"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."


Click for Scottsboro, Alabama Forecast

Monday, April 7, 2014

Browns Ferry Disclosures - Shhh secrets, have the problems been corrected?

TVA photo of Browns Ferry

Shhh, the TVA and the nuclear industry have secrets at Browns Ferry Alabama that they do not want the public to know about. Secrets that jeopardize public safety and health of over 1 million citizens who reside in the plume paths of the three defective GE Mark 1 Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors.
Art - Nuclear Whistle-Blowers by Pete Ryan

25 identified serious problems at TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors. The Browns Ferry 2010 INPO, Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, (Established by the nuclear power industry in December 1979, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Atlanta. http://www.inpo.info/AboutUs.htm#values ) report discloses that the TVA and the NRC endangered the public. The degraded conditions at TVA's Browns Ferry nuclear facility was much greater than previously released by the TVA or the NRC. The NRC's Red Finding did not disclose the seriousness of TVA's Browns Ferry nuclear facility problems. There is the appearance of a cover-up of serious safety systems and management failures.

INPO Browns Ferry Disclosures, July 2010:
(Item 1, pages 30-31 from Field notes) 1) The TVA and the NRC knew of several valve failures, not just one. Valve failures was an ongoing serious issue in all three Browns Ferry Nuclear Plants since 2006. (Items 2-25 pages 1-17, Executive Summary)
2) Notable gaps in operator fundamentals remain.
3) Weaknesses in the review and recognition of risk associated with some work activities have negatively impacted plant operations.
4) The conduct of maintenance has improved, however, behavior gaps continue to adversely affect safety system performance and cause rework and injuries.
5) Management is not holding key personnel accountable.
6) On-line risk continues to be adversely affected.
7) Chemistry performance has declined, performance gaps are not fully understood. Several unplanned and unmonitored radioactive releases have occurred.
8) Significant gaps in equipment health and component reliability have not been resolved.
9) High-Pressure core injection system experienced multiple failures and are not meeting industry goals.
10) Reactor core cooling system failures attributed to age related degradation.
11) Multiple safety systems failures in the emergency system cooling water and residual heat removal service water.
12) Multiple scrams and transients were the results of long standing equipment problems not corrected, industry goals are not being met.
13) Source of increasing unidentified dry well leakage not identified.
14) Several long standing emergency generator problems have not been resolved.
15) Equipment reliability programs and processes are not being implemented in a manner that will result in a timely resolution to problems, equipment failures or the prevention of new problems.
16) Initiatives to improve equipment reliability are inhibited by supervisors and management.
17) Preventive maintenance is not being implemented to prevent equipment failures.
18) Inadequate consideration for design inputs for plant modifications resulted in multiple scrams.  
19) A significant vulnerability remains with the lack of testing for safety related cables.
20) Industry standards for radiological protection are not being met.
21) A number of organizational and human performance issues exist because personnel were not effective at identifying, properly characterizing, and resolving issues with appropriate corrective actions.
22) Gaps in operational risk assessment, equipment reliability, and human performance remain. As a result, the station is vulnerable in its ability to sustain event-free operations.
23) Workforce behaviors and cultural norms are not aligned with a strong nuclear safety culture.
24) Management acceptance of degraded conditions that challenges safety system reliability.
25) Station is adversely impacted by weaknesses in supervisory and individual behaviors which has the potential to impact future station performance. Workers in several work groups tend to deviate from station standards and station supervisors often do not correct these behaviors.

Have the failures at Browns Ferry been corrected? Have management changes at the TVA improved nuclear safety culture failures? Will the nuclear industry and its regulator continue to cover-up safety issues and problems which jeopardize human health and safety?

Peer Review Reports, regardless of the author, which identify safety conditions which jeopardize public health and safety must be reported to the public.

The placement of the nuclear industry's and nuclear operators financial gain ahead of public safety, health and welfare is immoral, unethical and in the case of degraded nuclear safety systems, including human factors, probably illegal.

There is a later Peer Review report by the World Association of Nuclear Operators, WANO, concerning Browns Ferry. WANO is also a non-profit organization. http://www.wano.info/about-us/
I have requested inspection of the report from the TVA, below is their reply.

TVA claims that the inspection of this report by me would harm TVA's future participation in WANO. I did not request a copy of the report, I requested permission to inspect the report.

The denial also states that the WANO report contains proprietary methodology and would harm WANO's competitive financial position in the nuclear power industry. WANO is a non-profit organization.

INPO and WANO's work is copyright protected. However, U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Rule: "Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, nonprofit educational purposes and research. Link: http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

No organization may keep work practices secret which creates a danger to the public at large.  Proprietary information, restricted commercial/financial information and copyright restrictions are bogus red herring arguments which are unsupportable excuses to not inform the public about serious management and safety culture failures at a nuclear power facility.

We are not speaking about the failure of a valve in one safety system as the NRC and TVA would like the public to believe. We are speaking about the intentional cover-up of multiple unsafe operations as a result of failed management and a failed safety culture at a nuclear power plant. How does the public know the serious deficiencies described in the INPO report have been corrected?

The recent NRC 95003 Red Finding at Browns Ferry involved a valve problem, not the complete breakdown of TVA management at Browns Ferry, which the INPO report vividly describes.

Maybe the NRC, TVA, INPO, WANO and others should "practice what they preach" as it applies to law and policy. NRC Safety Culture Policy Statement - http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/safety-culture/sc-policy-statement.html

No comments: