because you don't like bryfry, doesn't mean you can arbitrarily kick him out of your diary.  Your Hr below is ratings abuse.

            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

            by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:32:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've got garlic draped (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KiB, Sandino, Russgirl

              over my front door, kbman. I have NOT invited them in. Bryfry can bite me - oops, that would be sexist if I weren't a girl, wouldn't it? - for all I care. This one is entirely legit, and I make no bones about telling him (and you) that if you've got an issue, take it up with Markos.

              BTW, you may not have noticed that he's not a member of the "know something" nuclear crowd here. He's not a nuke. He's just a... whatever.

              •  You don't get to say who can come in (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erush1345

                In the quote from Markos' diary just below he makes it clear that people "anti-x" can come into a diary and express contrary opinion.  You don't get to play doorperson and only allow in those you choose.

                Most of the incivility in this diary is from you.

                Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:02:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yum.... garlic! :) (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joieau, Into The Woods

                Thanks for trying to keep things clear amongst the constant diversion tactics going on.

                We are not here to divide but to share and learn about this and other ongoing nuclear issues.

                Joieau is right - those who wish to continue to play other games can GO HOME.  This topic is far too serious to allow these games any longer.

                Adm. Hyman Rickover, “father of the nuclear navy,” came out against nuclear power near the end of his life:

                “I do not believe that nuclear power is worth it if it creates radiation. . . . Every time you produce radiation, you produce something that has a certain half-life, in some cases for billions of years. I think the human race is going to wreck itself, and it is important that we get control of this horrible force and try to eliminate it.”

          •  In fact, he addressed this here: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yuriwho, erush1345, buddabelly
            Free for all zone

            Now in the flip side -- if you write your diary promoting X, and an anti-x person offers a clean rebuttal, based on facts and without personal attacks or other dickishness -- don't be a dick in response. If you drag the discussion down in your diary, don't come crying to me. Same goes for your allies.

            You can't just preemptively declare your diaries anti-nuclear-supporter zones.

            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

            by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:50:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  IMHO, there was "dickishness" exhibited n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau

              Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

              by Just Bob on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:01:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not before Joieau acted that way in response (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                yuriwho, erush1345, buddabelly

                to bryfry's mere presence.  She was trying to kick him out at 2:45.  Any "dickishness" on his part was after Joieau already responded to his civil posts with incivility.  AFAIKT, this diary qualifies as a Free For All Zone.

                Markos never said that it was OK for the diarist to be uncivil as a way of disallowing dissent.  That is what she did here.

                Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:11:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Given the history I've witnessed (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Into The Woods, Joieau, cany, KiB, Russgirl

                  the continued attacks in every nuclear related diary is, in my mind, dickishness.

                  I would like to be able to discuss current events without the burden of ongoing sniping.

                  Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                  by Just Bob on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:16:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is a very contentious issue (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    yuriwho, erush1345

                    And as far as I could tell the sniping here was started by the diarist.

                    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                    by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:22:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ? (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      KiB, yuriwho, Russgirl

                      Leave, kbman. I hate to say that, because I like you. But here and now, take it elsewhere. Thanks. Consider yourself warned.

                      •  No. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        yuriwho, erush1345, buddabelly

                        You can't order people out of your diaries simply because of disagreement.  You really need to reread Markos' diary.

                        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                        by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:47:43 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Suit yourself. (5+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Just Bob, KiB, Sandino, Andhakari, Russgirl

                          Have anything of substance to offer, or are you just here to help your buddies?

                          Oh, did you happen to note that an investigatory consortium in Japan has determined that Fukushima unit-4's explosion was caused by radiolysis of water in the SFP? That's not even zirconium oxidation to produce the hydrogen you insisted melting reactors never produce (thus they CAN'T explode). Radiolysis. Shit happens.

                          •  And it was radiolysis that was the concern (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            erush1345

                            when they started injecting nitrogen into the containments at Fukushima as well.  Of course at the time you claimed it must be due to ongoing fission.  And please, show me where I ever claimed that melting reactors never produce hydrogen.  Seriously.  Don't claim I've said things I never said.

                            As far as the civility question, you are the one trying to throw people out of your diary.  You are the one using terms like "haunt" and chiding commenters on their age.  If you want civility in your diaries I suggest you practice it yourself and knock off the gratuitous insults.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:06:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, give us a break. (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB, Sandino, Andhakari, Russgirl

                            Nothing said here is ever "gone for good." You said hydrogen was impossible, in an early-on March 11 diary when we heard they were venting at Fukushima Daiichi. I asked innocently enough how much hydrogen they were venting. Given actual experience with meltdowns, and their subsequent hydrogen issues. You claimed impossibility, waived it away.

                            Days later, after 4 units had suffered massive hydrogen explosions that have ADMITTEDLY released nearly half as much cesium as Chernobyl (and ~170 times as much as the Hiroshima bomb), you not only still denied hydrogen was involved, you asserted that the explosions were an integral part of Mark-I design. No big deal.

                            It was a major big deal. Still is. And it is no longer arguable that hydrogen caused the lot of 'em. You were so busy still covering up for TMI-2 that you left yourself wide open to truth about Fukushima. It nailed you.

                          •  Bullshit (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            yuriwho, erush1345

                            Again, show me where I said that.  Show me the comment where I waved away your concern.  You can't because it doesn't exist.

                            search - all mentions of the word hydrogen by kbman between March 10 and March 12 2011.

                            From March 12th:

                            It was, in fact, just the secondary containment (10+ / 0-)

                            that exploded due to hydrogen gas buildup.  That is fully consistent with fuel cladding breakdown.  It is the interaction of the zircalloy cladding with high temperature steam that releases hydrogen.

                            So how was it that I was still denying hydrogen involvement 4 days later?  Maybe SOMEBODY made those statements but it was not me.  Stop claiming I said things I didn't.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:42:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And just to be complete, here are your (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            yuriwho, erush1345

                            mentions of hydrogen from that same 3/10 - 3/12 time frame:

                            search

                            As mentioned above, stop claiming I said things I never said.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:56:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  sorry joieau but he has been completely civil and (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Recall

                        you have no ability or right under the current state of the FAQ to tell someone they cannot comment no matter what as long as it's civil and on topic and kbman is........

                        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                        Emiliano Zapata

                        by buddabelly on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:56:22 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not going (5+ / 0-)

              to drag previous diary threads' issues into here. There is no reason to, since I have sourced all of the info given in this diary. If you've a problem with either Dominion or NRC data, go ahead and post it in comments here. With links.

              If you're just wanting to start a pie fight, I'm sure there's an I/P or racist sux/rox diary you can haunt. Or maybe not, since Markos has made short work of those over the past week too.

              Don't play this game, kbman. You've been one of the nukes who has been reasonable in the past, and even admitted your errors about Fukushima when confronted with them. Please don't forget where you're at now about the constant lies (open eyes), to shut them again. I would be greatly disappointed.

            •  Contrary, unsupported speculation combined with (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, Joieau, KiB

              what I'll just call 'an attitude' .

              It's fine to call out someone else's speculation, but more than a bit 'dickish' to simultaneously engage in equal portions of your own especially in combination with the "conspiracy" charge that is not the last resort, but often the first resort of anyone defending corporate or industrial malfeasance or negligence.  

              YMMV

              Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

              by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:19:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Speculation? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Recall, erush1345

                billmosby and bryfry were discussing the definitions of cold shutdown versus hot shutdown.  That was when Joieau stepped in to tell bryfry he had to leave her diary.  That's simply not appropriate.  There was no uncivil behavior on bryfry's part, Joieau just doesn't like him and knows that he has pwnd her in the past.  Now it's true that AFTER she got snippy with him he threw in a few digs - but as I say, that is after she opened the door by being uncivil to him.

                Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:46:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I stepped in because bryguy (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KiB, Andhakari, Russgirl

                  is guilty of stalking behavior, and cited that. He himself linked to his call-out diary. That means he's not welcome in my diaries, and I would expect Markos would agree if that's my call. I do not have to argue a single thing he says here. I can legitimately request him to leave. Which I have done.

                  What, exactly, is your problem with that?

                  •  If you can prove your accusation of stalking (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    erush1345, buddabelly

                    then take it up with the admins.  I accused JakeJohnson of stalking me and was reamed by MB.  Jake's behavior in my diaries was far, far worse than what bryFRY has posted in yours.  And BTW - talking about growing up, you insist on calling him bryguy - sheesh.

                    And again, where in what Markos wrote does he say that you can legitimately ask people to leave your diaries PREEMPTIVELY?  You are simply wrong on this.

