New Report Describes Failures at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

New Report Describes Failures at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant title=
Diablo Canyon Power Plant in Avila Beach of San Luis Obispo County (Photo: PG&E)
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By edhat staff

A Federal Report identified failures by inspectors at the Diable Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted the investigation and released the Event Inquiry Report this week. It ultimately found the power plant is currently operating safely, but NRC inspectors failed to identify several facility issues.

The investigation began after the plant’s auxiliary feedwater (AFW) system failed and led to an 8-day shutdown of one of the nuclear reactors in July 2020. The AFW system is a “backup water supply that can be used to cool the reactor if normal feedwater is out of service,” according to the report.

OIG found that inspectors “failed to identify piping insulation on the AFW system that had long been in a degraded condition, and that led to a leak.”

The report said that the investigation revealed that the NRC “had not inspected the area where the leak occurred, even though its inspection report indicated that the inspectors had conducted a complete walkdown of the AFW system in April 2020, three months prior to the leak and shutdown.”

Additionally, the report states “the number of hours NRC staff spent directly inspecting both reactors’ AFW systems for the complete walkdown in April 2020 was fewer than recommended in the applicable NRC inspection procedures.”

Ultimately, the OIG states that the AFW system has since been improved by licensee Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and meets regulatory requirements, stating the power plant continues to operate safely.

Congressman Salud Carbajal reacted to this oversight and issued the following statement:

“The findings released today by the NRC’s Inspector General are unsettling and unacceptable.

“The safety and wellbeing of the entire San Luis Obispo community relies on federal inspectors adhering to those safety protocols, and the negligence detailed in this report will erode the public trust in those who are tasked with keeping us safe.

“It is critically important that the NRC make a clear and convincing case to the Central Coast how it will hold their inspectors accountable for breaking protocol and how it intends to restore confidence in their operations at DCPP. In the coming days, I will be formally asking NRC leaders for specific details on why required inspections were not completed, what corrective actions will be taken, and what steps the NRC will take to enforce its regulations in the remaining time that DCPP is operational.”

PG&E still plans to close Diablo Canyon by 2025.

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ChillinGrillin Mar 31, 2022 12:52 PM
New Report Describes Failures at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

To have a realistic hope of weaning the electric grid off of fossil fuels, the US will need to rely heavily on nuclear power. However, human error coupled with an energy source that can pollute and kill on a geologic time scale if not handled correctly makes for a serious risk of a major accident at some point.

GeneralTree Mar 31, 2022 01:16 PM
New Report Describes Failures at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

The waste generated by nuclear reactors remains radioactive for tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Nuclear power plants are a potential target for terrorist operations. An attack could cause major explosions, putting population centers at risk, as well as ejecting dangerous radioactive material into the atmosphere and surrounding region. In addition to the risks posed by terrorist attacks, human error and natural disasters can lead to dangerous and costly accidents. In addition to the significant risk of cancer associated with fallout from nuclear disasters, studies also show increased risk for those who reside near a nuclear power plant, especially for childhood cancers such as leukemia. The 444 nuclear power plants currently in existence provide about 11% of the world’s energy . Studies show that in order to meet current and future energy needs, the nuclear sector would have to scale up to around 14,500 plants. Scaling up to 14,500 nuclear plants isn’t possible simply due to the limitation of feasible sites. Unlike renewables, which are now the cheapest energy sources, nuclear costs are on the rise, and many plants are being shut down or in danger of being shut down for economic reasons. Initial capital costs, fuel, and maintenance costs are much higher for nuclear plants than wind and solar, and nuclear projects tend to suffer cost overruns and construction delays. The price of renewable energy has fallen significantly over the past decade, and it projected to continue to fall

Channelfog Apr 01, 2022 03:53 AM
New Report Describes Failures at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant

PG&E failing to properly operate and maintain equipment? They burned down a good chunk of Northern California, it would not be surprising to see them severely irradiate the central coast and Pacific Ocean due to their greed and ineptitude. Not to mention the Hosgy (sp?) Fault a mile off shore, or other tidal waves that could ruin the cooling water intake system, as happened at Fukushima.

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