U.S. NRC Blog

Transparent, Participate, and Collaborate

NRC Forms Special San Onofre Review Panel

Victor Dricks
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Region IV

NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane (second from right) listens as Southern California Edison executive Richard St. Onge (third from right) discusses issues with one of the damaged steam generators at SONGS. The steam generator is in the right foreground.

NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane (second from right) listens as Southern California Edison executive Richard St. Onge (third from right) discusses issues with one of the damaged steam generators at SONGS. The steam generator is in the right foreground.

The NRC has established a special panel to coordinate the agency’s evaluation of Southern California Edison Co.’s proposed plan for restarting its Unit 2 reactor and ensuring that the root causes of problems with the plant’s steam generators are identified and addressed.

Art Howell, the NRC’s Region IV deputy regional administrator, will serve as co-chairman of the panel along with Dan Dorman, deputy director for engineering and corporate support in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR). Jim Andersen, chief of NRR’s Electrical Engineering Branch, will serve as deputy team manager of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Oversight Panel.

The panel will ensure that NRC communicates a unified and consistent position in a clear and predictable manner to the licensee, public and other stakeholders, and establishes a record of major regulatory and licensee actions taken and technical issues reviewed, including adequacy of Southern California Edison’s corrective actions.

The panel also will be responsible for conducting periodic public meetings with the utility and providing a recommendation to senior NRC management regarding restart of SONGS Unit 2. In comments to reporters Monday following a tour of the plant, Chairman Allison Macfarlane said Unit 2 will not be permitted to restart unless the NRC has reasonable assurance it can be operated safely.

Other panel members include: 

  • Ed Roach, chief, Mechanical Vendor Inspection Branch, NRO
  • Ryan Lantz, chief, SONGS Project Branch, Region IV
  • Greg Werner, inspection & assessment lead, SONGS Project Branch, Region IV
  • Nick Taylor, senior project engineer, SONGS Project Branch, Region IV
  • Greg Warnick, senior resident inspector, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
  • Doug Broaddus, chief, SONGS Special Project Branch, NRR
  • Randy Hall, project manager, SONGS Special Project Branch, NRR
  • Ken Karwoski, senior level advisor, Division of Engineering, NRR
  • Michele Evans, director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing (alternate is Pat Hiland, director, Division of Engineering)

134 responses to “NRC Forms Special San Onofre Review Panel

  1. CaptD January 23, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    A DAB Safety Team Request to the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (NRR) Thermal-Hydraulic Experts.

    Please carefully review the SONGS Unit 2 Restart Reports (done by SCE, Westinghouse, AREVA and MHI), SCE Unit 3 Root Cause Evaluation, NRC AIT Report, ATHOS Modeling Results and Unit 2 Operational Data and then arrive: (1) At an unanimous, clear and concise conclusion whether FEI occurred in Unit 2 or not, and (2) Provide a GAP ANALYSIS (The scientific and engineering reasons why all these reports are so different) prior the February 12, 2013 NRC Public Meeting.

    This will be most helpful for everyone on the Special Hearing Panel and the public at large.

    ===> BTW: The DAB Safety Team will show you ours after the NRC shows US theirs…

  2. CaptD January 23, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    From Mr. Dricks’s NRC Feb. 12, 2013 Meeting notice “NRC TO MEET PUBLIC TO DISCUSS SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR GENERATING STATION STEAM GENERATOR ISSUES”
    snip:
    ” A leak in a Unit 3 steam generator tube on Jan. 31, 2012, led to the shutdown of that unit. The other reactor, Unit 2, was shut down for maintenance and refueling at the time. Subsequent inspections of the nearly new steam generators in both units found unexpected wear. Both units remain safely shut down and will not be permitted to restart until NRC has reasonable assurance they can be operated safely.”

    To Mr. Dricks’s: PLEASE define “reasonable assurance,” as the Health and Safety of 8 Million people living in southern California (within 50 miles of SanO), who are depending upon the NRC to “get it right this time after failing to get it right last time,” because the USA cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima where the Japanese nuclear regulators thought they had everything covered before 3/11/11 and time proved them tragically wrong.

    • Moderator January 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

      Reasonable assurance is given when licensees comply with NRC regulations. That said, the NRC is always looking at the adequacy of its regulations to ensure safety.

      Victor Dricks

      • CaptD January 25, 2013 at 11:26 am

        SanO is now a 1.5 Billion Dollar RED FLAG that illustrates how easy NRC regulations can be gamed (without ANY enforcement penalties) which allow Utilities/Operators to make changes that have enormous implications to safety and the Public Health, with little to N☢ actual oversight, until it is to late!

        The two basic problems at Fukushima, Japan were that:
        (1) TEPCO’s regulator pushed too much paper instead of being “hands on”.
        (2) TEPCO had total control over what data the public had access to, which prevented any real oversight by the public.