                    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                    by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:15:29 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Straight Question. Is each diary a new day? (0+ / 0-)

                      Or under the rules as you understand them can prior offenses (assuming they were actually that) be held against a poster by a dairist?

                      In general, I'm in favor of letting the discussions go as long as they don't derail the discussion completely (like discussions of rules often do.)

                      But according to what you understand, are we to start each diary fresh with no preconceptions based on prior interactions?  

                      I would see that as one possible approach but don't know if it is the one we're supposed to follow.  

                      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

                      by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:32:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Good question (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        erush1345, buddabelly

                        Considering that Markos specifically gave the example of an anti-x person entering a pro-x diary as being OK I find it hard to believe that he intended for preemptive bannings from diaries by diarists - especially when the commenter's only sin is disagreement.

                        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                        by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:48:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And if the commenter's 'sin' in previous (0+ / 0-)

                          diaries was legitimately HRable, can you hold it against them in the current diary?

                          If the only sin is disagreement without being disagreeable, it seems pretty clear that it is not HRable and without HRs in the past or current mix (or HRable conduct) its unclear how someone could ask someone to leave and then HR solely because the did not.

                          Here it seems that the diarist believes that past conduct of the poster was such that a request to leave was appropriate - a request that was honored by the the other poster.  

                          What, if any, past conduct can justify or 'authorize' such a request or demand would be a good thing to clarify going forward as it seems there is some question - if not with the diarist, the among some of the rest of us.

                          Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

                          by Into The Woods on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 02:06:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  There's a history (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau, Russgirl

                            of a half dozen or so people who swarm every nuclear related diary. I don't think that can be ignored.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:02:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You just don't want to hear the pro nuke side (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall, Mcrab

                            the anti-nuke people here seem to believe that it is the liberal purist position and that any deviation of thought is trolling.  Get over it.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:02:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By what authority do you speak to what I want? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau

                            I don't know that there's a "liberal purist position" on nuclear power. I've never considered that possibility. Indeed, I'm struck by the extent to which we agree on so many things yet disagree on others.

                            The only time in my life I was actively engaged in anything that could be described as "anti-nuclear", I communicated directly with the company involved as a single individual. They sent me a thick packet of their marketing material and a job offer. I politely declined their offer.

                            The next response was meter readers who refused to read my meter due to my large dog. I had no dog. The next excuse was tall weeds. There were no weeds as that area was hard packed clay. Then I was repeatedly awakened after the bars closed at night by people stopping in front of the house, blowing their horn, yelling obscenities, and throwing whiskey bottles at the house. I have to admit that all helped shape my opinions as all of our life experiences shape our views.

                            Needless to say, that increased my interest in the industry and I am better informed on the issues than those who only have mainstream media and marketing material as their information sources. If you were to check the sources I've referenced here, you would find they are all official sources and freely available to any who make the effort.

                            I'm as offended by those who deny any and all problems as you are by those who address those problems.

                            Is there any significance in the diarist using the NRC as a source and the pro nuclear faction still objecting? I would think the pro faction would be more supportive of any and all efforts to improve the nuclear industry's performance.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:06:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The objections are not to her sourcing here (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mcrab

                            and I must say it is nice that she refrained from using the CT site  ENENEWS as a source.  No, the problem is her semi-informed characterization of what she read at those links.  For example, her claims that fission must still be happening, and her insistence that every control rod must be fully inserted for criticality to stop.  Billmosby handled the fission issue.  

                            The whole question of whether all control rods need to be full inserted has been addressed in multiple places.  From conversations with operations people at the plant where I worked I can tell you that they needed to pull a minimum of 4 rods to achieve criticality.  Furthermore, Joieau had made the claim in the past that TMI was still critical because a particular rod group didn't fully insert.  This was addressed in bryfry's linked diary with references which make clear that the rods in question, the radial power shaping rods, are not even part of the SCRAM logic, they do not get automatically inserted when the reactor SCRAMs because that is not their role.  I think this is part of why Joieau wanted to kick him out of the diary - because he proved her wrong on something she dogmatically refuses to let go of.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:42:36 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're mischaracterizing that issue (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau

                            When that claim was first made, during the TMI accident sequence, it was a plausible explanation to conditions that were not otherwise explained. I would think that knowing what we now know the possibility of ongoing fission at TMI would be better explained as fission occurring in the corium at the bottom and center of the reactor. At the time no one realized the extent of core damage and would not until years later when they could take a look inside the reactor.

                            Going back 30 some years to find an point of attack in an unrelated diary seems far fetched to me.

                            Without searching the thread, I think there was also a broad claim that there was no such thing as a scram failure. It seems there have been scram failures such as the one at Browns Ferry when 76 rods failed to fully insert and it took 15 minutes to scram the reactor.

                            Would you agree that the thuggery I wrote of above is not only inappropriate but harms the industry?

                            Do you think it would be appropriate for the North Anna operator to put the plant back online without a thorough inspection?

                            In my opinion, the industry (and those posting here) would be better positioned if they didn't go out of their way to make enemies.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:10:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You are confused or uninformed (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall

                            Joieau made this claim 2 years ago at the time of the 30th anniversary of the TMI accident in her pre-banning incarnation under the user name Joy Busey.  It is the rebuttal diary to this by bryfry that Joieau keeps calling a call out diary in the comments above.

                            If you can find anyone claiming that SCRAM failure is impossible then please link to it.  Otherwise all you have there is a strawman argument.

                            Obviously it is appropriate to inspect the plant after a significant earthquake.  And AFAICT that is exactly what the NRC is doing.

                            And yes, I agree that civil discussion is more enrolling than insults and namecalling.  Whether "thuggery" is an appropriate characterization of nuclear supporters I find quite questionable.  With the exception of some of NNadir's more prickly comments I'm not sure what you mean.  Could you provide some links to what you mean by this?

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:29:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We've reached the point Steve Winwood should (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kbman, Joieau

                            have the last word:

                            But I'm near the end and
                            I just ain't got the time
                            And I'm wasted and
                            I can't find my way home.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:34:54 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I am fairly sure that you (0+ / 0-)

                            could at least try to get your facts straight, even for a smear job. In fact, you already know the facts and have misrepresented them on purpose. Yet again.

                            Sturgis' article was written 2+ ago. The scram failure charge was first officially made 31 years ago in the book Tales from the Heart of the Beast. Sturgis' article even linked to scans of portions of our original reports that had been compiled for documentary support for testimony in federal court in the mid-1990s (for which we had been subpoenaed).

                            The original reports and documentary evidence in support went to the chairman of the joint congressional subcommittee on energy and the environment in June of 1981. He turned it over to investigators and the investigators turned it over to the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee due to the murder of my brother and the involvement of several acronym agencies before and after that event. That succeeded in "calling off the dogs," so to speak.

                            The reports were next submitted as documentary support for testimony to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1985, as final discharge of our responsibilities as duly designated reporting agents under provisions of 10CFR.21 for the health physics contractor at TMI-2. They were promptly post-classified in order to put a lid on WaPo and Walter Cronkite. Last I checked via FOIA, the status hasn't changed. Thus the compilation of mere excerpts in response to the later federal subpoena and supplied to Sturgis for her article.

                            And just so you know, scram failure was no big secret during our investigation of TMI-2 in April of 1979. It was only a secret for the public and news media. Hence the tongue-in-cheek "69-8=61" press release in 1982 when Met-Ed accidentally let loose of the information via AP that all 69 rods had NOT fallen into the core as reported (with lots of emphasis) by both the Kemeny and Rogovin commission investigations. Rogovin, btw, was the NRC's own investigation. The sheer weight of the numbers of high-level nuclear brains on the technical assessment task forces of those investigations was plenty enough to crush the hastily-constructed backup to that Met-Ed oops - GEND and its Amazing APSRs. Which we got through FOIA in 1986, when we re-issued "69-8=61" to once again point out to the lazy American press that there was a serious discrepancy between the number of control rods reported to have fallen by not one but two "Blue Ribbon Commissions," and the number of control rods found to have actually fallen during the scram at TMI-2 on March 28, 1979.

                            ...but you know all this, since I've explained it to you several times. Obviously didn't manage to make a dent. C'est la vie.

                          •  You again miss the point ... with drama (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall, Mcrab

                            The 8 control rods you reference are not required to be inserted into the core to shutdown the reactor.  Their purpose is to absorb neutrons in the central region of the core during operations to make up for what would otherwise be uneven fuel burn at the top and bottom of the core.  Which reminds me that I DID make a mistake in a comment elsewhere, they are Axial Power Shaping Rods, not Radial Power shaping Rods. Regardless, they are not part of the SCRAM logic.  It is obviously pointless to try to bring you to see this.  If the NRC documents which specifically make this point don't convince you then I guess nothing will.  But just because you stubbornly cling to this belief doesn't make it true.  And pointing that out isn't a smear job.  bryfry's diary on this answered your charges beyond question.  The NRC actually states that rod group 8 are not part of a reactor trip in a B&W PWR.  You can talk all you want about government conspiracies, you are simply wrong on the technical details here and no amount of CT theorizing changes that.

                            And I really have to wonder at this point if you have a clue as to what civility means.  You continue to respond to civil criticism with insults.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:21:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Doesn't matter, and YOU (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB

                            once again miss the point... with malice. I was perfectly clear. The technical assessment task forces of both the Kemeny [Presidential] and Rogovin [NRC] investigations of the accident at TMI-2 made a very specific point of concluding that 69 of 69 control rods fell during the scram at eight seconds into the accident. Sixty-nine - six with a nine after it. Kemeny's TATF dedicated an entire section of their volume analyzing the sequence of events supplied by Met-Ed/GPU to explaining all about control rods and core design and exactly how reactor operators control criticality, neutron flux and power levels. 69 of 'em, all of which they swore (literally) fell during the scram. Including those ringing core central - rod group 8 - where flux is highest.

                            In 1982 when they'd finally gained access to containment and cleaned it up enough to take a remote look inside the reactor, they first tried to insert the 8 rods ringing core central that had not fallen during the scram in an attempt to gage how much of the core might be left intact before they removed the head. Only 61 rods had fallen, not all 69.

                            69-8=61. Simple grade school math. It's not difficult at all. Our book and report also contained a breakdown and analysis of the second-by-second sequence of events taken from both the control room computer printout for 16 hours into the accident, and the April 16th GPU analysis, given to recovery management engineers. Our interviews with the operators and daily work with utility management, NRC and subcontracted engineering groups beginning just days after the accident described a far different scenario than the one promulgated by the "Blue Ribbon" propaganda commissions and written into textbooks and fluff pieces.

                            It was impossible to understand the gravity of the releases of radiation (our professional concern) unless you could understand the actual nature of the accident. That was our position then, and remains our position to this day. Nothing about that has changed in 32+ years. THEY lied about TMI because if they'd told the truth they'd have to admit the technology is fatally flawed - and they'd have had to compensate the thousands of innocent citizens they dumped it all on. They were so desperate to hold on to their fallacious (and truly vile) plan to cook the books and make it look like nobody got enough of a dose to cause harm that the utility and NRC both sat by and let the Governor evacuate pregnant women and young children to the Hershey Convention Center, which was known to be smack dab in the middle of a plume touchdown zone.

                            Funny. Now we speak of "plumes" of radioactive isotopes traveling with the prevailing wind as if that was always common knowledge. But it's not, because the government signed off on the coverup plan and it was duly recorded for posterity by the propaganda commissions - draw a circle around the plant with a 50-mile radius and divvy up an entirely fictitious number of curies of one single isotope (iodine-131) the utility thinks is safe to admit were released, evenly amongst all the human beings living within that circle. Which was conveniently just big enough to include several million people who were never significantly exposed because they didn't live under the plume. Voila! "No Harm To The General Public."

                            We never identified any number of control rods that didn't fall, nor any group of control rods that didn't fall. We merely asserted that some rods didn't fall. It was Met-Ed who did their own dirty work on that. We merely pointed out the glaring discrepancy in the "official" tall tales about the accident at Three Mile Island. GEND came up with their cover story years later, after people we'd sent "69-8=61" to stated asking pointed questions. We almost felt honored they'd go to the considerable trouble to redefine the laws of fucking physics just to get around being caught with their control rods [not] down. But mostly we just thought it was funny as hell.

                            You may truly believe that 8 rods ringing the center of the core don't have to fall in order to stop fission. You may be completely convinced that there's absolutely no connection between the failure of those rods to fall and the 20+ ton "Void at the Center of the Core" (you know, that portion of the core that vaporized and went out the ESDVs, the full-open vent gas header on the letdown tank, and the aux vent stack straight to atmosphere entirely undeterred by filtration). But your blind faith in these particular Authoritarians doesn't change a thing in reality. Kemeny and Rogovin both reported these rods had fallen properly, as they are designed to do, during the scram. They did not fall.

                            We never suggested an entire rod group failed. In fact, our conclusion based on increasing offsite releases and nasty reactor chemistry in the weeks leading up to the accident, the large amount of boron being added to the RCS, and the history of that particular core (which had twice failed inspection so GPU got a steal of a deal on it), that the cause of the scram failure was fuel rod cladding failure, subsequent fuel crumbling and warpage in the assemblies that prevented the full insertion of some rods when the time came.

                            So the whole APSR charade had never been necessary from the beginning. By then "everybody knew" they'd melted the sucker. There was no covering that up by then. They could have just said, "oops. We missed that little detail." But had they done so, they'd have to admit the operators had done a brave and brilliant job of wrestling that monster down against all odds, instead of blaming them for the whole mess. Couldn't have that, as it would have revealed that the technology is fatally flawed.

                            "Everybody knows" that now too, thanks to Fukushima.

                          •  first, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall
                            Malice -

                            1. desire to inflict injury, harm, or suffering on another, either because of a hostile impulse or out of deep-seated meanness: the malice and spite of a lifelong enemy.
                            2. Law . evil intent on the part of a person who commits a wrongful act injurious to others.

                            So, I'm evil?  I have a deep-seated meanness and intended to inflict injury, harm or suffering?  I'm quite impressed by your ability to peer into my soul and determine my true intent, just as I'm impressed by your ability to recall discussions we had 6 months ago in which you claim I made statements which I never made and which you've never even attempted to prove that I did.  And despite being called on this in the past and not having a shred of proof, you continue to make the same claims over and over in your attempts to discredit me.  I would suggest that is somewhat malicious.

                            Meanwhile, what I was pointing out above was that your claims are unsupported by the evidence and the additional story you provided only added drama to the telling and did not add anything other than that.  You seem convinced that the discrepancy in the numbers in the report indicate chicanery on the part of the regulators/government.  And in fact they may have.  That still doesn't mean that there was a scram failure.  I can easily see a case where they determined that the distinction between safety rods and power shaping rods would be too nuanced for the general public, and rather than report 61 rods had inserted and have people making claims similar to yours they decided to write that all 69 had fallen.

                            Now lets look at the physics of the core and the roles these rods play.  You are completely correct in saying that the neutron flux is higher in the center of the core.  At both the top and bottom of the reactor there is no contribution from fission reactions beyond the boundary point where the active fuel ends.  In the middle of the reactor the fuel above and below contribute to the overall flux.  For several reasons it is desirable to have consistent power production throughout the core and to not let the center burn faster than the top or bottom.  This is where the APSR's come in.  Unlike safety rods which have extreme neutron absorption their entire length, APSR's only have a limited length of absorption capability.  This allows the reactor operators to selectively reduce the overall operating flux in the middle of the reactor without affecting the top or bottom.

                            Now, when the reactor is shutdown, regardless of how the APSR's are positioned there will be regions of the reactor where they are not active.  If the safety rods were not sufficient to suck up enough neutrons across ANY cross-section of the core then there would be local criticality.  The conditions which cause the middle of the core to have more flux than the top and bottom during operations are no longer present regardless of where the APSR's may be.  They are superfluous at that point.  It is for this reason that they are not required to insert in a SCRAM.

                            Now, the void in the middle of the core did not require local criticality to happen.  It is a simple matter of geometry and thermodynamics.  Heat moves from hot to cold.  Of course the outer regions of the cylindrical core are going to be cooler, shed heat more quickly to the outer boundary than the center sheds to them, and consequently suffer less damage.  The thing that caused the core to melt was the lack of coolant, not the location of the power shaping rods.  It wasn't all that long into the accident that the control rods in that region melted anyway.  It wasn't due to local fission, it was due to overheating and lack of coolant flow to dissipate that heat.  PWR's do not have anywhere near the margin of time for fuel to be uncovered by coolant that BWR's have.

                            Now you may well have determined that there were fission products being created after the accident, I'm not disputing that.  But consider this, you were holding a particular context in mind when you postulated that this was due to rods that had not fallen.  Specifically, you were holding the context that control rods even mattered at that point in time.  In retrospect, based on the conditions inside the reactor, as noted by Just Bob above, it is likely that any fission that may have been occurring post-SCRAM was in the slag of corium at the bottom of the reactor.

