JAMES MADISON QUOTE - 1822

"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

SCOTTSBORO WEATHER

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Saga of a Defective Nuclear Reactor System and Negligent Managers

THE BROWNS FERRY NUCLEAR PLANT NEAR ATHENS AND DECATUR, ALABAMA HAS BEEN OPERATING UNSAFELY (TVA photo)


TVA's largest nuclear facility at Browns Ferry, Alabama has been operating unsafely according to multiple sources: NRC, TVA and a TVA Engineer who specializes in "root cause analysis" of nuclear plant malfunctions. Yet, the unsafe Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant has been allowed to continue operations with unsafe systems, antiquated electronic parts and negligent management.

Browns Ferry has a dubious history as this PBS video explains.




MANAGEMENT DISCONNECT REGARDING SAFETY AND CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

There appears to be a large TVA management and NRC disconnect relative to safety and corrective actions programs for the flawed and defective GE Mark 1 Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors. The three Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors are the same type which melted down at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Reactor site and forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of citizens surrounding the highly contaminated nuclear facility.

A "station blackout" scenario at Browns Ferry Alabama similar to the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear reactor station blackout and subsequent meltdowns could make the areas of Athens, Decatur, Madison and parts of Huntsville, Alabama a "no mans land." Depending on the wind direction, over 250,000 citizens could be left homeless, never to be able to return to their homes due to area radiation contamination. In the case of a reactor disaster the food chain in the area would be contaminated up to 100 miles and greater from Browns Ferry depending on wind direction. Cancer risks would sky rocket for citizens residing in areas greater than 100 miles of Browns Ferry.

After the fiasco with the January 2012 control room fire at Browns Ferry it became apparent the NRC and the TVA were intentionally covering up failures which could compromise the safety of North Alabama citizens. http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/07/browns_ferry_nuclear_plant_had.html

The control room fire revealed: 1) an inoperative corrective actions program; 2) TVA management failed to implement corrective actions identified multiple times for several years; 3) TVA management failed to replace antiquated electrical components throughout the Browns Ferry facility; 4) the TVA and NRC have attempted to cover-up the extent of management failures relative to corrective action programs (CAP) and the existence of antiquated analog electrical components in critical safety systems throughout the plant. 

REGULATORY FAILURE OF THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION, NRC
On March 4, 2013 the NRC stated in its Annual Assessment Report on Browns Ferry that the TVA at Browns Ferry has problems identified as "Significant Cross cutting Issues, SCCI," which after several notices of violations were not corrected. The report stated specifically that management at Browns Ferry did not take “appropriate and timely corrective actions," notified in 5 different letters, nor did they conduct a "thorough evaluation of identified problems," notified in 7 different letters.  The March 4, 2013 NRC letter contains dates and facility areas for the increased inspection programs out to June 2014. http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/bf_2012q4.pdf   


WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS FLAWED SAFETY CULTURE
Yesterday, July 7, 2013 the Huntsville Times released an expose on "Browns Ferry: Shrinking the safety margin at Alabama's largest nuclear plant" - http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/07/browns_ferry.html ; and a story revealing a "flawed safety culture" and accusations of nuclear safety shortcuts being taken: http://blog.al.com/wire/2013/07/browns_ferry_engineer_never_ex.html  The expose also reveals serious allegations of sexual harassment pointed at the female engineer whistleblower.

Aging nuclear plants corrode and all nuclear facilities release highly radioactive nuclear contaminants into the water, land and atmosphere surrounding the nuclear facility. After 8 months of investigations concerning radiation levels surrounding the Browns Ferry Nuclear Facility a Radioactive Emissions and Health Hazards report was issued by the BREDL Chapter BEST/MATRR on June 6, 2013 revealing  there are radiation levels greater than 40 times background levels present in downwind areas of Browns Ferry.


DOWNWIND RADIATION - ADULT and INFANT DEATH RATES INCREASE
An Epidemiology study of the North Alabama areas downwind of the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant reveal a steady increase of Adult Death Rates greater than 20% of the U.S. Death Rates and an Infant Death Rate greater than 21% of the U.S. Death Rates since the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant has been in operation.
This report may be viewed at http://bredl.org/pdf4/AL_BFN_Report_2013-final-digit.pdf or our BEST/MATRR web site at http://www.matrr.org .

Because of the failed safety culture, management neglect and the defective antiquated reactor's systems it is time to close the three TVA, defective and unsafe GE Mark 1 nuclear reactors at Browns Ferry Alabama.

A concerned citizens  video report about BEST/MATRR's report.


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