        The USA cannot afford a Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster like Fukushima, that is why the NRC needs to “overhaul” how it enforces its current regulations and develop new regulations ASAP to patch all the regulatory holes that now exist!

        A major first step should be to really open up the entire NRC process to the public, so that true public oversight can take place, instead of the flawed system we now have, as SanO illustrates all to well! As it is now, the public does not have enough access to NRC reports and/or data which prevents all knowledgable people from providing input into the decision making process.

      • HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 29, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        Special Public Awareness Series – SONGS $1Billion Dollar Radiation Steaming Crucibles
        Unbiased and Factual Information provided for the benefit of NRC San Onofre Special Panel
        Addressed To: Ryan Lantz, Brian Benney, Randy Hall, Edwin Hackett, Dan Dorman, Victor Dricks
        Good Moring Mr. Dricks, SONGS Insider Information from Anonymous Sources and From DAB Safety team for SONGS Special Onofre Team – Response appreciated from the San Onofre Special Panel
        A NRC Branch Chief gifted with MIT Intelligence, Intuition and a Sixth Sense, who is an acquaintance of mine, told me at an Industry Conference, “Sir, to resolve any complex technical problem and understand unclear regulations, you have to, ‘Read and reread in between the lines’, use, ‘Critical questioning and an investigative attitude’ and ‘Solid teamwork & alignment.”
        Allegation – NRC AIT Report Incomplete, Inconclusive, Inconsistent and Unacceptable
        SONGS UNIT 3 RSG REAL ROOT CAUSE: Lack of “Critical Questioning & Investigative Attitude” by SCE, MHI, NRC Region IV and the AIT Members.
        NOTE: ATHOS Modeling results are not reliable, because the results by NRC AIT Team, Westinghouse, MHI, AREVA and Independent Experts show that fluid elastic instability occurred both in Units 3 and 2. The investigations in the Root cause of SONGS Unit 3 FEI regarding computer modeling have not been completed by NRC AIT Team, SCE and MHI. As shown in item 3 below, FEI did not occur in Unit 2 according to DAB Safety Team and Westinghouse. As also shown in other DAB Safety Team reports, FEI was not caused in Unit 3 by tube-to AVB gaps as bogusly claimed by NRC AIT Team and SCE. This is consistent with the findings of Westinghouse, AREVA, MHI, John Large and SONGS Anonymous Insiders.
        The concerns raised by Dr. Hopenfeld are extremely important safety issues. As the ACRS stated:
        • Steam generators constitute more than 50% of the surface area of the primary pressure boundary in a pressurized water reactor.
        • Unlike other parts of the reactor pressure boundary, the barrier to fission product release provided by the steam generator tubes is not reinforced by the reactor containment as an additional barrier.”
        • Leakage of primary coolant through openings in the steam generator tubes could deplete the inventory of water available for the long-term cooling of the core in the event of an accident. In the decade since Dr. Hopenfeld first raised his safety concerns, the NRC has allowed many nuclear plants to continue operating nuclear power plants with literally thousands of steam generator tubes that are known to be fatigue cracked! The ACRS concluded that the NRC staff made these regulatory decisions using incomplete and inaccurate information. After receiving the ACRS’s report, the NRC staff considered Hopenfeld’s concerns “resolved” even though it had taken no action to address the numerous recommendations in the ACRS report.
        Mel Silberberg January 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm US NRC Blog
        I am disappointed in the composition of the special panel! Where is the representation from NRC-RES? The issues at SONGS involve thermal hydraulics and material science. The NRC-RES and its contractors are experts in these areas. The Office of Research was created by the Congress for such situations. Two RES staff covering these disciplines and one or two consultants, serving as peer-reviewers. Perhaps there needs to be a separate peer review. Public confidence can only be gained using logical, informed measures as I described above.
        Mel Silberberg, NRC-RES, Retired [Chief, Severe Accident Research Branch; Waste Management Branch.