                            It is also quite possible that they were busting up fuel like crazy as they were learning how the plant actually responded under operating conditions and fine-tuned their core burn models.  Busted fuel pins indicate local power in excess of design specs but that in itself is not going to cause so much heat as to cause warping. The heat capacity of the coolant and the mass of structural hardened steel easily absorb the additional heat generated by these local power spikes.  Otherwise they would never have been able to operate Oyster Creek after their refueling in 1984-85.  There was a coding flaw in one of their newly adopted power shape prediction modules that caused the model to be progressively inaccurate over the course of every month.  This resulted in a huge number of failed fuel pins.  

                            So anyway, I know that you are extremely attached to this story and that it in some ways defines your life, hell you've written a book about it.  I fully understand why you react as defensively as you do to anyone who questions your interpretation of things.  I understand that you don't want to hear that your story is a CT.  But understand, by definition that is exactly what it is.  You claim that multiple government agencies in conjunction with the nuclear industry conspired to commit murder to hide information about the accident at TMI.  You have no proof, only your experiences of the time and circumstantial evidence.  This doesn't mean it didn't happen exactly the way you said it did, but it is not something you can prove - hence it is a theory, again by definition.  So, you have a theory about a government/industry conspiracy - this is exactly what a conspiracy theory is.

                            And here's what I was getting at in the other comment you took in an aggressively defensive manner.  When you toss this story out in a comment without context and without the whole background behind it you are asking the reader to accept a fairly extraordinary claim without much of anything to go on.  In the absence of an explanation they are quite likely to take anything else you write with a grain of salt.  This is just what's so, it is how people process information.  I didn't write about this to be hateful to you.  Despite our differences in this arena we agree in others and are natural allies in many ways.  You are just so caught up in the middle of your story that you lack perspective on how it appears from the outside.

                            It is also because I understand your defensiveness that I am not taking your aggression personally.  You've made fairly vile accusations against me here, and as pointed out above you've also on multiple occasions told fictitious stories about what I wrote on March 11th in attempts to discredit me.  I have very good reasons to hold this against you and judge you solely on the basis of this behavior. But that will just leave me in a space where I choose not to be.  

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 02:51:51 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Okay, I'll retract "malice" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB

                            because I honestly don't think you're evil. And apologize for confusing you with whichever of the other nuclear defenders here insisted so strongly when Fukushima was mass-melting and exploding that hydrogen could not be produced, that exploding buildings were a feature and not a bug, and that radioactive contamination cannot travel in plumes. After awhile you all sound alike, but I know you were at least trying to help people understand what was going on and later apologized for having gotten it wrong.

                            My "story" has nothing to do with the status of the North Anna plants that suffered twice design criteria shaking in last month's earthquake. Which - again - is what this diary is about. The decision to attack me personally for writing it is entirely on your side of the aisle and entirely uncalled for.

                            The nuclear industry's notable disrespect for life is something I take rather personally. It couldn't manage to kill me back when the decision was made to target us, and I absolutely don't appreciate any of its minions attempting to do the same thing figuratively at this point in time on something so innocuous as a sourced report on North Anna's status, telling me flat-out my LIFE is not something I can mention in polite company because it makes you uncomfortable. Fuck that (and the horse it rode in on).

                            Try to get it through your head - nobody cares what happened at TMI more than three decades ago. It is no longer pertinent to the demise of the nuclear industry, which is going down because it could never have kept going. It's got way, way bigger problems now than it had at TMI or Chernobyl, and it's not ever coming back. I strongly suggest that you spend your time trying to talk sense into your pro-nuclear buddies here, because they're having a difficult time adjusting to reality. It's over. Now they can apply for jobs in the decommissioning phase.

                          •  You were the one who came out with your guns (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall

                            blazing, trying to expel people from your diary a priori.  You claim nothing controversial is in there, just an update based on links.  That is far from true ...

                            Where in your links is this reported?

                            Dominion claims that its detailed inspections inside the unit-1 containment have revealed exactly zero problems related to the quake, other than some cracked walls on the inside and a nice little, "easily patched" crack in the main containment dome wall. They also reported some fallen pipe insulation and 'cosmetic' damage to 115-ton spent fuel dry casks that did some dancing around in other areas of the facility. The NRC sent extra inspectors anyway, and is definitely double checking every little thing.

                            This is simply inaccurate and shows your lack of understanding of operations issues:

                            I cannot seem to find confirmation anywhere that unit-2 has yet reached a state of 'cold shutdown' that would allow containment depressurization and entry. It remained in 'hot standby' days after the emergency scrams triggered by the earthquake, which means there was still some fission going on after the shutdown and that is all by itself a definite eyebrow-raiser.

                            No, there wasn't, and no it isn't.

                            Then you continue on to suggest that there is some great danger associated with the discrepancy in early reports on the cause of the reactor trip.  You also go on with speculation about scram failure despite there being no indications that anything like that happened.  You then go on with your CT stuff about the industry and the NRC hiding things from the public.  And yes, it IS CT regardless of whether it is ultimately accurate or not.  If you lack proof then it is theory, period.

                            Then you close with this gem:

                            I'll just say once again - because this situation lets me do that - not all scrams are entirely 'successful'. And a scram failure complicated by those ubiquitous "unforeseen events" can be positively catastrophic. Let's shut these suckers down for good.

                            So what you have done is invent a scram failure where none exists then use that fictitious scram failure to frighten people and rally them to shut down the industry.  Nope, nothing controversial here at all.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 11:01:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So... (0+ / 0-)

                            you accept Dominion's word for "detailed inspections" of unit-1 as good reason to let 'em restart next week? That's what they wanted, you know. I don't see any indication that they inspected the pad, and a "problem in the core" that caused the scram isn't something I'd ever expect a decent regulatory agency to ignore. Dominion expected them to ignore it.

                            They did not. And they shut that whole pipe dream down point blank. What does that tell you? ...and do you see anywhere that unit-2 is not fissioning so they can depressurize containment and let inspectors in? I didn't, though they may have by now. If so, those inspections are just now starting.

                            You want to believe everything they say. I am most assuredly not going to do that. I assume automatically that they're lying. About everything. It becomes a semi-interesting game of clues to try and track truths in these things, and they usually gain control over the short-attention-span press long before we ever get told how it all turned out. The difference between our experience of nukes, obviously. Nothing to be done about that.

                            Here's a link to a list of NRC papers in-industry on various issues they've been dealing with for years. Check out a few of the scram failure / rod insertion failures / retrofits on rod drives / RCS leaks through BWR rod drive assemblies / etc., etc., etc. These things happen. The public hardly ever hears about them. But now the public is paying very close attention, and they don't like what they see. Y'all need to get used to that.

                          •  You failed to answer my question (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall

                            where did you get the info about cracks in the containment dome, etc.?  Is this some BS from ENENEWS you were slipping in here under the guise of Reuters links?  Naughty, naughty.

                            The rest of your comment is you putting words in my mouth, more unsupported BS suggesting ongoing fission and more CT about how nothing they say can be trusted.  Fine, believe what you will.  As far as your posts below, I thought you said nobody gives a shit about TMI anymore.  Or is it that they only give a shit when it is something that YOU want to post?

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 09:59:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  P.S. (0+ / 0-)

                            I failed to mention above in a description of the situation at TMI-2 that we were literally in charge of release monitoring [vent stack] and dosimetry [including plume mapping and stationary TLDs] for the first month after the accident. Job assignment, first interviews, and our copy of the control room printout obtained just 3 days after the accident at an obscure Middletown motel. The job included GeLi's as well, and chemistry.

                            "Everybody knows" now that people thousands of miles from Fukushima could tell exactly what was happening ~2 days prior at that facility just by assaying the isotopes in the plume. So when I tell you it was known that the core suffered significant melting, it isn't reasonable to claim not so. We knew that for a fact, early in our investigation (like, before we got there). HP and work crews were operating out of the control room that first week, the labs and everything else was way too crapped up to occupy. The heads-up display (control rod positions) is heads-up. It wasn't hard to read.

                            Everybody knew what had happened, and saw that the public was fucked. THAT is why we were called in under provisions of 10CFR.21 as 'reporting agents'. Rules - and laws, and everything ethical anybody (mostly Navy nukes, thank you Hymie) could imagine - were being violated on purpose. And people were going to die because of it. We ALL knew it, THAT was the imperative.

                            It was no secret. Believe or not, that's what happened in reality. We were there doing our jobs in a seriously tough situation - our lives on the line. You were not.

                          •  Oh, and... (0+ / 0-)

                            bryguy can stay the fuck away from me.

                          •  P.S. (0+ / 0-)

                            You are aware that Metropolitan-Edison enjoys the status of having been the only nuclear utility ever convicted in criminal court for falsifying leak/release rates for the 2 months PRIOR to the accident, aren't you? That was an entirely different whistleblower who nailed 'em on that. But that evidence was part of our original report's conclusion on what caused the scram failure.

