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Throwback Thursday – The RIC, Circa 1990

carrIn this archival photo, then-Chairman Kenneth M. Carr provides his remarks to participants of the Second Annual Regulatory Information Conference at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Carr, who spent five years on the Commission, died last year. The current Chairman Stephen Burns had served on his staff. Later this month, the NRC will be holding the 28th RIC in Rockville, Md. On-line registration is closed, but on-site registration is available. For more information, check out the NRC webpage on the conference.

5 responses to “Throwback Thursday – The RIC, Circa 1990

  1. drbillcorcoran March 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    How would he have handled the
    Electrical Engineers’ Single Phase Fault 2.206 Petition
    https://app.box.com/files/0/f/6776544878/1/f_55198436818

    This episode may well begin to unravel the deep-seated dysfunction at the NRC. There seems to be a shortfall in competence, integrity, compliance, and transparency.

    It is so engrained that the insiders do not even see it. “It’s what’s for dinner.”

    It reminds me of the ways NRC handled the Peach Bottom Sleepy Hollow Slumber Party for Security Officers, the Davis-Besse Inspection Deferral, the Callaway Shutdown on Xenon, the Oconee-Jocassee Dam Vulnerability, the AIM Pipeline Non-existing Safety Analysis, and other issues raised out of the usual routes. (Which other ones pop to mind?)

    Instead of using concerned individuals’ lack of expertise in the Byzantine Briar Patch to block the addressing of concerns, the NRC should have an Office of Dissenters Resources that helps concerned individuals through the briar patch.

    There is a sad lack of leadership that is willing to stop the circle-the-wagons stiff-arming meetings and say, “What’s the right thing to do?”

    Who know what could be achieved if the NRC put as much effort into solving safety problems as they put into proving that they are not problems?

    The archive of official emails, meeting minutes, and memoranda should tell much of the story.

    Who can get the collection of records released?

    What has been the leadership involvement of senior staff, ACRS, and the commissioners?

    Is there anyone willing to step up to the plate and keep this fiasco from being even more of an embarrassment?

    • Engineer-Poet March 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm

      It’s telling that you hide your “problem” for the nuclear industry behind a wall that requires a login.  Why don’t you put it in an open-access Google doc?  Do you not want everyone knowing what’s in it?  (Frankly, if I was trying to incite fear I’d throw lots of irrelevant stuff like that up and claim that non-refutations proved that dangers existed.  Not that that would ever have occurred to me, but I’ve seen it too many times from anti-nukes.)

      • OHW March 6, 2016 at 8:43 am

        Interestingly enough, Dr. Corcoran has been involved with the nuclear industry since its very inception. He isn’t necessarily “anti-nuke” just in favor of thorough and exhaustive regulation. With such an extensive background in root-cause-analysis and intrinsic understanding of the real challenges regarding the industry, Dr. Corcoran is probably one of the leading supporters of the nuclear industry by championing the strength of regulations and accountability. I agree with you that there are certain individuals who will criticize anything nuclear-related without grounds and, in doing so, stoke the flames of fear without due cause. I’m just saying that this person isn’t one of them.

      • Engineer-Poet March 8, 2016 at 12:13 am

        Interestingly enough, Dr. Corcoran has been involved with the nuclear industry since its very inception.

        That’s nice.  It doesn’t excuse his efforts to obscure what he’s talking about.

        I have since seen the substance of the complaint from other sources.  It happens to be true that losing a phase of the power feed to a 3-phase motor causes problems for the motor, especially if it isn’t properly shut down or re-powered (feeding a 3-φ motor from a 1-φ power supply and using a large capacitor bank to create the required phase shift for the missing phase is standard practice).  The issue here is that most of the systems in use appear to only monitor 2 phases and would fail to detect an outage of the third.  Since this is obviously not a mystery, retrofits to fix it should not be a very big issue.

        I would like to see a list of problems caused by phase outages at nuclear plants in the past.  I suspect that this list is very, very short.

  2. Reno Deano March 3, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Mr. Carr tried to run the NRC as he did naval enlisted men! Did not have a clear understand of the abilities and professionalism of the men and women that worked in the NRC. Very lackluster career as head of the NRC in the 80’s.

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