        1. Changes in SONGS RSGs from Original CE OSGs In the SONGS RSGs: the number of tubes were increased by 377 and made > 7 inches taller to achieve 11% increase in Heat transfer Area of Tubes to increase 24MWt per RSG, tube wall thickness was reduced from 0.048 inches to 0.043 to pump more reactor coolant through the tubes, moisture content was reduced from 0.2% to 0.1% to improve SG performance , secondary pressure was reduced from 900 psi to 833 psi to push more heat from the reactor coolant to the feedwater, RCS Volume was increased from 1895 cubic feet to 2003 cubic feet, RCS Flow was increased from 198,000 gpm to 209,000 gpm, feedwater flow was increased from 7.4 million pound per hour to 7.6 million pound per hour and AVBs were not designed to prevent against adverse effects of fluid elastic instability (In-plane vibrations, Tube-to-Tube wear, steam dry-outs). These unapproved and unanalyzed changes were claimed to be a conservative move and improvements in the RSGs from OSGs under a “like for Like” change. No mixing baffles were added in the SONGS RSGs to improve the T/H Performance and eliminate dead zones in the RSGs. Palo Verde made similar changes to their RSGs under a 50.90 License Amendment. PVNGS Generators are running after 10 years with very little tube plugging whereas the above changes in SONGS RSGs destroyed Unit 3 and crippled Unit 2 RSGs. These fatal changes definitely: a) Caused a significant increase in the probability or consequences of an accident previously evaluated (SGTR) and, b) involve a significant reduction in a margin of safety – Failure of 8 Unit 3 SG Tubes under MSLB test conditions and significant TTW > 35% of ~381 tubes in Unit 3 RSGs.
        2. Problems in SONGS Original CE Steam Generators: In the Original 2001 Power Uprate Application (NRC ADAMS Accession Number ML010950020), “Proposed Change Number NPF-10115-514 Increase in Reactor Power to 3438 MWt San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3”, SCE stated “ By the above reference Southern California Edison (SCE) submitted Amendment Application Numbers 207 and 192 to the facility operating licenses for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), Units 2 and 3, respectively, to increase the licensed reactor thermal power level to 3438 MWt. At 100% power operation, steam generator pressures typically vary between 800 psia and 815 psia, compared to the original nominal design operating pressure of 900 psia. Wear at tube support structures is a known degradation mechanism at SONGS. At SONGS, rapid wear was observed on tubes surrounding the stay cylinder in the center of the steam generator during the first cycle of operation. Many tubes in the most susceptible region around the stay cylinder have been preventively plugged. The first preventive plugging was done after 0.7 EFPY of operation. The preventively plugged region was expanded during the Cycle 3 outage. Typical active wear in CE designed steam generators has occurred at the support structures in the upper bundle region of the steam generator. These supports consist of diagonal straps (frequently called bat wings) and vertical strap supports. This currently active wear mechanism is influenced by both flow velocities and tube to support gap wear. The variable influenced by the proposed uprate is the inner bundle flow velocities. The hydrodynamic stability of a steam generator is characterized by the damping factor. A negative value of this parameter indicates a stable unit, i.e., small perturbations of steam pressure or circulation ratio will diminish rather than grow in amplitude. The damping factors remain highly negative, at a level comparable to the current design, for all cases. Thus, the steam generators remain hydrodynamically stable for all uprate cases.Based on a projected increase of 2.3% in the secondary side fluid velocity, normal operation flow induced vibration analysis is impacted by the velocity increase. Current analysis considered that tubes with more than one consecutive inactive eggcrate were staked and plugged, and two nonconsecutive inactive eggcrates are acceptable. The Stability Ratio (SR) is defined as: SR = Veff/Vcr, where, Veff= effective velocity, Vcr = critical velocity; and Values of SR 99%), known as “NO Effective Thin Tube Film Damping.” Thin film damping refers to the tendency of the steam inside the generators to create a thin film of water between the RSG tubes and the support structures and each other. That film is enough to help keep the tubes from vibrating with large amplitudes, hitting other tubes violently, and to protect the Anti-Vibration Bar support structures and maintain the tube-to-AVB gaps and contact forces. These adverse conditions in Unit 2 at 70% power operation (RTP) with the present defective design and degraded RSGs, known as fluid elastic instability (Tube-to-Tube Wear, or TTW) can lead to rapid U-tube failure from fatigue or tube-to-tube wear in Unit 2 due to a main steam line break as seen in Unit 3’s RSG’s. In summary, FEI is a phenomenon where due to San Onofre RSGs design intended for high steam flows causes the tubes to vibrate with increasingly larger amplitudes due to the fluid effective flow velocity exceeding its specific limit (critical velocity) for a given tube and its supporting conditions and a given thermal hydraulic environment. This occurs when the amount of energy imparted on the tube by the fluid is greater than the amount of energy that the tube can dissipate back to the fluid and to the supports. The lack of Nucleate boiling on the tube surface or absence of water is found to have a destabilizing effect on fluid-elastic stability.