                            We may well have been wrong. Or maybe those APSRs really didn't have to fall, and it was assorted other rods that failed (as we originally reported). Who knows or cares at this point in time?

                            69-8 is still only 61.

                          •  BTW - some friendly advice (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall, Mcrab

                            I know that you honestly believe that your brother was murdered by government/industry bad guys and that the FBI and other letter-y agencies were involved.  I don't even doubt that it could have happened that way, it may well have.  But regardless, it is CT.  You have no evidence, no proof that it is what happened.  Continuing to assert this as fact does not help enroll new people into your credibility.  It does the opposite, it makes you sound like a CT spouting kook.  It also suggests that you do not distinguish between theory and fact.

                            I would recommend that you discontinue citing this in your comments - for your own good and your own peace of mind.  Making this kind of claim not only causes many reasonable people to question your credibility, it also creates controversy whenever it is repeated.

                            And while you're here, I seriously doubt that Markos intended for people to be able to post diaries on contentious technical issues that include controversial statements and then tell those with the background understanding to be able to respond that they can't comment in that diary.  I also doubt that he intended for flame-bait diaries to be held to the "civility rule".  If you write a diary with controversial stuff in it don't act shocked when the heat gets turned up.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:54:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is amazing, kbman. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Into The Woods, KiB

                            Your fear of truth and subservience to nuclear authoritarians does not and can NEVER change a single thing that is real in my life. This isn't a "theory," it's my life. My experience. And it's all on record. It's been on record for more than 30 years. All that really happened. There was a nationwide APB by the FBI, investigations by Congress and the Intel committee, reports filed, testimony given, and my brother is still just as dead today as he was on the morning of October 13, 1980.

                            I do note here for the record your ridiculous insistence that my very life is somehow something you can prevent me from talking about just because it makes the nuclear industry look like the criminal enterprise it is and has always been. Tough titty. I absolutely DO NOT recognize your authority to declare my life off limits in my own diaries or anywhere else in this world. So here's some friendly advice for you...

                            Fucking stop it. Go tell Markos my life is a conspiracy theory, I dare you. I expect he'll tell you the same damned thing. Along with a warning about gross ad hominem argumentation on your part that isn't just pushing the envelope, but tearing it to shreds with a dull knife. Just stop it.

                          •  I was truly telling you this for your own good (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall

                            You do not recognize how this appears to much of the world.  I did not say your life was a CT, I said that your continuing to make this assertion without proof makes you look like a CT'er.  Can you not see the distinction here?  Your characterization above is completely out of line.  Your insistence that this was some kind of attack designed to shut you up is farcical.  My point was that if you wish to have people take you seriously on nuclear issues it would help your cause to not cite this.  But hey, do as you will.  If you want to come across as a Truther be my guest.

                            And as far as Markos goes, I believe his phrase is, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:16:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't care if people (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB

                            "take me seriously" on nuclear issues. They can make up their own minds however they like, no skin off my teeth. This diary is just an update on the situation at North Anna, where there were "problems inside the cores of both reactors" that the NRC is determined to investigate fully before Dominion can re-start either one of them and pretend nothing happened. All well sourced and duly linked for anyone following to read at their leisure.

                            The issue of who I happen to be is yours (and your buddies'), not mine. I've never been anybody but who I am. Nobody cares what happened 32 years ago at Three Mile Island, that's all just a tall tale in history books now. The truth never mattered, and it doesn't matter now. Y'all's obsession with it is frankly bizarre, but I've been a professional fool much longer than I was a nuke - I can deal with bizarre.

                            "If any man among you seems wise in the ways of this world, let him become a fool, that he may be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. He will entrap the wise men in the web of their own folly."

                            I didn't spin the nuclear industry's fatally foolish web. They spun it all by themselves without a lick of help from me. Now that they're trapped in it, they've no one to blame but themselves.

                          •  Joieau, I think you are a great and knowledgable (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Joieau

                            poster on nuclear issues. I think the sites profits from you enormously. As soon as I see a diary posted by you, I read it because I know you know a lot, pay attention and think critically.
                            Just thought I'd use this opportunity to tell you this.

                            The future is renewable.

                            by KiB on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 01:08:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow, KiB. Thank you. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB
                          •  Oh, and by the way... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB

                            Markos is perfectly capable of reading this diary and determining that there is nothing controversial about these mainstream media reports about the status of the North Anna nuclear plants or the state of the ongoing investigations into what caused them to scram, or even the NRC's insistence upon full inspections of both units - including the cores - before Dominion can talk about continuing to operate either one of 'em.

                            If the NRC can say "problems in the cores of both reactors" out loud, so can I and anybody else who cares to. You and your buddies will just have to get used to it, because the whole world is watching your industry closely right now, and they are in no mood for the usual dismissive crap after Fukushima Daiichi. People aren't buying it anymore.

                            Obviously it is not my credibility you're worried about, and I am most certainly not the biggest problem the nuclear industry's planned 'renaissance' is facing at this point in time. Attacking me is pointless.

                          •  "All Scrams Not Successful" A Busted Myth? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            KiB

                            That would be bryfry:

                            Meanwhile, I'll just say once again - because this situation lets me do that - not all scrams are entirely 'successful'.

                            Oh, Joy ... are you still trying to perpetuate that myth? I'll just remind you once again: That myth was BUSTED!

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            A post to which I responded with questions that the supporters of nuclear power have not bothered to answer and gave links to a host of official records detailing 'scram failures'.  

                            But I guess bryfry's just telling the truth about nuclear power that posters like me just don't want to hear, presenting "facts" that are not "speculation".

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

                            by Into The Woods on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:31:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  If you see only one diary at a time you (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        ovals49, Just Bob

                        can't validate or even see stalking. Thus, if you enter each diary as if there had never been exchanges before, there is no stalking. Or general destructive attitude.
                        Therefore, it doesn't make sense to ignore all former diaries. In fact, if you want a decent diary/site with reasonable discussions it wouldn't make sense at all.
                        So, yes, I think former "performance" of a poster must be takten into account and is supposed to be taken into account- otherwise Markos couldn't say that stalking is out of bounds because, as I said, if you forget everything that has happened before, there is no stalking. Stalking is a pattern and as  with many patterns you need to have a look at behaviour over time if you want to identify it.

                        The future is renewable.

                        by KiB on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 01:35:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Wow, there is a pattern of people who are (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Recall, buddabelly, Mcrab

                          interested in nuclear power issues commenting in nuclear power related diaries.  AND, OMG, they are DISAGREEING with some of the things said in these diaries.  Call the police!  We haz stalkerz.  [sigh]

                          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                          by kbman on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 10:46:02 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I was answering a general inquiry. However, it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall

                            is noticeable that you feel you are the issue here.
                            That is interesting because...if you actually nail people, they tend to respond.

                            The future is renewable.

                            by KiB on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 01:11:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Veiled accusations so become you ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Recall

                            I have avoided most of Joieau's offerings because I tired of rebutting her CT stuff and general lack of operations knowledge.  I also realized that nothing I wrote was going to matter to her fans at NukeFree DKos, and that they were by and large who read her diaries.  This one had much more exposure and was another case of her propagandizing under the guise of providing an update on the situation.  But please, if you have ANY evidence whatsoever to support your insinuations then please, please, please make an issue of it with the admins.  I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

                            Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                            by kbman on Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 12:21:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is amazing. You are absolutely unable to hear (0+ / 0-)

                            what I say. If you want to, try again.

                            The future is renewable.

                            by KiB on Tue Sep 20, 2011 at 12:10:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  BTW - be careful here (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    erush1345, buddabelly
                    Thread stalking is defined as having three requirements:

                        On multiple occasions, one or more commenters follow a community member into diary threads; and,
                        The commenter(s) posts comments that include false information, personal attacks, lies, or implied/express disclosure of private information; and
                        The commenter(s) engages in this conduct with the intent to harass, harm, humiliate, frighten or intimidate another poster. This intent may be inferred from the number of times that the commenter follows a community member into threads and/or the nature of the comments posted.

                        Stalking does not include the mere expression of disagreement, seeking out diaries or comments of favorite diarists or simply frequent interaction on the boards.

                        Accusations of stalking should not be made on comment threads but emailed to Meteor Blades or another administrator together with relevant links to evidence that comports with the requirements cited above. Repeated accusations of stalking in the comment threads will lead to a suspension of posting privileges.

                    Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                    by kbman on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:21:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I have clearly expressed (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, Sandino, Russgirl

              my wishes for a NON-free for all zone. More than once or twice or thrice. What about that do you still not understand?

