Monday, March 18, 2013

Issues in Context: The NRC Webinar on Palisades Nuclear Power Plant and Pressurized Thermal Shock

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant
In recent days, we've seen a lot of media coverage concerning an upcoming NRC webinar on the Entergy's Palisades Nuclear Generating Station in Michigan. Earlier today, Entergy released the following statement by Tony Vitale, the plant's site vice president:
"The Palisades nuclear plant is a safe and secure facility, and we have an NRC license to operate this facility through 2031.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has strict rules, regulations and limits for all aspects of nuclear plant operations. This includes a program to monitor nuclear power plant reactor vessels and the potential impact of a rare accident scenario – pressurized thermal shock – in which a large amount of cold water is injected into the reactor resulting in rapid cooling of the reactor vessel.

This is not a new topic or one that is unique to Palisades. In fact, for decades pressurized thermal shock has been well understood and well monitored by the owners and operators of the nation’s pressurized water reactors.

Every pressurized water reactor plant in the nation is required by the NRC to continually update its calculations to confirm reactor vessel strength – meaning every plant must conduct periodic reactor vessel inspections and analyze reactor vessel samples. Consistent with these NRC requirements, Palisades will conduct these inspections and analysis during our refueling outage this fall.

We have every reason to believe the test results will again demonstrate the safety and strength of the Palisades reactor vessel – which will enable us to continue operating through the end of our license in 2031. We will submit an updated evaluation to the NRC for its review in the spring of 2014.

Our unrelenting commitment and focus are on operating Palisades at the highest levels of safety and reliability – now and for many years to come.”
Thanks to Entergy for providing some needed context to counter some of the breathless coverage.

1 comment:

jimwg said...

Releasing reassuring technical statements is well and good for informing blogs, but it's NOT how the general public gets news. The "fair" media is just dandy on it's toes reporting "ominous" nuclear situations, but are crickets on retractions or corrections, willfully letting fear and doubt hang in the wind for all the fearful to wonder. Energy companies and nuclear facilities have to GET THEIR WORD "OUT THERE" to counter this biased nonsense! It's really not that complicated or expensive. A few thirty second adult and educational ads does wonders. Being MIA in the mass-media front only sprouts frets and consternation in favor of antis.

James Greenidge
Queens NY