        C.2 – Unit 2 FEI Conflicting Operational Data
        • NRC AIT Report SG Secondary U2/3 Pressure Range 833 – 942 psi
        • SCE RCE SG Secondary U2/3 Pressure – 833 psi
        • RCE Team Anonymous Member – Unit 2 SG Secondary Pressure 863 psi
        • SONGS SG System Description Unit 2 SG Pressure Range 892 – 942 psi
        • Westinghouse OA SG Secondary U2/3 Pressure ~ 838 psi, Void Fraction 99.55%
        • SCE Enclosure 2, MHI ATHOS results – U2/3 Void Fraction 99.6%
        • SCE Enclosure 2, Independent Expert results – ATHOS U2/3 Void Fraction 99.4%
        • DAB Safety Team SG Secondary U2 Pressure 863 -942 psi, Void Fraction 96-98%
        • SONGS Plant Daily Briefing Unit 3 Electrical Generation – 1186 MWe
        • SONGS Plant Daily Briefing Unit 2 Electrical Generation – 1183 MWe
        C.3 – Unit 2 FEI Conclusions
        C.3.1 – NRC AIT Report – Operational Differences between U2/3 – The NRC analysis indicated a correlation with the tube-to-tube wear based on a combination of high void fraction and high steam velocities. It should be noted that the traditional forcing function, fluid velocity squared times density, does not show good agreement with the tube-to-tube wear patterns. This indicated that the high quality steam fluid velocities and high void fraction may be sufficiently high to cause conditions in the generators conducive for onset of fluid-elastic instability.
        The ATHOS code predicted regions of high void fraction and high steam velocities are
        super-imposed with tube-to-tube wear indications from Unit 3 steam generator 3E0-88
        The above analyses apply equally to Units 2 and 3, so it does not explain why the accelerated fluid-elastic instability wear damage was significantly greater in Unit 3steam generators. The result of the independent NRC thermal-hydraulic analysis indicated that differences in the actual operation between units and/or individual steam generators had an insignificant impact on the results and in fact, the team did not identify any changes in steam velocities or void fractions that could attribute to the differences in tube wear between the units or steam generators.
        C.3.2 – SCE Unit 2 Restart Report Enclosure 2 Conclusions – Because of the similarities in design between the Unit 2 and 3 RSGs, it was concluded that FEI in the in-plane direction was also the cause of the TTW in Unit 2.
        C.3.3 – SCE U2 FEI SONGS RCE Team Anonymous Member Conclusions – FEI did not occur in Unit 2.
        C.3.4 – Westinghouse OA Conclusions: (a) An evaluation of the tube-to-tube wear reported in two tubes in SG 2E089 showed that, most likely, the wear did not result from in-plane vibration of the tubes since all available eddy current data clearly support the analytical results that in-plane vibration could not have occurred in these tubes, and (b) Operational data – Westinghouse ATHOS Model shows no operational differences in Units 2 & 3 (void fraction ~99.6%) and then Westinghouse says in (a) above that FEI did not occur in Unit 2. Westinghouse is contradicting its own statement.
        C.3.5 – AREVA OA Conclusions – Based on the extremely comprehensive evaluation of both Units, supplemented by thermal hydraulic and FIV analysis, assuming, a priori, that TTW via in-plane fluid-elastic instability cannot develop in Unit 2 would be inappropriate.
        C.3.6 – John Large States, “I note here that there are three clear conflicts of findings between the OAs: From AREVA that AVB-to-tube and TTW result from in-plane FEI, contrasted to Westinghouse that there is no in-plane FEI but most probably it was out-of-plane FEI, and from MHI that certain AVB-to-tube wear results in the absence of in-plane FEI from just turbulent flow. My opinion is that such conflicting disagreement over the cause of TTW reflects poorly on the depth of understanding of the crucially important FEI issue by each of these SCE consultants and the designer/manufacturer of the RSGs.”
        C.3.7 – DAB Safety Team Conclusions – Due to higher SG pressure (Range 863 – 942 psi) and lower thermal megawatts as compared to Unit 3, FEI did not occur in Unit 2. This is consistent with the position of RCE Team Anonymous Member. The NRC AIT Report, SCE, Westinghouse, MHI, Independent Expert and AREVA conclusions on Unit 2 FEI are Contradicting, Confusing, Inconclusive, Full of Smoking Mirrors, Inconsistent and Unacceptable
        PROBBABLE ROOT CAUSE: Lack of “Critical Questioning & Investigative Attitude” of SCE Supplied Operational Data by Westinghouse, AREVA, MHI and Other World’s Leading Experts