        •  Oh, yeah, they had both been running, (6+ / 0-)

          upon rereading it I see that 2 was to have remained in shutdown. So then if 2 is hot and 1 is cold it could be either that 2 is actually still critical, or else that it had been producing more power than 1 for a while before the earthquake happened, or that for some reason they didn't want to cool 2 down, or couldn't.

          I just wanted to see if Joieau and I were on the same page as to the meaning of "hot standby".

          The answers to the questions in the first paragraph of this comment may be in the diary, but at the moment I have to go and take care of some other "plant" issues, namely reining in the grass that is invading the flower beds....

          Moderation in most things.

          by billmosby on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 02:55:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  hot standby and cold shutdown (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, Joieau

      Hot Standby - subcritical, power <0%, temp 350-567F
      Cold Shutdown - subcritical, power <0%, temp <200F

      that is the difference.

      When you are in cold shutdown, you can relax containment integrity because you can't even make steam.

      "Yes, I know my enemy. They're the teachers who taught me to fight me, compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite. All of which are American dreams....."

      by rickrocket on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:31:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have They Ever Considered "Truth" as an Approach? (6+ / 0-)

    As surely as night follows day, lies follow 'accidents' like this.

    And by "lies" I mean saying everything is "fine" before they know its "fine" as well as saying everything is "fine" even after they know or suspect that everything is "definitely not fine".  

    Premature assurances that end up being untrue undermine the public's  trust just as surely as does lying outright to cover up known problems.  

    Even giving them the benefit of the doubt, they are still lying.  They obviously did not have the information necessary to make the intial statements they made.  (Where that disconnect came is always difficult to pin-point, but given the nature and character of the various players, my money is always on the corporate management and PR folks, not the tech folk who are actually working on the problem.)  

    If they don't know, they should say they don't know but are looking into it.  

    The industry both globally and here in the US has exceeded the designed stress parameters of the structure of their relationship with the public again and again.

    If they keep this up, there's going to be a meltdown  - of one kind or another.

    Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

    by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 02:21:16 PM PDT

    •  People pay rapt attention (6+ / 0-)

      to anything nuclear in their area, and since Fukushima are even more skittish than usual. That's a very good thing to my mind. The issues you highlight are most interesting to watch, given the fact that the NRC allows the utilities to self-report and almost always takes them at their dubious word.

      Thus the original disconnect with VEPCO - er, Dominion - saying authoritatively right after the earthquake that the reactors were manually scrammed, then the NRC saying authoritatively that they weren't. WTF? There's a significant difference, and it means something. Dominion hasn't (to my knowledge) been fined for lying, and probably won't be. Business as usual.

      Neither of these plants are melting, and that's good news. I doubt there's even significant concern for releases, even though there was no doubt some iodine and nobles going out for the entire time the ESDVs were open - those steam generators are the leakiest equipment in the entire design, notorious for it. But these are plants known for years to be leaking goodly amounts of tritium into the lake. No big deal, they own the lake. The people who eat the fish are taking their chances, as with all fish these days it seems.

      I'm hoping that lake gets much cooler in the future, maybe harbor some nice trout like it once did. These things are still right smack dab in the middle of the fault, and just got another 20 years' lease they should never have gotten in the first place. AND they want to build another one right where it shouldn't be. I'd say NO, but they don't let regular people like you and I have any say in the matter.

    •  Money and power STOP truth. Not this time. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau
      The Great Work now… is to carry out the transition from a period of human devastation of the Earth to a period where humans would be present to the planet in a mutually beneficial manner.  
                      --Thomas Berry
  •  Mistakes (5+ / 5-)
    It remained in 'hot standby' days after the emergency scrams triggered by the earthquake, which means there was still some fission going on after the shutdown and that is all by itself a definite eyebrow-raiser.

    Wrong. It means that active systems were still removing the decay heat from the rapidly decaying fission products that are always present after the reactor (and the chain reaction) has been shut off.

    Go read billmosby's link.

    Any degree of scram failure - all rods not making it to their bottom-stops - allows fission to continue in the reactor, though in diminished energy level.

    Er ... no. It's clear that you don't understand the first thing about reactor physics.

    Furthermore, after shutdown, its simple enough to increase the amount of boron in the coolant water to insure that no recriticality occurs.

    Convection circulation isn't going to be all that effective in transferring heat from a still-fissioning reactor

    That's funny, because "convection circulation" is exactly what is used to transfer heat from the reactor core during normal operation. You're basically saying that a nuclear power plant could never work.

    Meanwhile, I'll just say once again - because this situation lets me do that - not all scrams are entirely 'successful'.

    Oh, Joy ... are you still trying to perpetuate that myth? I'll just remind you once again: That myth was BUSTED!

    An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
    -- H. L. Mencken

    by bryfry on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 02:58:59 PM PDT

  •  I almost forgot this just happened (5+ / 0-)

    thanks for the update!

  •  I knew they stayed down for some other reason (10+ / 0-)


    than 'ongoing inspection.'  Thanks for the briefing Joieau.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 05:07:46 PM PDT

    •  Thanks, Louise. (3+ / 0-)

      I've been keeping up, but incoming info has been really darned muddled for about ten days. Hard as hell to figure out what's going on. Have the NRC updates, but that's been mostly about contradicting what Dominion has been saying, and then about assigning a regular squadron of new inspectors. And now, rejecting the entire line of bull in favor of actual oversight.

      Obviously, somebody at the NRC isn't taking Dominion's word for things. I see absolutely no reason why any of the rest of us should.

      Perhaps they'll gain regular access to unit-2's containment soon. Fission's got to be stopped before that's possible per containment negative pressure and stay-time requirements. They will need regular and unlimited access to do a proper inspection.

  •  Hate to pop your conspiratorial bubbles, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mcrab, erush1345, rickrocket
    I cannot seem to find confirmation anywhere that unit-2 has yet reached a state of 'cold shutdown' that would allow containment depressurization and entry. It remained in 'hot standby' days after the emergency scrams triggered by the earthquake, which means there was still some fission going on after the shutdown and that is all by itself a definite eyebrow-raiser.

    As usual, you look at the facts and draw the wrong conclusion. Unit 1 was put in cold shutdown first because the utility decided to go into its refueling outage a little early. North Anna reported aftershocks again on September 1 and both units were listed in cold shutdown then (and was quite possibly in cold shutdown long before then).

    Dominion is still working to understand the "root cause" of the plant shutdown as multiple automatic trip signals from various indicators were received within seconds of the quake.

    The reason the NRC is so interested in North Anna isn't that they feared that plant was seriously damaged, it is because they want data for updating their seismic requirements. The NRC seismic rules are based generalized seismic wave frequency assumptions that are more appropriate for West Coast earthquakes (where most earthquakes take place in the US). In California earthquakes are more localized in nature and the frequencies are lower with the concern being that the low frequencies will match the harmonics of buildings and possibly shake them apart. East Coast earthquakes, on the other hand, are felt much farther (this one was felt from Florida to New England) and the frequencies are much higher such that it appears to have manifested itself as chattering in the electro-mechanical relay contacts in the Control Room rather than building structural damage. The NRC realized it needs to rethink the seismic requirements to instead assess risks that are more customized to the local geography. North Anna became a perfect case study for gathering data to support those revised standards.

    It has been reported that unit-2 suffered bigger stresses than unit-1 during the quake, and there may well be significant damage inside the containment.

    So now you are a seismic engineer?

    Would it kill you to spend a little more time fact checking and a little less time speculating?

    •  I have seriously (12+ / 0-)

      about had it with those who support "the science of American nuclear energy" at all cost for all reasons, and their thinly-veiled contempt of anyone who isn't some degree-laden scientist on this blog:

      So now you are a seismic engineer?

      This is not a goddamned dissertation. It's a discussion forum.

      Would it kill any of you to quit being so damned rude and arrogant in diaries which may, in fact, offend your scientific sensibilities?  

      REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

      by lunachickie on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 06:14:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry that facts offend your sensibilities. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, Recall

        I noticed you apparently haven't "had it" with those who fill in the vast gaps in their understanding of the issues they write about with dark conspiracy laden cynicism. Please explain.

        I maintain a very civil tone with those who have a genuine interest in discussing topics civilly themselves and respond aggressively with those who try to give the impression they have more expertise than they do. I won't apologize for that.

        •  So... (6+ / 0-)

          Am I to suppose you have no interest in discussing these topics civilly with me? Honest question, just like the one below. If you're just here to sell Doomsday (the million-year absurdity), here's your chance to come clean. If not, you can start discussing civilly.

        •  You don't seem civil to me at all n/t (6+ / 0-)

          48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

          by randallt on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 07:47:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Randallt - you have not seen past diaries (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jeanette0605, randallt

            or statements by these same jokers - from the beginning of Japan's crisis that is yet unfolding... to the latest in America.
            There is a very clear trend to follow, if you wish to read more past diaries.  

            Most average people here just want facts, which governments around the world are suppressing for profit and nuke power.  The Japanese govt. publically stated that they were ACTIVELY suppressing information.  American govt. and EPA is not active - nor do you see much in the "corporate" press.

            We are trying our best to change this - while we still can.
            Our voices should matter - as taxpayers of any country are forced to PAY for these poison spreading machines - with no input.  

            Until now.  This is too large to continue to be hidden any longer.

            •    Until the Nuclear Industry is ready to accept all responsibility and liability for any incident, then why should a Nuclear Power Co. be allowed to operate?
        •  Contrary Speculations are not "facts" (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joieau, KiB, Sandino

          they are just contrary speculations, even if they come from someone as knowledgeable and experienced and focussed on this kind of issue as you appear to be.

          Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

          by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Add (5+ / 0-)

          willfully obtuse to that last request.  

          What I said stands. Read it again and apply your vast scientific mind to the English contained therein:

          This is not a goddamned dissertation. It's a discussion forum.

          Would it kill any of you to quit being so damned rude and arrogant in diaries which may, in fact, offend your scientific sensibilities?  

          Your contempt and your baseless smear of what the diarist has clearly linked and described in the initial post are not civil in tone and others besides the diarist have made that apparent. You do not seem to be willing to accept this-all you want to do is shove your two cents out here and act as if that is the only narrative there is. And that has nothing to do with any "facts" you purport to have, or whether you think the diarist is not engaging in fact--it's your narrative or it's the highway.

          You didn't write this diary. If you don't like it, go write your own.

          REPEAL the Telecomm Act & REVIEW this decision. NO journalist should be fired because their boss can't have the truth told.

          by lunachickie on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:34:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're a psychic? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods, KiB, Russgirl

      Wow, I've never been very impressed with those. What do you know that the NRC doesn't?

    •  Quite Possibly? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      randallt, Joieau, Andhakari
      North Anna reported aftershocks again on September 1 and both units were listed in cold shutdown then (and was quite possibly in cold shutdown long before then).
      Would it kill you to spend a little more time fact checking and a little less time speculating?

      Care to share what you're basing that last bit of "quite possibly" speculating on?  

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 06:59:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Man. It's like they (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Into The Woods, KenBee, KiB, Russgirl

        just can't parse "I cannot confirm." I've tried, believe me. This news is a week old and more, just found the latest links.

        I cannot confirm unit-2 is in cold shutdown or that access to containment for inspection has been achieved. That's unarguable as presented. Simple truth from the data supplied and linked. What in the world is so "controversial" about that?

    •  Given Info in their Event Notice to the Contrary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Andhakari, ovals49

      I'm curious where you got this idea:

      As usual, you look at the facts and draw the wrong conclusion. Unit 1 was put in cold shutdown first because the utility decided to go into its refueling outage a little early.

      Just as conspiratorial bubbles do us little good, neither do happy coincidence bubbles that are not based on any hard fact.

      A little speculation perhaps?  

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:21:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  OT, PR Push for Nuclear Energy (5+ / 0-)

    Does anybody who is behind the glossy mailings we're receiving in NYC promoting nuclear energy.....It's full of obfuscation.......and innuendo....like we'll go all dark if we don't build more nuclear power plants.

  •  Where to Begin??? (6+ / 0-)

    As I read and re-read this diary I have to shake my head in disbelief.  I frankly don't know where to begin and I don't really know why I should bother - I don't have the energy for that right now anyway.  So, rather than engaging this author in a point by point discussion I opt instead to address Daily Kos readers only.  

    I am an expert in most of what is being discussed here.  I have worked and taught in the industry for 25 years.  I know what I am talking about.  Some will say that makes me a shill for the industry.  Frankly, I don't care what they say.  

    On the whole, this diary is complete and total crap.  Almost every paragraph has gross errors of fact, or at the very least severely distorts a fact into something it is not.  Thus, my advice to everyone is to ignore this diary in its entirety.  This author is wholly and completely unreliable.  Nothing this person says here or anywhere can be relied upon in any way.

    What we can conclude is that the diarist abhors nuclear power and He/She wants you to abhor nuclear power too. This diarist has an agenda and facts and truth are not about to get in his/her way in the pursuit of that agenda.  That's all there is to learn from this diary.

    I am not going to waste my time on a truth squad effort with this diary.  It is completely beyond redemption.  If you don't want to believe me, you won't even if I try.

    When insects are able to write history they will trace the extinction of the human race to approx. 300 votes in Florida in the human year of 2000 AD.

    by nuketeacher on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 07:08:12 PM PDT

    •  Pot calling the kettle black (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Into The Woods

      This diarist..// This nuclear professional with twenty five years invested in his chosen career... // has an agenda and facts and truth are not about to get in his/her way in the pursuit of that agenda.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

      by randallt on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 07:56:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Complete and total crap?" (8+ / 0-)

      Funny you should say that about what remains of the international and national "mainstream press." This diary is about updates on the North Anna situation since the earthquake that shook it to twice its design criteria. The sources are listed and linked, and even cited directly in blockquote.

      If you have data you can link that belies these media reports, wish you would provide them. I am indeed interested and keeping track, would love to know what's going on. Public info, please. Thanks.

    •  Thanks for not (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods, Sandino, Russgirl

      wasting your time. Buh-bye then.

    •  Well, after that detailed, factual, sourced and (6+ / 0-)

      linked rebutal, what can we say?

      Given the nuclear power industry's sterling reputation for transparency, clarity and honesty both here and abroad; given the immutable and omniscient nature of our knowledge of seismic risks over the decades; given the lack of any incidents relating to shut-downs of NPP due to power outages, floods, earthquakes and hurricanes (to say nothing of tsunamis), why in the world would we be skeptical of even cynical concerning the assurances of the nuclear power industry's spokespersons or even their reports?

      Headshaking, general assertions of expert-ness, even more general assertions of crapedness of a diary that concludes with an admission that you are not going to play truthsquad but expect us to ignore this diary (and possibly all agenda-driven diaries here at dk) on your say-so.  

      If that's seriously all you've got, it's not that I don't want to believe you, it's that I have almost zero reason to believe you.

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are indeed representitive (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Russgirl, Into The Woods

      of your industry.

      I have worked and taught in the industry for 25 years.
      All bile and no substance.

      "Our answer is more democracy, more openness, more humanity." ~Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg

      by Andhakari on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 03:02:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If it is "crap" ... PROVE IT w/links and facts. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nosleep4u, Joieau, Into The Woods

      Not just sanctioned "facts" or "opinion" from the folks who make money off it.  

      Everyone is a prisoner of his own experiences. No one can eliminate prejudices - just recognize them.
      ~Edward R. Murrow
  •  If we are going to contemplate conspiracy theories (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, Sandino, Andhakari

    How about Virginia Dominion Power doesn't want to publicize ANY problems with North Anna in case the people in Virginia worry about that plant, they might make sure that the Ban on Uranium Mining in Virginia stays in place now and for years to come.

    There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it. ~Author Unknown

    by VA Breeze on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:27:12 PM PDT

    •  Who has forwarded a (5+ / 0-)

      "conspiracy theory" about all this? I've reported what's been reported. Noted the contradictions between Dominion and the NRC. Those surfaced early on, when Dominion reported manual scrams and NRC said not so.

      I know not much about uranium mining in VA. I know about it in Gallup, NM (definitely a bad record) and proposed in the Grand Canyon National Park (ill-advised).

      I do know that the French conglomerate Ariva has halted its processing of raw uranium to fuel just yesterday. Because nobody's ordering any...

      •  OT: France (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, Joieau, Lujane, Andhakari

        Just saw a report somewhere, sorry I didn't keep a link, that France has been increasing its net carbon emissions throughout their nuclear power run.

        Thought it worth noting.


        "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

        by Jim P on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:07:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, well, they have other infrastructure as well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Recall, Lujane

          They have nuclear electricity and an electric TGV.  Besides that, the same cars as everyone else, and I bet they don't heat their homes with electricity.

          They're not emitting as much carbon as they otherwise would.  Beyond that, we do need to look into synthetic fuels and some way to heat houses without an on-site fire.

          Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

          by eigenlambda on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:20:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The argument runs that nukes reduce (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Just Bob, Andhakari, Joieau, Russgirl

            carbon emission -- and here's the important part -- in enough amounts, and quickly enough, to slow climate change.

            Here's France, all nuclear, and France emits annually more carbon than the year before.