  3. CaptD January 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    SanO Nuclear Denial*?
    Perhaps this panel will also explain why “severe accident” is not even listed in it’s 130 page NRC Collection of Abbreviations, especially since there are two classes of accident: postulated accidents and severe accidents.

    * http://is.gd/XPjMd0
    The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  4. CaptD January 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

    The latest from DAB Safety Team on SanO:
    Press Release 13-01-22 ATHOS Validity Questioned, Qualifying Investigation Required

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ltCb57ciXRaOkhK1rhc2BaB0ACXf7MwcSDZZyEAkFDI/edit

  5. CaptD January 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Question: If Dan Dorman, is the deputy director for engineering and CORPORATE support in the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation (NRR), who at the NRR is tasked with providing PUBLIC SUPPORT?

    • Moderator January 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      The “Corporate Support” portion of my title refers to oversight of budget and staffing for the NRC’s program for licensing and oversight activities involving operating reactors. Most NRR staff members are actively involved in public support and outreach through, among other things, timely posting of public records to the agency’s document management system, ADAMS, and through planning and participating in public meetings on many diverse topics. In addition, NRR is supported in public outreach by other offices, including the role of the Office of Public Affairs in providing social media such as this blog.

      Dan Dorman

  6. HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 21, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Trying to help San Onofre Special Panel,,, Thanks to NRC Moderation for Posting… HAHNBaba
    Credit of DAB Safety Team Press Release 12-12-20
    Prior to Issue of any decision regarding restart for Unit 2, SCE needs to demonstrate the viability of Operator Actions for an earthquake, main steam line break or other unanticipated transients in a Full NRC/FEMA Evaluated Emergency Plan Exercise collocated by NRC Head Quarters and evaluated by IPC/Industry Emergency Preparedness/Reactor Oversight and NRR Experts using the following:
    • Fully Staffed Control Room or Simulator, Technical Support Center, Operations Support Center, Emergency Offsite Facility, Joint Information Center and Fire Department
    • Ability for Accurate & Timely detection of a tube leak using N-16 radiation detection system and initiation of operator actions
    • Ability for Accurate & Timely Identification, Trouble Shooting, Diagnostics and Mitigation of the above events using VLPMS accelerometers for detecting actual tube vibrations for fluid elasticity Mitigation
    • Ability for Accurate & Timely demonstration of actual tube vibration noise from background noise and the required threshold identification criteria, that would be applied to reach the conclusion that tube vibration is occurring and the number of affected damaged and worn tubes
    • Ability for Accurate & Timely use of Emergency, Abnormal & Severe Accident Management Procedures
    • Demonstration of Excellent Communications, Solid Team Work & Alignment, Critical Questioning & Investigative Attitude between all Emergency Operating Facilities, NRC Headquarters, Federal Emergency Management Agency, State of California and Offsite Agencies including Offsite Dose Assessment Committee, California Highway Patrol, Fire Departments, News Media, Emergency Medical Facilities and Public Interest Groups
    • Ability for demonstration of Accurate & Timely Emergency Declarations, Offsite Notifications / Communications, and Protective Actions Recommendations & Decisions
    • Ability for prompt notification, evacuation and/or sheltering of disabled, transient and permanent residents in the Emergency Planning Zone during rush traffic hours
    Acceptance Criteria:
    • 100 % Accuracy in Emergency Declarations, Offsite Notifications / Communications, and Protective Actions Recommendations & Decisions
    • No more than 5 Drill/Exercise Weaknesses

  7. Mel Silberberg January 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I am disappointed in the composition of the special panel! Where is the representation from NRC-RES? The issues at SONGS involve thermal hydraulics and material science. The NRC-RES and its contractors are experts in these areas. The Office of Research was created by the Congress for such situations. Two RES staff covering these disciplines and one or two consultants, serving as peer-reviewers. Perhaps there needs to be a separate peer review. Public confidence can only be gained using logical, informed measures as I described above.
    Mel Silberberg, NRC-RES, Retired [Chief, Severe Accident Research Branch; Waste Management Branch.

    • Mel Silberberg January 21, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      correction–on the fifth line, after ‘peer-reviewers’ please add [should be added to the panel.]

      • CaptD January 23, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        Salute to Mel Silberberg for his great comment!
        As I have also posted, the NRC needs to populate this panel with people from outside Region IV for obvious reasons and also technical reasons as Mr. Silberberg mentions above.
        +
        Perhaps Mel would consider helping the DAB Safety Team’s “Battery of Nuclear Experts”, if so our contact info is listed on any of our documents posted here: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit

      • Anonymous January 24, 2013 at 12:12 am

        Reply to CapD: What is the DAB?
        Mel Silberberg

      • CaptD January 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

        RE: Mel Silberberg, please look at any of the end of any of DAB Safety Team’s documents for more about DAB… https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4aXJCT2s/edit

      • CaptD January 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        Edwin Hackett, Executive Director ACRS ==> Main number is 301-415-7360
        Thanks for your reply, and staying aware of what is happening at SONGS aka SanO.

      • HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

        Hi Mr. Mel Silberberg Can you please comment on the following….. Thanks HAHN Baba
        Subject: FYI – Exchange of Notes
        To: Victor.Dricks@nrc.govHelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 29, 2013 at 1:04 am
        Request for independent re-review of SONGS 50.59 Screen/Evaluation by NRC Region II – Please send me an email after you complete the review ASAP. These guys who performed the screen and evaluations are very close friends of mine and I want to make sure they were on the right track. Trying to help my friends and NRC Region IV. Thanks… HAHN Baba

        Reply
        Moderator January 29, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        The NRC has already conducted several reviews of the 10 CFR 50.59 documents associated with the replacement of the steam generators at SONGS. These reviews involved NRC inspectors from multiple offices including Region IV, Region II and the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation at NRC headquarters. The results of these reviews are contained in NRC two inspection reports that are available at http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/songs/tube-degradation.html. [see the Augmented Inspection Team Report dated July 18, 2012, and the Augmented Inspection Team Follow-Up Report dated November 9, 2012]. It is worthy of note that the NRC staff is currently reviewing 10 CFR 50.59 documents associated with the licensee’s proposed restart activities. The results of the ongoing review will be documented in a future inspection report.

        Victor Dricks

        Reply

        HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Mr. Dricks, Respectfully, Along with Arnie Gundersen and John Large, I totally disagree with the NRC assessments on SONGS 10 CFR 50.59 RSG Evaluations. I was qualified SONGS 50.59 Screener/Evaluator for a decade besides being qualified at several other nuclear power plants. I have performed numerous 50.59 changes and reviews at SONGS. The changes shown below were claimed by Edison to be in the conservative direction and improvements.

        NRC AIT Report states, “For the Unit 2 and Unit 3 replacement steam generators, the licensee determined that the proposed activity did not adversely affect a design function, or the method of performing or controlling a design function described in the updated final safety analysis report. The licensee evaluated the following updated final safety analysis report design functions in the 50.59 screening: Steam Generator Design Functions….

        Let us examine the effect of these changes on Steam Generator Design Functions and then you go back to your peers for more soul searching/research and provide more arguments and we will go from there:

        The design functions of the steam generators tubes and tube supports are to: (1.) Limit tube flow-induced vibration to acceptable levels during normal operating conditions, and (2) Prevent a tube rupture concurrent with other accidents.

        Change Number 1: 105,000 square feet tube heat transfer area in OSGs; 116,100 square feet tube heat transfer area in RSGs; 11.1% increase in heat transfer area, which is more than a minimal change of 10% in the non-conservative direction. Change accomplished by addition of 377 tubes in the central region by removal of stay cylinder and increasing the length of 9727 tubes by > 7 inches.

        Change Number 2: Operating Secondary Pressure – OSGs: 900 psi, RSG: 833 psi ~ 10% change

        Change Number 3: Tube wall thickness was reduced from 0.048 inches to 0.043 to pump more reactor coolant through the tubes > 10% change

        Other changes: Moisture content was reduced from 0.2% to 0.1% to improve SG performance, RCS Volume was increased from 1895 cubic feet to 2003 cubic feet, RCS Flow was increased from 198,000 gpm to 209,000 gpm, feedwater flow was increased from 7.4 million pound per hour to 7.6 million pound per hour and AVBs were not designed to prevent against adverse effects of fluid elastic instability (In-plane vibrations, Tube-to-Tube wear, steam dry-outs). These unapproved and unanalyzed changes were claimed to be a conservative decision and improvements in the RSGs from OSGs were presented as a “like for Like” change. No mixing baffles were added in the SONGS RSGs to improve the T/H Performance in the RSGs. FEI and SR Values were not provided by SCE in the RSG Design Specifications. SCE told MHI to avoid the NRC Approval…… MHI did not either provided in-plane supports, or provided the operational criteria to prevent FEI in one of the largest steam generators with such high steam flows. MHI did not benchmark CE SG Computer codes or design details, neither did SCE, nor did SCE check the work of MHI. And Dr. McFarlane says, “SCE is responsible for the work of its vendors and contractors. Look at Palo Verde RSGs, a Success Story and SONGS RSGs, a $ Billion Blunder….

        NOTE: ATHOS Modeling results are not reliable, because the results by NRC AIT Team, Westinghouse, MHI, AREVA and Independent Experts show that fluid elastic instability occurred both in Units 3 and 2. The investigations in the Root cause of SONGS Unit 3 FEI regarding computer modeling have not been completed by NRC AIT Team, SCE and MHI. FEI did not occur in Unit 2 according to DAB Safety Team and Westinghouse. As also shown in other DAB Safety Team reports, FEI was not caused in Unit 3 by tube-to AVB gaps as claimed by NRC AIT Team and SCE. This is consistent with the findings of Westinghouse, AREVA, MHI, John Large and SONGS Anonymous Insiders.

        NRC AIT Report states, “The licensee’s bid specification required that the stay cylinder feature of the original steam generators be eliminated to maximize the number of tubes that could be installed in the replacement steam generators and to mitigate past problems with tube wear at tube supports caused by relatively cool water and high flow velocities in the central part of the tube bundle. Mitsubishi employed a broached trefoil tube support plates instead of the egg crate supports in the original design. In addition to providing for better control of tube to support plate gaps and easier assembly, the broached tube support plates were intended to address past problems with the egg crate supports by providing less line of contact and faster flow between the tubes and support plates, reducing the potential for deposit buildup and corrosion.”