            Less than if they had no nukes? Most likely.

            Still, the proposition is not backed by experience. France: all nukes; more carbon.

            If it is not a certainty, it certainly is a much greater probability, that energy from Sky, Earth, and Water will have a chance to alter carbon generation in a favorable way. As it takes hold, all manner of innovation will take place, has taken place, which can greatly reduce carbon. Electric vehicles, etc.

            Sky-Earth-Water energy will also avoid the deadening of fairly large areas of the earth, driving their populations to be refugees.

            This has already happened with nuclear, and will most likely happen again. That is the case because a) people can't scope out everything in a complex system, b) complex systems fail, c) nature can, and does, provide the unexpected, and d) people fuck up. Even large groups of them checking each other's work. Happens a lot.

            Reason, the parent of Science, isn't just about doing sums and mathematical models. In real life.... the nukes in France have not reversed the carbon emissions of France.


            "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

            by Jim P on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 10:58:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  this is completely pig-headed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Recall

              you're not going to affect France's carbon emissions by switching from one carbon-neutral electricity source to another.

              The questions you need to ask are, what industries emit the most, and how can they be reformed.  Of course, getting the carbon out of electricity generation was the easy part: instead of burning coal, burn actinides with a million times the energy density.  Trains were also pretty easy, they need an overhead wire (and carbon-neutral electricity).  China has some neat ultracapacitor-based buses...

              Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

              by eigenlambda on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 11:38:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  First, "irony" can be a useful mode of perception. (5+ / 0-)

                It lets you spot bullshit. Here's bullshit: when you have all nukes in a country, greenhouse gas emissions stop increasing and, indeed, reverse.

                They don't.

                They don't. The global warming causes still go on, even with nukes.

                And the question you need to ask is why you think deadening large parts of the earth and forcing people to become refugees hasn't happened with nukes; why it won't happen in the future; and if people pushing the crap are really omniscient, infallible, and omnipotent. Such that they can completely understand the ramifications of complex systems; that no mistakes will be made nor will complex systems fail in unforeseen ways; and that nature, and the wearing of time, can be trumped.

                You might be feeling lucky, but I've got my family and posterity to consider.


                "Whatever you do, don't mention The War." Basil Fawlty, while mentally impaired.

                by Jim P on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 12:03:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  JimP... love your "sky-earth-water technology" n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau
  •  OT - You have to look on the bright side (5+ / 0-)

    If it were not for the attacks here I wouldn't be aware of the scram failure at Browns Ferry:
    http://www.nrc.gov/...

    Description of Circumstances:

    On June 28, 1980, 76 of the 185 control rods failed to fully insert during a  routine shutdown at TVA's Browns Ferry Unit No 3 located at Athens Alabama.  The reactor was manually scrammed from about 30 percent power in accordance  with routine shutdown procedures. The shutdown was initiated to repair the  feedwater system. The 76 control rods that failed to fully insert were all on  the east side of the core.

    I also wouldn't be aware of the power oscillations at the LaSalle plant that reached 118% of rated power:
    http://www.osti.gov/...

    Reactor power reached 118% and reactor tripped

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:53:28 PM PDT

    •  Heh. Yeah, it stayed shut down (4+ / 0-)

      for nearly 20 years from that one. Then got to be the 'hot standby' non-recovery from the Tuscaloosa tornadoes this past spring that caused a 10-day station blackout.

      That's another one that doesn't ever need to go back on-line.

    •  It's One of the Reasons Debate, Even If Uncivil (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Just Bob, Joieau, mikolo, eeff, Russgirl

      should be tolerated if possible.

      The myths and talking points will continue to have power if they are left unchallenged by those that are willing and able to do so from all sides.

      We see how that works with the Republican's relentless repetition of their lies.  Eventually people forget where they heard them, forget that the source is biased and untruthful and remember only the statement.

      If we let the discussion flow, it brings out the charge and counter, hopefully from people of knowledge and integrity - which gives the rest of us some ammo next time the brother in law begins to expound.  

      One thing this discussion reaffirms for me is something I learned many years ago:  

      The answer containing "always" or "never" is rarely the correct one.

      Someone in a very expensive suit is at the front door and says he wants to foreclose on our democracy. Where should I tell him he can put his robosigning pen?

      by Into The Woods on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 09:26:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even I have recced your diary (5+ / 0-)

    it's based on fact not hyperbole.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 12:38:41 AM PDT

  •  just so you know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Recall

    The "scram problem" you described was the the reactor actually tripped (shutdown) before the loss of power to the main transformer caused by the loss of the grid.  This is not a problem other than the reactor shut down too early.  It probably happened because a relay actuated due to the seismic motion.  

    When the reactor tripped, the control rods all fully inserted, but even if one rod stuck all the way out, you can still show adequate shutdown margin.  That is part if the design.  Even if several rods stuck out, boron can be easily added to remedy this situation.

    The Emergency Steam Dump Valve sticking open has nothing to do with the reactor itself.  When the reactor trips, the main turbine trips, stopping all steam flow to the turbine.  This would normally cause the reactor to heat up, but steam dumps open, causing a slower, more controlled shutdown of the steam plant.  These steam dump valves have the possibility of sticking open due to their size and infrequent use.  They are easily isolated when no longer needed.  

    The entirety of your diary is based on an interpretation of the given facts that is sensationalized due to a lack of understanding of the systems.  Your "update" is trying to make something sound bad that isn't bad at all.

    Believe it or not, all of the events that happened are postulated accidents, the actions are proceduralized, and the operators are trained to respond to them.  Having a reactor trip and not knowing exactly why it did at first is a much better and totally different problem than a reactor that does not trip when it should.  The former is what happened at North Anna and the management delayed the start-up until they could troubleshoot and determine the actual cause of the trip (faulty relays) before returning to normal operations.

    "Yes, I know my enemy. They're the teachers who taught me to fight me, compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite. All of which are American dreams....."

    by rickrocket on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:27:04 AM PDT

    •  It's nice to hear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau

      that there is some margin of error. It does sound rather incredible that a control system would be designed so that it has to function 100% perfectly in order to prevent a  catastrophic incident.

      Small point, I wonder why you say the reactor tripped "too early"? When an earthquake is occurring, wouldn't you want it to trip then and not wait to detect an electrical problem?

      •  there are many ways a reactor can trip (0+ / 0-)

        but they are all completely defined processes.  Seismic activity doesn't trip the reactor, but it gives a warning to the operators.  Loss of electrical power, an instrument failure, exceeding a setpoint are the types of things that will give an automatic reactor trip.  They expected in this situation that the reactor would trip due to the loss of electrical power, but it tripped on something else just prior to the power loss.  Apparently the seismic activity caused a relay to give a trip signal even though there was no active trip signal to that relay at the time, hence "too early".

        Also, there are redundant and separate protection channels in the case of the failure of one channel or power supply, so it is almost impossible to not get a scram when you need it.

        "Yes, I know my enemy. They're the teachers who taught me to fight me, compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission, ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite. All of which are American dreams....."

        by rickrocket on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:58:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "The management" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johanus, rja, Russgirl

      has nothing to say about when or if these nukes ever go back online - that's the NRC's job, and the NRC has tasked an entire engineering unit to thoroughly inspect (we hope) both units and submit full reports - with 8x10 glossy photographs with circles and arrows and writing on the back [h/t Arlo] - for the full commission to study and debate before a decision will be made to restart or not to restart. If 'the management' were to even attempt to restart before that's done and judgment passed, NRC would pull their license so fast Dominion would be out of business in record time.

      And just so you know, it has already been determined that it was NOT a relay or power supply problem that caused the scrams. They are not sure exactly what did cause them, but indications so far are "problems inside the cores of both units." As I mentioned in the diary, this was not water sloshing around, because these are PWRs and not BWRs. It may have been some actual core movement, in which case they will have to get inside and check all the 'mounts', replace any that are broken. They may have to replace the entire core assemblies. And I expect the NRC will also want to carefully examine and test the reactor vessels themselves while they're in there, as these are ~30 years old and have been neutron-bombarded for most of that time.

      They will need to examine and test all the steam generators for tube ruptures and broken welds. They will want to inspect every single pipe, pump and valve, and probably replace those pipes that lost their insulation to the quake.

      It is not a matter of taking a quick walk-through with a clipboard and documenting cracks in the walls - or pulverizing of the pads - because the walls and pads are not the power plant. They're just the walls and foundation. Neither of these plants will be operational soon.

  •  Joieau (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks for another update on the Virginia Nuclear Plant.

    I also think Markos new diary rules worked out well in this diary.

    Hope all is well with you & yours also  :)

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