        Problems in SONGS Original CE Steam Generators: In the Original 2001 Power Uprate Application (NRC ADAMS Accession Number ML010950020), “Proposed Change Number NPF-10115-514 Increase in Reactor Power to 3438 MWt San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Units 2 and 3”, SCE stated “ By the above reference Southern California Edison (SCE) submitted Amendment Application Numbers 207 and 192 to the facility operating licenses for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), Units 2 and 3, respectively, to increase the licensed reactor thermal power level to 3438 MWt. At 100% power operation, steam generator pressures typically vary between 800 psia and 815 psia, compared to the original nominal design operating pressure of 900 psia. Wear at tube support structures is a known degradation mechanism at SONGS. At SONGS, rapid wear was observed on tubes surrounding the stay cylinder in the center of the steam generator during the first cycle of operation. Many tubes in the most susceptible region around the stay cylinder have been preventively plugged. The first preventive plugging was done after 0.7 EFPY of operation. The preventively plugged region was expanded during the Cycle 3 outage. Typical active wear in CE designed steam generators has occurred at the support structures in the upper bundle region of the steam generator. These supports consist of diagonal straps (frequently called bat wings) and vertical strap supports. This currently active wear mechanism is influenced by both flow velocities and tube to support gap wear. The variable influenced by the proposed uprate is the inner bundle flow velocities. The hydrodynamic stability of a steam generator is characterized by the damping factor. A negative value of this parameter indicates a stable unit, i.e., small perturbations of steam pressure or circulation ratio will diminish rather than grow in amplitude. The damping factors remain highly negative, at a level comparable to the current design, for all cases. Thus, the steam generators remain hydrodynamically stable for all uprate cases. Based on a projected increase of 2.3% in the secondary side fluid velocity, normal operation flow induced vibration analysis is impacted by the velocity increase. Current analysis considered that tubes with more than one consecutive inactive eggcrate were staked and plugged, and two nonconsecutive inactive eggcrates are acceptable. The Stability Ratio (SR) is defined as: SR = Veff/Vcr, where, Veff= effective velocity, Vcr = critical velocity; and Values of SR 35% of ~381 tubes in Unit 3 RSGs.

        Palo Verde made similar changes to their RSGs under a 50.90 License Amendment. PVNGS Generators are running after 10 years with very little tube plugging whereas the above changes in SONGS RSGs destroyed Unit 3 and crippled Unit 2 RSGs. Because of these adverse design changes, everybody is on the run: NRC Region IV, SCE, Mitsubishi, California Public Utilities Commission, Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Dianne Feinstein. NRC Region IV, Westinghouse, AREVA, MHI, World’s Experts, SCE (Except DAB Safety Team SONGS Anonymous Insiders) are not sure whether fluid elastic instability in Unit 2 occurred or not. Southern Californians Ratepayers have lost $1 Billion in this game without electricity and now are faced with the trauma of restart of defectively-designed and degraded Unit 2 due to SCE’s continued mistakes. I am just trying to help, so please, wake up NRC Region IV and San Onofre Special Panel, Your charter is public safety and not whether SCE looses or makes money. I guarantee that SCE will make more money by admitting their mistakes and win NRC/Public Confidence by correcting their mistakes and using “Critical Questioning & Investigative Attitude” in the future. Remember, Mr. Dricks, Truth always prevails….. HAHN BABA

    • Moderator January 23, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Region IV used technical experts from headquarters, including the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, as part of the Augmented Team Inspection following the steam generator tube leak. These technical experts have continued to advise and make recommendations to the Oversight Panel, as the NRC has conducted follow-up inspections and reviews the SONGS CAL response. Before the NRC makes a restart decision, it will ensure all the appropriate discipline experts, including thermal hydraulics and materials, have reviewed their respective areas of technical expertise.

      Victor Dricks

      • Mel Silberberg January 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

        Thank you Victor. Was the SONGS problem discussed with the ACSR? If so please send a reference to the meeting. Why wasn’t their an intensive, public peer review meeting (conference ) involving experts from around the world, including EPRI, comparing their analyses. The SONGS issues were so surprising – we’ve been using steam generators for so long, one has to suspect some new phenomena and or condition never seen before. Given the financial impact and safety significance–the public demands reassurance. Peer reviews are done for this reason. The cost of the shutdown, new generators, and replacement power cost to SCE is over a billion dollars!
        If I were the industry I would be concerned– this is not a nuclear problem- but the general public doesn’t know the difference. You need to answer these questions at the Public Meeting next month in Carlsbad.

        Mel Silberberg

      • CaptD January 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        Using “technical experts from headquarters” is not the same thing as having them DIRECT this SPECIAL panel’s “discovery” process! As populated now, this review panel can insure that Region IV stays in charge of its own investigation, which should not be the case, since SanO problems were caused in part by Region IV in the first place due to lax enforcement!

      • HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

        Mr. Dricks. Would you please make the documents containing the findings of these experts public by posting them on the NRC website, because these are NRC documents and not Licensee documents. Please do it to assure the public of NRC independent conclusions, because public pays all the bills for the government via taxes. Thanks.

      • Moderator January 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

        No, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safety (ACRS) has not requested a meeting with the NRC technical staff on SONGS related issues.

        Victor Dricks

      • Moderator January 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

        Publicly available NRC documents related to the steam generator problems at San Onofre are posted in ADAMS and on the special web page at: http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/reactor/songs/tube-degradation.html

      • CaptD January 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

        @ Mr. Dricks “No, the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safety (ACRS) has not requested a meeting with the NRC technical staff on SONGS related issues.

        Why not?
        Especially since SanO’s RSG tubing now has more damage that ALL the rest of the nuclear fleet combined!

        What are they waiting for, and how would a public person contact the Chief of ACRS?

      • Moderator January 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        ACRS briefings on event-driven issues typically occur after the NRC staff has finished with inspection and oversight activities, which continue with SONGS. The ACRS main number is 301-415-7360

        Edwin Hackett
        Executive Director
        ACRS

    • HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 26, 2013 at 12:49 am

      Hi Mr. Silberberg, Brilliant Question And Great Recommendation… My Salute … HAHN BABA
      SONGS RSG Failure Root Cause – Lack of “Critical questioning and an investigative attitude” by SCE, MHI and NRC Region IV
      A NRC Branch Chief gifted with MIT Intelligence, Intuition and a Sixth Sense, who is an acquantaince of mine, told me at an Industry Conference, “Sir to resolve any complex technical problem and understand unclear regulations, you have to, ‘Read and reread in between the lines’, use, ‘Critical questioning and an investigative attitude’ and ‘Solid teamwork & alignment.”
      Thanks to NRC for posting this comment.. HAHN BABA

    • HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Hi Mr. Steinberg, Please See
      DAB Safety Team Media Alert 13-01-28
      Allegations
      1. NRC AIT Report Incomplete, Inconclusive, Inconsistent and Unacceptable
      2. SONGS UNIT 3 RSG REAL ROOT CAUSE: Lack of “Critical Questioning & Investigative Attitude” by SCE, MHI and NRC Region IV and AIT Team.
      Google Drive – DAB Safety Team & Related Info Share …
      docs.google.com/folder/d/0BweZ3c0aFXcFZGpvRlo4…

  8. HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 21, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Just trying to help the NRC San Onofre Special Panel with some of the facts:
    1. NRC Augmented Inspection Team Report and SCE Cause evaluations on both San Onofre Unit 3 and 2 FEI are still unresolved and open based:
    A. ATHOS limitations disputed by John Large, Arnie Gundersen, Academic Research Scholars and DAB Safety Team,
    B. Insufficient tube-to-AVB contact forces on Unit 3 disputed by DAB Safety Team, Westinghouse, MHI, AREVA and John Large, and
    C. Operational Factors based on the information from San Onofre Plant Data disputed by SONGS Root Cause Team Member and DAB Safety Team.
    Therefore, the decision of NRC San Onofre Special Panel should take into account the above facts. Thanks to the NRC Moderator for posting this information.

  9. HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 20, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Just trying to help the NRC San Onofre Special Panel with some of the facts:
    1. San Onofre Emergency Preparedness DEP Indicator Value is consistently amongst the lowest in the US Nuclear Power Plants,
    2. The Shift Manager Training Guru was on duty at the time of San Onofre Unit 3 Accident, so the reactor was shutdown in a timely and safe manner. Southern Californians were lucky,
    3. The other best known Shift Manager resigned due to differences with plant management,
    4. The best known Station and Corporate Emergency Directors have retired,
    5. The other Shift Managers, Station and Corporate Emergency Directors record of accomplishment is for NRC San Onofre Special Panel to judge,
    6. The Manager of Plant Operations is very knowledgeable, and
    7. Therefore, the probability of success to avert another potential accident due to Restart of Defectively-Designed and Degraded Unit 2 Replacement Steam Generators at 70% power is 50% based upon who is on duty at the time of the accident (due to a design bases main steam line break or other anticipated operational occurrences).
    Therefore, the decision of NRC San Onofre Special Panel should take into account the above facts. Thanks for posting.

  10. HelpAllHurtNeverBaba January 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    EPRI, NRC, Westinghouse, AREVA and MHI ATHOS thermal-hydraulic computer models cannot accurately account for all the mechanical and structural unknowns, and extremely narrow tube-to-tube clearance differences, which would very likely govern the catastrophic tube-to-tube wear (fluid elastic instability) in San Onofre Unit 2 during a main steam line break or other anticipated operational occurrences at 70% power. Computer Modeling predictions are as good as the input based on the as-built hot pressurized U-Tube Bundle Anti-Vibration Structure behavior, which nobody knows. John Large, Internationally Known Scientist and Chartered Nuclear Engineer from London says about the SONGS Unit 2 Replacement Steam Generators (RSGs) AVB Structure, “It impossible to reliably predict the effectiveness of the many thousands of AVB contact points for when the tube bundle is in a hot, pressurized operational state. The combination of the omission of the in-plane AVB restraints, the unique in-plane activity levels of the SONGS RSGs, together the very demanding interpretation of the remote probe data from the cold and depressurized tube inspection, render forecasting the wear of the tubes and many thousands of restraint components when in hot and pressurized service very challenging indeed.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,454 other followers

%d bloggers like this: